Action for Happiness is a company in the United Kingdom whose sole mission is to spread Happiness across the globe.  They have developed a class called Exploring What Matters.  We will be one of the first classes in the United States and YOU can be part of it!  However, there are only 18 spots available!  There are potentially up to 4,000 people receiving this notification so if you are interested, jump on this right away!  The class is on a donation basis – which is great because we believe everyone deserves to be happy, not just those that can pay big money.  The class will be held at a location in the heart of Salt Lake City with easy freeway access and public transportation (including Trax!).  Class will be held for eight consecutive weeks on Saturdays from May 11th to June 29th from 11:30am to 1:30pm   Click here to sign up now.

Frank Clayton, The Happy Therapist

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Is Happiness 101 still FREE?  Yes and no.  Yes and no.

First, I want to thank you for all your support over the years.  As of this month, I have taught Happiness 101 off and on for EIGHT years!!  I have always insisted on keeping it free*.  It never seemed fair to me that a class that offers the very keys of Happiness should be held back from those who cannot afford it.  If I were charging the what my time is worth, the class would cost over $2,000.  Obviously, most people would not be able to afford that. So, I will keep Happiness 101 free – HALF of the time.  You see, I have discovered over the years that many people really WANT to pay for the class.  They do not feel good about not paying for it.  Therefore, every other class will be free*.  The classes in between will be paid classes. Students will pay $100.  The deposit in the free classes is also going up from $60 to $100.  So, this upcoming free class, beginning April 22nd, will be the last class in which students will only have to pay a $60 deposit.  Just to clarify: if a potential student is so stricken by poverty that they cannot afford the deposit, I have special arrangement to offer.  I will not leave anyone behind.  

We have had over three dozen people express interest in taking this Happiness 101 class.  But it is not on a first come, first serve basis. There are a number of factors in who gets chosen for the class.  A big one is readiness for change.  Are YOU ready for a change?  Are YOU ready for a Happier life?  Then    There IS still time to enroll in the April 22nd class but you must get in your application no later than Saturday, April 8th and 9pm.  To apply,  click here for more information.

* There is a $60 deposit.  If the student attends at least six of the eight classes, they get their deposit back at the end of class.  If the student cannot afford the deposit, arrangements can still be made.  E-mail Frank for more information.

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Tuesdays December 9 – January 27  7:45-9:15pm

Winter and the holidays can be a rough time of year.  This group will not only let participants get the support they need, there will be an educational component as well, learning scientifically proven methods to decrease depression and improve happiness.  Space is limited so do not wait.  Reserve your spot TODAY.  If using insurance, the cost will be $60 for each hour and a half group over the eight weeks – for a total cost of $480.  There is a cash discount available.  Participants paying out-of-pocket will be charged $50 per session for a total of $400. Those paying out-of-pocket, there is an early birds special paying only $40 per session for a total of $320. Early birds must pay (by 7pm on Friday, November 28th).  If going through insurance, E-mail frank at the following information that insurance benefits may be verified:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Name and customer service phone number of the insurance company
  • Member ID
  • Address
  • Name of the insured (if different from participant)
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CalendarThe schedule has been pretty tight for the last several months.  We are glad to announce that the schedule has loosened up a bit.  Once summer is over, the calendar once again fills to capacity.  So, if you’ve been thinking of making an appointment, now is the time to do so.  Talk to our receptionist, Cheryl by calling 877-476-6338, option 1.

Frank Clayton, Clinical Mental Health Counselor and President of Salt Lake Mental Health, Inc.


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Article on
Mike and JanetSALT LAKE CITY — Four years ago I called my best friend, Michael. We’ve known each other since grade school and made a point to catch up at least once a month. When I asked how he was doing, he said “Same (stuff), different day.” He was at work. He told me about how he and his girlfriend, Janet, had gone out to dinner and thought how she might be “the one.”

Continue reading Six Things You Might Take For Granted

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It is easy to feel powerless against the recession. Headlines are rife with doom, and we have control of almost none of it: unemployment, the housing market and the national debt. In this constant stream of negativity, it is easy to focus on what we do not have control of and forget about what we do have control over.

How can one person feel worried sick while the next person is not? Why is one person depressed about the layoff while the next person is actually happy about it? The answer lies not in the circumstances but how we handle it.

I, myself, have been laid off during this recession, and I have struggled with depression and pessimism for most of my life (see “My Story: From Suicidal to The Happy Therapist“). Therefore I can deeply empathize with clients and students who tell me their story, which is usually peppered with words like “stuck,” “trapped” and “can’t.”

It is important to acknowledge sadness, hopelessness and worry. These feelings are not merely uncomfortable emotions — they are guideposts to feeling better; a divining rod to their belief system. In the very first class of Happiness 101, I tell students not to slap a plastic smiley face over their pain but to feel it and learn from it.

Positive psychology teaches that each emotion is feedback to us about our underlying belief system. It is here that we find choice and empowerment. For instance, if a man feels shame because he was swept away by the latest wave of layoffs, he might have an underlying belief like “If I am not providing for my family, I am a failure.” You will notice this belief statement leaves little room for extenuating circumstances — for instance high unemployment rates.

