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pastors/elders/deacons/officers are not qualified to counsel

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The majority of church staff is not qualified to counsel people on their lives! Let’s face it. They are people with degrees from seminary schools that teach religion. Or, they have no degree at all and are riffing off of the older church leaderships bullshit. Yuck!

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This is doubly true of Catholic priest marriage counselors.  Who in their right mind takes marriage advise from someone who has never, is not, and never will be married?

 

I remember watching a KET program on pre-modern childbirth.  Doctors didn't want to see icky girl-things so they stayed outside a heavy curtain giving orders while the female nurses ignored him and did the actual work.  He didn't know how babies were born, but he read a book (written by other men who didn't know what they were doing either), so he gave predictably bad advise.  Which brings me back to ExPCA's rant.  When it comes to medicine or counseling older is often not better.

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Christian counseling made me put off my recovery from grief because pastors didn't want to admit they were the ones who caused it in the first place.

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Chances are that if they advertise as Christian then their number one goal will be to keep you Christian.  

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In the Church of Christ Elders were the supreme authority.  So a man could be a car salesman & also be an Elder counseling members about marital & other personal  & emotional problems. 

 

And I'm sure coming before the church to publicly confess your sins was enormously helpful. The members of the congregation never gossiped, so that would never be a problem.

 

Yep, the church clearly knows how to handle and counsel sinful members. :49:<_< 

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1 hour ago, Geezer said:

In the Church of Christ Elders were the supreme authority.  So a man could be a car salesman & also be an Elder counseling members about marital & other personal  & emotional problems.  

 

...and they were equally honest in both endeavors, right?

 

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55 minutes ago, Citsonga said:

 

...and they were equally honest in both endeavors, right?

 

 

:yelrotflmao::yelrotflmao::rolleyes:

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But ExPCA, they have spiritual maturity! Never mind if their advice is terrible and impractical, it's from the bible and must be right!

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I remember asking my pastor for counsel. He said nothing to me. Not even "oh really?" Nothing. He called his wife and told her to talk to me.

 

I guess it was good of him to not even attempt to counsel me if he felt unqualified to do it, but the way he handled it was weird.

 

I went to two other pastors for counsel. One of them blamed me for the mistreatment I experienced at my former church. The other one was just making stuff up as he went along.

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After my father-in-law died, my mother-in-law was suicidal. Wifey and I took her to a religious counselor because both M.I.L. and Wifey were involved in the same church. This dickhead told M.I.L. to go ahead and do it because, he said, everyone else would mourn for six weeks and then go on with their lives. Needless to say, we had only the one session with this piece of dog shit. We ended up taking her to an in-patient hospital staffed with professionals who knew what they were doing.

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10 hours ago, older said:

go ahead and do it because, he said, everyone else would mourn for six weeks and then go on with their lives

LOL I gotta say I approve of that one. A licensed practicioner would not have the guts to say that even if it were exactly what someone needs to hear.

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10 hours ago, older said:

After my father-in-law died, my mother-in-law was suicidal. Wifey and I took her to a religious counselor because both M.I.L. and Wifey were involved in the same church. This dickhead told M.I.L. to go ahead and do it because, he said, everyone else would mourn for six weeks and then go on with their lives. Needless to say, we had only the one session with this piece of dog shit. We ended up taking her to an in-patient hospital staffed with professionals who knew what they were doing.

 

That's beyond outrageous. That's insane. I can't even...

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I’ll tell you the counselling I was given. We were saving up to have a child and waiting until my husband had finished some professional qualifications. 

 

It it turns out that my husband had gambled away our savings as well as cheating and having a double life. I went to the pastor in a state of collapse. The advice I was given is that I should have been a better wife and prayed more.  That I  should forgive him and that we should have had that baby right away because ‘see what that waiting has caused’.

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4 hours ago, Lydie said:

I’ll tell you the counselling I was given. We were saving up to have a child and waiting until my husband had finished some professional qualifications. 

 

It it turns out that my husband had gambled away our savings as well as cheating and having a double life. I went to the pastor in a state of collapse. The advice I was given is that I should have been a better wife and prayed more.  That I  should forgive him and that we should have had that baby right away because ‘see what that waiting has caused’.

 

What a friggin' moron! I'm sorry that you had to go through that and then get blamed for it. I hope you've been able to move on and build a decent life for yourself. Best wishes to you!

 

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It's painful just to read that, Lydie. I can't imagine the pain you went through during that time. It's hard to believe the cruelty of some people.

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Thanks for the kind words. I am still in a dark place. It’s about four years down the line and I’m unfortunately still with him for a number of reasons - financial, cultural and not wanting to uproot my daughter (his step daughter). His family have also decided to blame and shun me. They said similar to the pastor and also that I disrespected them by saying they were aware he had had gambling problems when he was young but did nothing except burry their heads in the sand and they kept it a secret from me - I would not have married him knowing of the addiction issues.

