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Where Should I Turn?


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Guest openlyatheist

I recently opened up to a Christian friend about some problems I'm having. Of course, her only advice had to do w/ turning to Jesus. "There are some wounds only He can heal."

 

A few days ago family was in town and they wanted to go see the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA. I checked out the CC website and saw tons of inspirational messages and books and workshops all pledging to help me through life's tribulations through faith and worship and community. I actually find myself thinking of going down there and throwing myself on the pity of some Christian counselor.

 

I have not found any help just reaching out to other atheists. I am experimenting w/ Buddhism and meditation. I mean, Easterners have coped without Christianity for millennia, there is a lot in their literature about dealing w/ emotions and pain.

 

I am once again seeking a psychotherapist. Not a lame "group" thing like last time I tried, but a real therapist who might have something useful to say to me. I have determined I am in dire straits and need some help.

 

Is there anyone here who has been in a similar predicament? How did you get through?

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I recently opened up to a Christian friend about some problems I'm having. Of course, her only advice had to do w/ turning to Jesus. "There are some wounds only He can heal."

 

A few days ago family was in town and they wanted to go see the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA. I checked out the CC website and saw tons of inspirational messages and books and workshops all pledging to help me through life's tribulations through faith and worship and community. I actually find myself thinking of going down there and throwing myself on the pity of some Christian counselor.

 

I have not found any help just reaching out to other atheists. I am experimenting w/ Buddhism and meditation. I mean, Easterners have coped without Christianity for millennia, there is a lot in their literature about dealing w/ emotions and pain.

 

I am once again seeking a psychotherapist. Not a lame "group" thing like last time I tried, but a real therapist who might have something useful to say to me. I have determined I am in dire straits and need some help.

 

Is there anyone here who has been in a similar predicament? How did you get through?

 

I'm not getting exactly what your predicament is, but maybe I have in a similar one. Maybe PM me?

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Don't go to a xian counselor, I sure wouldn't but if that's your only option then its better to go than not to. Is there one you can go to at a local college? Sometimes counselors there can be helpful, if not you can always pick up the yellow pages and peruse through it, call up a few. Try out different ones, sometimes some are better than others, see if your insurance can help out with that. hmm not sure if this is the best advice, I'm also looking for a psychologist to help me out with issues at home and elsewhere, sometimes you just need someone to talk to who can be objective about it. :)

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Yeah, do not go by the Crystal Cathedral for support of any kind. If you're going that far you might as well drive a little further and go to DisneyLand instead (seriously). You'll have a lot more fun and it will cost you less in the long run. :)

 

It's been awhile since I lived around there but I do know that there are outreach programs of all types that are available in the various cities so you're not just limited to xian. Give your local city (or even the Orange County offices) a call and see if they can direct you and if not try the local colleges (something like Rancho Santiago maybe...or something bigger like Cal State Fullerton or UCI). There might even be something online by now so it's a little more anonymous.

 

You should call the person before going to see them and just tell them a little bit of your problem and that you're interested in someone who's an atheist (or whatever particular spiritual thing you're looking for...or just "spiritual" in general). This little interview should tell you whether or not you have a match. Now, personally, I have an anti-xian bias but if you make it known what your goals are and so forth and the person is a professional they shouldn't let their beliefs interfere with yours. If this is a concern to you though you should simply let them know this and move on to the next person on the list.

 

I don't know what your financial situation is but nearly all therapists charge on a sliding scale based on your ability to pay (some insurances will cover treatment but most don't or only part) and the outreach programs can be free depending on need.

 

I wish I could offer some more specific help.

 

mwc

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There was once a Christian young man who was in a deep depression and was considering suicide. He deconverted and then started studying a philosophy which opened him up to a beautiful vision of the moral structure of the universe, and he found joy. :HappyCry:

 

That deconvert was named Porphyry, who lived from 232 to 305 AD, and he studied Platonic theology under Plotinus. He deconverted from Christianity to pagan mysticism. According to Paganism, the operation of divine retribution upon the sinner is creative and is intended to bring us to repentance, heal us, and nurture moral growth. :HaHa:

 

In his Gorgias dialogue, 472-81, Plato argues that justice is the same thing as love, and that the operation of justice upon a sinner is the means by which God would transfigure him. Salvation is transfiguration, and God's means of transfiguration is to operate his wrath upon that sinner. :lmao:

 

Read George MacDonald's fantasy novels, "Lilith," and "Phantastes," which are Platonic myths, intended to bring the reader to a vision of God, the lustrating light at the center of reality, that operates retribution upon the entire moral universe, upon Yahweh (if he exists), and upon you as well. :woohoo:

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I think you're on the right path seeking a real therapist. Almost everyone needs one now and again if just for the catharsis of having someone to talk to that isn't personally involved in your life and will be discreet about it.

 

If you're spiritually hurting, I'm with the others. Don't go to christian counselers. There are lots of religions that profess that "if you just do this, your life will fix itself." But given the number of neurotic christians out there, we both know it's not true, is it?

 

The only way to soothe personal and spiritual pain is to look within. That can be very unpleasent sometimes, but looking at what is making you hurt objectively helps you find the answers to make it stop for good. Learning meditation, Buddhism, and Zen techniques helped me a LOT with that because it's not a focus on god, it's a focus on the self.

 

If you do this, your therapist will be very handy to talk to about it because sometimes it can be very hard facing the truth about yourself. But if you keep going, it WILL get better. Good luck.

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I know a pretty wide variety of faiths operate over in the O.C.-- heck, there is a whole temple devoted to feminist Wicca. I bet you could find a Freethought Hall or Society over there somewhere. They might be able to point you in the direction of an atheist counselor.

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Look for a cognitive therapy practitioner. It cuts to the chase by directly addressing your thought patterns rather than dredging the past for events that may or may not have caused the problems. Shorter and more effective course of treatment than classical psychotherapy.

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