SALT LAKE CITY — A sex therapist who was excommunicated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this week admits she’s shattered by the decision.
"I’m devastated, but I’m not surprised,” said Natasha Helfer. "I do not regret one thing that I have done.”
The expulsion came Wednesday after a dramatic disciplinary hearing in Derby, Kansas, where Helfer lived before moving to Salt Lake in 2019.
Helfer said several police officers were called to remove her and more than 40 supporters from church property. She refused to hand over her cell phone to church leaders who were intent on keeping the meeting private.
“I think we wasted their resources. We wasted the Derby Police resources,” she said.
As a certified sex therapist, Helfer publicly opposed church teachings on masturbation and pornography while supporting same-sex marriage and the LGBTQ community. She insists her comments were in line with clinically-researched best practices.
“The only time I am critical of the church and its leaders and doctrine is when I see harm as a mental health professional,” said Helfer.
Helfer has appealed the excommunication to the church’s First Presidency. She plans to continue her therapy practice.
The church declined to comment on the disciplinary hearing.