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Has Anyone Had Therapy After Leaving Their Church Or Cult?


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Has anyone been to a psych after leaving christianity or leaving their church group/cult?

 

It crossed my mind once or twice, but I always figured they'd be little help, since I don't think you can really understand what a christian/member goes through unless you were one.

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They would have to be well versed in both sides of religion, and the experiences of those leaving it. They could probably offer some good general advice, but as to specifics, it may be difficult to find one who would be great.

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I actually went through my deconversion because of my therapy and the things I was able to work through. Although my therapist doesn't agree with my new belief, or lack thereof, she thinks it's healthier for me than my Christianity ever was. She really understood the reasoning for what I believed and has counseled other Christians in the past. She is really good at not pushing her own beliefs on her patients. For that I'm thankful. I would suggest therapy for anyone, especially those deconverting. The key is to find the right therapist. They're out there. :)

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The key is to find the right therapist. They're out there. :)

 

 

A psychiatrist friend of my always say finding a therapist is like trying on shoes, you gotta find the one that fits.

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The key is to find the right therapist. They're out there. :)

 

 

A psychiatrist friend of my always say finding a therapist is like trying on shoes, you gotta find the one that fits.

 

Exactly. My friend is dealing with a lot of tension because he recently became homosexual. He is now going to a therapist who he was happy to find is also gay. Helped a great deal.

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I started therapy a while after deconverting, but yes it did help a lot. It took me a long time to get up the nerve to try it, because I was still very emotionally vulnerable and was afraid that a bad counselor would do me more harm than good. A friend of mine eventually found an explicitly GLBT-friendly practice that took my insurance and strongly suggested I try it out, since I was still paranoid that mainstream counselors would hate me for my sexuality. We actually dealt a whole lot with my anxiety issues and not nearly as much with the sexuality issues.

 

There certainly are a few issues in my life that my counselor has not experienced and does not understand. That matters less than I thought it would. We've talked a lot more about... unhelpful thought patterns, I guess. About how to notice anxiety starting before it gets too bad and derailing the cycle. About how to apply better coping strategies in any stressful situation. A few of the issues I thought I'd need help with have actually disappeared once I learned how to not freak out about them.

 

If the counselor really doesn't understand well enough to help, and they recognise that, they may be able to refer you to someone who can. What helped me was to go to the first meeting with the attitude of a shopper, that I'm paying money for this and if I don't get what I want, I'm not buying. You could also call a practice you're interested in and ask if they have anyone who specializes in ex-cult issues.

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Found a brilliant therapist who also used to be a christian. She helped me through a four year journey of divesting myself of 46 years of shit from christianity and my abusive past. Best thing I ever did, but it was painful having to let go of the things my life was based on and having to admit to myself that christians are probably worse than the average person when it comes to how they treat others.

 

The trick is to find a therapist that listens and doesn't judge, or have a one size fits all view of the world.

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I've had several therapists both during and after my deconversion and they've been a great help. Even if a therapist hasn't been in your situation, they can probably still help you if they're a good therapist. Losing/rejecting your faith takes you through a grieving process and the grieving process follows the same steps whether you're losing a person or a god.

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I've had several therapists both during and after my deconversion and they've been a great help. Even if a therapist hasn't been in your situation, they can probably still help you if they're a good therapist. Losing/rejecting your faith takes you through a grieving process and the grieving process follows the same steps whether you're losing a person or a god.

 

Sounds nice. I guess I just do things the old fashioned-way. Go through hell and not know what's happening to you.

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I've been to counseling for PTSD but not for leaving xtianity. Religion comes up in our discussions but not very often. My counselor only asked me once if I believed there was something 'out there' greater than myself, like was I leaving room to consider the possibility of god? I said, 'anything is possible but not everything is probable,' -- a law professor told me that years ago, don't get roped into possibility arguments because they have no end, stick to probabilities. Probabilities can be backed with data, possibilities fall into the faith category.

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When I left the church, I was also coming out as gay too, so my doctor who was treating me with hypnotherapy suggested that I see a therapist at, all places, a presbyterian social welfare service in Seattle. They had a great reputation, apparently, particularly for young coming out gay folks.

 

The therapist-dude I saw subsequently was really helpful. I was very confused emotionally, and on top of that trying to graduate from university. I have no idea if he was a christian or not, but he was awesome, AND it was a free service of the church.

 

Sorta ironic.

 

I saw him for about 6 months and found this an absolute life-saver. He helped me organize my thoughts and emotions, as well as understanding where I could fit in in a larger, often threatening world and retain my dignity and humanity.

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