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Book Group Organizes To Dive Deep Into Family Wellness

Communities That Care -Mary Christa Smith

The Summit County Communities that Care program will host their first ever book club this month. A book by therapist Brad Reedy has been selected as the shared read.

Communities That Care Coordinator Mary Christa Smith focuses on youth substance abuse prevention and mental health programming. She works with a variety of youth advocates, the school districts and family-oriented servies throughout Summit County. Smith became motivated to start a book club becasue, she says, the community asked for it.

“We also hold various parenting classes and programs and we heard a yearning from parents in the community to continue the conversation and also to have a space in which they can interact with each other and have these conversations at a deeper level.”

Smith chose a book by Brad Reedy, “The Journey of the Heroic Parent as the first book selection. She says her experience earlier in her career at a therapeutic boarding school showed her that parents must look at the whole family system in order to help a troubled child.

“I chose this book because the greatest work that we can do as parents to support our kids is our own personal work and that when we take the time to really look at our intentions, our background, our family of origin and those things that we carry with us from childhood, for good or for ill, and when we do that work for ourselves, it benefits the entire family system.”

Clinical Director of Evoke Therapy Programs Brad Reedy says everyone falls on a mental health continuum. He wants people who read his book to feel a sense of safety and openness.

“There’s an idea that mental illness and health is a binary. That there's like two piles. Your either mentally ill or you're mentally healthy. And so I hope what parents feel is, I hope they feel like it's a safe thing to do and there's a non-shaming non guilt producing experience to look at yourself and to realize that the evil is not out there but that there's things in us that get in the way.”

Reedy says he won’t be at the book club event on the 26th     although last year he appeared at four different events in Park City.

“This is an opportunity for parents to have an open dialogue amongst themselves. I really love the value of community based, not having the expert, quote unquote there, but having the parents talk to each other about their own troubles.”

Reedy has another book coming out soon which will be on the list for a future book club selection. He says it deepens the discussion on all relationships, not just the parent and child.

“The title is The Audacity to be You: Learning to Love Your Horrible Rotten Self,” is the subtitle.  It's an extension on the journey of the parent where I write more about all relationships and I write about how the relationship that we have with everybody is reflection of the relationship that we have with ourselves.”
The next book they’ve picked to read together is “The Awakened Family: A Revolution in Parenting.” It will be discussed at the second meeting later in the spring.

This month the book club will discuss, “The Journey of the Heroic Parent,” by Brad Reedy. The meeting will be hosted by Communities That Care Summit County. It’s Sunday January 26th at Townsend Tea from 4 to 5:30 P.M.  If interested, just show up or registration can be done on the Communities That Care face book page or on Event Bright. 

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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