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Oh, Counselor


ConureDelSol
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Last time I saw my counselor, he gave me homework to print out something on his website entitled "Ten Categories of Human Needs."  So I only looked at it today, when I had another appointment with him (procrastination AWAY!).  Most of them make sense, then I started seeing God mentioned a couple of times:

 

1. Under 'Participation and Community' - "In addition to intimate relationships, we need to belong to a larger group of individuals. We get this need met through our involvement in work or church or some other organization. We need to relate to others and use our God-given gifts and talents to serve others. We need to be giving to others and receiving from others."

 

Okay, that's fine.  That doesn't necessarily implicate religion as God-given gifts and talents can be another way of saying natural or innate abilities.  Then:

 

2. Under 'Understanding' - "We need education, knowledge, and an understanding of the world around us. We need to become aware of ourselves and others around us. We need feedback from others to help adjust our sense of reality. We must always seek to learn and understand more about God, ourselves and others."

 

Okay...

 

3. Under 'Freedom' - "We need to have the ability and the support to make our own choices and to take action on our choices. God created us with freewill, which is the ability to make choices for ourselves. When we make choices and take action we experience autonomy and a sense of our own competence and power. It is important for us even as children to make our own choices and have a sense of control over our lives."

 

Then there was the kicker:

 

4. Under 'DIVINITY AND SPIRITUAL COMMUNION' - "We were created to have a relationship with God. Our relationship with God involves talking and listening to God (prayer), worship (praising God), fellowship (sharing your experience of God with others), studying the Bible (sermons and small groups) and many other activities that help us to feel God’s presence. We need to receive and experience God’s unconditional love for us."

 

I guess that's what I should expect from a counselor with "M. Ed., M. Div" after his name on his card.  I think I'm just going to delete some of these before posting the page up on my wall.  Something tells me that some people pick him specifically because of his religious education and that he's tailored most of his material for them.  He certainly doesn't push God or Christianity in our conversations since he knows I'm an atheist and he appears respectful of that.  He also gives useful advice so it's not like this is going to keep me from seeing him.  Still though...just...blargh. 
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Will you bring it up with him? I want to know how it goes. 

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I really don't feel like it's worth bringing up.  

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The counselor's ideas about humans needing a god in their lives is a nice source from amusement. If believing he has a god in his life makes it alright for him, then good for him, but he probably isn't aware that you, like many others, have already tried the god drug and discovered that it didn't exactly have the desired affect.

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'snip

 
1. Under 'Participation and Community' - "In addition to intimate relationships, we need to belong to a larger group of individuals. We get this need met through our involvement in work or church or some other organization. We need to relate to others and use our natural born gifts and talents to serve others. We need to be giving to others and receiving from others."
 
'snip
2. Under 'Understanding' - "We need education, knowledge, and an understanding of the world around us. We need to become aware of ourselves and others around us. We need feedback from others to help adjust our sense of reality. We must always seek to learn and understand more about the world, ourselves and others."
 
'snip
3. Under 'Freedom' - "We need to have the ability and the support to make our own choices and to take action on our choices. We were created us with freewill, which is the ability to make choices for ourselves. When we make choices and take action we experience autonomy and a sense of our own competence and power. It is important for us even as children to make our own choices and have a sense of control over our lives."
 
'snip
4. Under 'DIVINITY AND SPIRITUAL COMMUNION' - "Some find turning to spirituality as a way of finding inner peace.  There are many religious belief systems out there such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hindu, and Wicca.  There are many paths to follow in spirituality and it is up to us to find the path that makes the most sense and leads to inner peace.
'snip

Bold= my edits, fixed. It doesn't take that long to make it more secular.

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'snip

 
1. Under 'Participation and Community' - "In addition to intimate relationships, we need to belong to a larger group of individuals. We get this need met through our involvement in work or church or some other organization. We need to relate to others and use our natural born gifts and talents to serve others. We need to be giving to others and receiving from others."
 
'snip
2. Under 'Understanding' - "We need education, knowledge, and an understanding of the world around us. We need to become aware of ourselves and others around us. We need feedback from others to help adjust our sense of reality. We must always seek to learn and understand more about the world, ourselves and others."
 
'snip
3. Under 'Freedom' - "We need to have the ability and the support to make our own choices and to take action on our choices. We were created us with freewill, which is the ability to make choices for ourselves. When we make choices and take action we experience autonomy and a sense of our own competence and power. It is important for us even as children to make our own choices and have a sense of control over our lives."
 
'snip
4. Under 'DIVINITY AND SPIRITUAL COMMUNION' - "Some find turning to spirituality as a way of finding inner peace.  There are many religious belief systems out there such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hindu, and Wicca.  There are many paths to follow in spirituality and it is up to us to find the path that makes the most sense and leads to inner peace.
'snip

Bold= my edits, fixed. It doesn't take that long to make it more secular.

 

 

The Vedas point to the reality of everything and everyone being God.... bahaha.

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Those items were simply dripping with Christian-like talking points.

 

We need to receive and experience God’s unconditional love for us.

 

Apparently this counselor knows what you need, and you need "God".

I think you nailed it when you said "he appears respectful".

 

Frankly, if he knows you're an atheist, why slap your face with this sort of "homework"?

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What I want to say is; RUN!! 

 

If at all possible find a counselor who has a Phd (and not in divinity) like a clinical psychologist and find one who either is not christian or who is not of the belief that having god in your life will help you.  If your current counselor has already proven their worth in other ways then it may be worthwhile keeping them and explaining why you don't appreciate this kind of homework. I studied christian counselling at bible college and a little psychology at university and the christian counselling is all based on us being sinners and mental health coming out of genuine repentance, forgiveness and connection to God. It is an entirely different system so I would be very concerned if I was being counseled by someone with that worldview. My psychiatrist is a fundamentalist christian and we have had some conflict over this issue but he has demonstrated respect for my boundaries and skill in my medical treatment. Thankfully he is not my therapist. My therapist is more of a deist and he has see the damage religion can do over and over again which is really helpful in my treatment as christianity was part of my problem. This is why I have such a strong view but I don't know your particular circumstances so what is best for you could be completely different.

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