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Professional Counselors


GraphicsGuy
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Bit of a random topic, but I am curious as to how many of us see professional counselors on a regular basis. I think the fact that we need to boasts towards how severely religion damaged us. Hell, my father (pastor turned Prison Chaplin) has seen one in the past and my mother has too; both due to religion/church-related issues.

 

I was just reading another thread that happened to bring up counselors and how some people have issues with Xian counselors and such.

 

I have to admit that I completely lucked out with mine. He is a Xian and I've been seeing him for about three years now (there have been extended breaks up to 6 months away). He was actually with me as I went through my deconversion process, but never once tried to sway me from it. He helped me break behavioral patterns and guided me through recognizing emotions and learning to deal with them.

 

I kind of sing his praises, but I know he's a good counselor and it's starting to show at his workplace. He's booked solid weeks in advance now.

 

He has never once judged me nor been the least condescending. The only thing remotely Xian he's done was during one session where I brought up the subject of "God". Unfortunately I didn't make the distinction that my version of "God" is something WAAAAAY completely different than the Xian version. He ended up recommending the book "The Shack" to me...a book I subsequently threw against a wall numerous times (literally). He never asked me about my thoughts on it...I think he may have read my scathing online review.

 

This is getting long-winded, but I'll end by saying that I NEED counseling still. I still have a lot of anger cramped inside me, there are still emotional issues that I don't understand. I need a safe place to go where I can vent these things out. I need to be able to talk to someone that I completely and honestly trust. Someone I know who is not going to judge me and give me crap advice.

 

Actually, that's another thing he doesn't do. He never gives me advice. He helps me find my own advice. I do get the occasional "task" from him that simply involves self-analysis, but it's never him telling me what to do. I am the one in control of what we talk about, how often I see him, etc.

 

Ultimately, my counseling has been an extremely positive experience. This is good since everything else in my life seems to fly to shit lately...

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Actually, that's another thing he doesn't do. He never gives me advice. He helps me find my own advice. I do get the occasional "task" from him that simply involves self-analysis, but it's never him telling me what to do. I am the one in control of what we talk about, how often I see him, etc.

 

Ultimately, my counseling has been an extremely positive experience. This is good since everything else in my life seems to fly to shit lately...

 

That sounds like the way my counselor treats me. He is not xtian. But, like yours, he leads me to solutions or different ways to handle things. My guy also gives me tasks. They are usually one at a time. I work that one task until it helps me with a particular behavior pattern. Then we work on something else.

 

Counseling is the best thing I've ever done. I enjoy having an unfiltered sounding board. Someone that has no attachment to me that I just let it all out without fear of judgement or condemnation.

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I saw one for a few months and he helped me understand that I have serious anxiety problems, which are caused by my brain releasing too much of a certain chemical when I get nervous. Understanding my dangerous emotions through an outside perspective has really helped me control them so they impede me less. It was incredibly positive. We never discussed God at all, just my family and my schoolwork.

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It's an extremely poorly written piece of trash. The only thing I can figure is that it's Xians who don't read very much that actually like it.

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I recently had to go see one for anxiety issues. There was a temporary period where my mother was leaning on me for support whilst my brother was dying and I just couldn't take it on top of all the other stuff I normally have on my plate.

 

I saw my counselor for four months once a week, and we talked about everything. She would give me her total attention whenever I would say anything. Then she would point out things that I had said and where she thought the issues were. It was tremendously helpful just to have someone that would listen to me in a nonjudgmental way.

 

I would go back if a seriously stressful period comes again, but she was very expensive.

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I saw a therapist for 5 years during the height of my wifes fundamentalism. He was an older man, who was an exchristian, infact an ex youth pastor.

Good guy and great therapist. We got along great. Really helped me understand the pathology involved with my wife, and gave me good advice on how to react. He also let me vent, and helped me with my anger. I owe him a lot.

 

You are coming from a different perspective than me, as I was never a fundy. That said, from what I know, your therapist seems to be on the right track allowing you to analyze yourself. That is when therapy really begins. Once you understand self, you can move forward with action that will make you heal emotionally.

 

Best of luck.

 

Centauro

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Going to counseling was the best thing I have ever done. I learned so much about myself and life in that 6 month period. It truly changed me.

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My husband has been in therapy for over 3 years. I have attended every single session.

 

His latest therapist has been an enormous help through the process of leaving our religion. And like someone else said, he never gives you advice. He lets you come to your own conclusions based on the things he says. I believe this is the true mark of a skillful psychologist. He is a guide and a teacher but does not push you when you are not ready. I would highly recommend therapy to anyone who is going through a hard time in their life, you learn so much about yourself and about human nature. It is more about uncovering what you have always known, as opposed to learning completely new things.

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I haven't since childhood, and that was just with my parents when they were in counseling. There have been times when I would have appreciated it, but money has always been an issue, and I would be very leary of a cheap counselor...so I've often turned to online communities, either talking to people I trust their opinion, or depending on the subject, general questions. Not as good as the real thing, but at least better than nothing. The one time I was stressed out enough to literally be making myself sick, was solved by quitting the job that was causing a good portion of said stress...money's been tight ever since, but that's (hopefully) only a temporary (for the next two years) thing till we're both out of school.

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I went to a church-endorsed counselor a few years back, when I was still deep into the church. I was having some serious doubts about God being in my life, since I'd never felt any of the "peace, love, joy" toward God that the church says Christians should feel. Specifically, I never felt God the way other people had said they had. I assumed that meant there was some problem with me. (Though I felt plenty of peace, love, and joy in all other areas of my life.)

 

So I went to this guy, and his opinion on me was that I was sinning by being too logical and rational (truly!). He said I was suppressing all of my true emotions, which were supposed to be the source of our feelings from/about God. Therefore, since I'd sinfully relied on my own rationality, I'd in effect cut off all lines of communication from God to me (other than the Bible, of course).

 

The message I got from that was, "To experience God, you have to turn off your brain." I wasn't about to do that, so I quit going to see him after 3 sessions.

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Yeah...that's a counselor that can't separate his own issues/emotions from his job. Everything is about "fixing" someone and fitting them into his own little box. My first Xian counselor was like that. He discouraged me from going to a doctor and just said that I needed to do more spiritual warfare and give myself completely to the Lord.

 

Tried it. Failed miserably. Fell back into my bad behavioral patterns. Just ended up getting worse.

 

Counselors like that should have their licenses revoked (if they even have one, that is). They have to realize that their religion does NOT solve all problems.

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