We do not have control over the world or national economy, but we do have control over our own belief system. In this example if the man replaced his belief with “As long as I am doing my best, I am okay,” instead of feeling shame, he might not only feel hope but possibly pride because his focus is on his efforts and not the outcome.

Whether suffering job loss, death of a loved one or a personal failure, we can always choose how we weather the storm. In his famous book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Nazi concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl wrote, “the last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

James Dean said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sail.” You might imagine that one person who believes he is helpless against the storm of the recession would have a very different feeling than the person who believes, “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” (“Invictus,” William Ernest Henley)

After people have told their story and properly honored their feelings, they might be open to discussion about what they do have control over, rather than lamenting about what they do not. In the above example, this hard-working American had no control over being laid off. He can continue to apply for jobs but have no control over call-backs. He can do well in the interview but still not get the job.

Research has proven (Dan Gilbert, “Stumbling on Happiness”) that when people feel that they have no control, depression often follows. This is why it is important (at the appropriate time) to turn discussion toward what one does have control over.

In session, I challenge phrases like “I’m in a rock and a hard place,” “there’s nothing I can do” and “I am trapped.” Invariably I find that there are many choices — all at varying degrees of attractiveness.

For instance, the unemployed man might believe that his only option is to just keep applying for (local) jobs and pray that something comes through. When brainstorming, he might find several other options including: filing for bankruptcy, taking a job out of state, renting out the basement, filing for unemployment, asking for loans from friends, moving in with mom and dad and/or starting his own business. This man might find all of these options to be unsavory, but I have found that depression immediately begins to loosen its grip when we explore what is possible rather than lament over the lie that “there is no hope.”

We may not have control over the economy, but we do have control over our pessimism. If you believe that you are born pessimistic, I would like to point out that this too is a belief. Ironically if you believe yourself to be a born pessimist, you will behave accordingly, making no effort to change. Pessimism can not only poison one’s attitude toward braving the economic storm but it can adversely affect decisions that might have helped to pull you out of it.

For instance, if one says, “What’s the point in applying for the job? I’m not going to get it anyway” and he does not apply for the job, then his prediction comes true. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.” Hope is always a choice.

I have documented the progress of dozens of students and found that those who make the greatest progress are those who turn from hopeless to hopeful during the eight-week course. You can test your own level of optimism at and start improving your outlook by taking your cues from the father of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, in his book, “Learned Optimism.”

Cultivating optimism is just one of 12 scientifically proven happiness activites suggested by Sonja Lyubomirsky in her book, “The How of Happiness.” Others include:

  • Expressing gratitude
  • Practicing acts of kindness
  • Nurturing relationships
  • Savoring life’s joys
  • Practicing religion or spirituality

Focusing on these activities (which you do have control over) will help you to feel empowered. Focusing on what you do not have control over will likely lead you to feel helpless and disempowered. There is much in this world over which we have no control — including the recession — but we always have control over our own positive attitude. The Nazis could not take it from Viktor Frankl. The recession can not take it from you. You always have a choice.

Frank Clayton, LPC

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Salt Lake Mental Health is no longer accepting new clients.  If you wish to be put on our waiting list, please call 801-244-9049
between the hours of 11am and 5pm.  If you have previously been seen by Frank Clayton, you may contact our office to discuss the possibility of returning.

The decision to temporarily suspend accepting new clients is to ensure that current clients are given the opportunity to be put on the schedule in a timely manner and to guarantee that each person is given the best therapeutic experience possible.  If you wish to be notified when we will be again accepting new clients, feel free to contact our office, or E-mail me directly at

If you are in crisis, please call the UNI Crisis Line at 801-587-3000

Frank Clayton, owner and president of Salt Lake Mental Health, Inc.



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I bought a new guitar book today from B&N. It’s got some good stuff in it – Hit from yesterday and today (that sounds like a radio station tag line, doesn’t it? But it’s true). I had so much fun trying out different songs that two hours went by without me even noticing. I never thought that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” would find it’s way into a positive but it did. I laid the rhythm down with the looper then picked out the lead and played over the top of it. I would also include the fact that I appreciate living in a house (vs. an apartment or condo) so I can play it LOUD! That part is big enough to deserve it’s own positive though. “Flow”, by the way, is a term in Positive Psychology referring to enjoying something so much that you lose all track of time. What’s YOUR flow activity?

Frank Clayton LPC

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Saturday, September 15, 2012  2-5pm

Sugarhouse Park (1300 E. 2100 S.) Big Field Pavilion 

Utah has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation.  Many people are not aware of this because people do not like to talk about it.  A big part of addressing the problem is to raise awareness and to educate.

The Happiness 101 team will be joining with thousands of people nationwide to walk in AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Community Walk to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and we would appreciate any support that you give for this worthwhile cause.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is at the forefront of research, education and prevention initiatives designed to reduce loss of life from suicide. With more than 33,000 lives lost each year in the U.S. and over one million worldwide, the importance of AFSP’s mission has never been greater, nor our work more urgent.

Any contribution will help the work of AFSP, and all donations are 100% tax deductible.

Donating online is safe and easy!   Please click here to register or donate.


Frank Clayton, the Happy Therapist

Proud member of the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition

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