 

 

The one positive of his ‘double life’ is that he was only pretending to be as religious as me, so my de conversation was not in a house with a churchy spouse...

 

I’m getting secular counselling for depression and low self esteem.

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I saw women come out of the pastor's office crying. One (with some mental health needs) said that she was just trying to get some advice from a guy she saw as close to god. Instead he kept probing her with questions about maybe being a lesbian with her roommate.

 

He was a Nazarene minister, but had been influenced by pastors from the charismatic branches, so was trying to "discern the spirits". He had no background in counseling, just bible, and of course regarded that as plenty for helping people...

 

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On 2/18/2018 at 9:48 PM, older said:

After my father-in-law died, my mother-in-law was suicidal. Wifey and I took her to a religious counselor because both M.I.L. and Wifey were involved in the same church. This dickhead told M.I.L. to go ahead and do it because, he said, everyone else would mourn for six weeks and then go on with their lives. Needless to say, we had only the one session with this piece of dog shit. We ended up taking her to an in-patient hospital staffed with professionals who knew what they were doing.

What? Good god I thought suicide was a massive sin in the cult.

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On 2/19/2018 at 8:20 AM, ToHellWithMe said:

LOL I gotta say I approve of that one. A licensed practicioner would not have the guts to say that even if it were exactly what someone needs to hear.

That's not funny, and it's a horrible thing to say. A licensed practitioner would never say that. Telling people to kill themselves is unethical and would get that person fired and possibly facing criminal charges.

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13 minutes ago, Lilith666 said:

That's not funny, and it's a horrible thing to say. A licensed practitioner would never say that. Telling people to kill themselves is unethical and would get that person fired and possibly facing criminal charges.

 

Indeed. That's why. There are certain things you can't say even if they're right. That's why some people can never heal if they trust they can get what they need from doctors or any individual other than themselves, really. Others can't truly afford to be harsh to you. It's you who will have to.

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1 hour ago, ToHellWithMe said:

 

Indeed. That's why. There are certain things you can't say even if they're right. That's why some people can never heal if they trust they can get what they need from doctors or any individual other than themselves, really. Others can't truly afford to be harsh to you. It's you who will have to.

No, practitioners can't say that because it is not right. Sometimes advice that seems harsh is needed: for instance I knew someone who regularly complained on Facebook about having no friends. People would comment that her neediness was unattractive and she should build a social life instead of complaining. That was the hard truth and following that advice should help her.

 

However, telling people to commit suicide does no good whatever. Pointing out that self-pitying ideas of receiving attention for committing suicide are unrealistic may be appropriate depending on the person (if that person has that idea, which I did not read that the MIL did). But advice should always be given in the spirit of helping the person, not to make her or him feel bad. That attitude the pastor had was purely nasty.

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6 minutes ago, Lilith666 said:

That attitude the pastor had was purely nasty.

 

It is nasty, but when that's your real attitude and best you can give maybe you should say what you think the other person deserves to hear. If you can afford to, anyway. Might shock them out of self-entitlement.

 

Then you can change the direction from there, if you want to say more.

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5 hours ago, ToHellWithMe said:

 

It is nasty, but when that's your real attitude and best you can give maybe you should say what you think the other person deserves to hear. If you can afford to, anyway. Might shock them out of self-entitlement..

One thing counselors or psychiatrists need to do if they feel they are not the best person to help the one in need is say so, and send the patient somewhere he/she can receive treatment. This is not my opinion, but a standard of mental health professionals. If a counselor, etc., is unable to do so, then as ExPCA pointed out, that person should not be counseling at all.

 

Do you understand why telling a suicidal person to commit suicide is an extremely dangerous action to take? That person, who is in a fragile emotional and possibly mental state (having depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, or something else that seriously affects their behavior) likely will follow your suggestion. Frankly, your attitude is frightening. Please, never, ever say this to someone. If someone is talking about taking his or her own life, that must be taken seriously. Do NOT attempt to call the person's bluff. People die of trying to kill themselves. Do you get it? They die. This would be like hearing that someone is thinking about setting off a bomb, and telling him he should do it. The consequences would be enormous and irrevocable.

 

Self-entitlement? To what, the end of their own lives? No, entitlement is cutting people off in traffic, demanding a return without a receipt, treating a waiter like your personal paid servant. Entitlement is not being in such a state of mind that you consider denying yourself all future chances of success and happiness, sometimes by inflicting horrible pain, such as cutting into your wrists until you bleed out.

 

You are not a psychiatrist, or a counselor, or the person who is talking about suicide. You are not - let me repeat, not - in a position to judge whether that threat is sincere. Even licensed professionals will almost always take a suicide threat seriously. Do not ever try to "shock" someone out of his/her despair by telling that person to do something harmful. Stop for a minute and imagine what it would do to you if you were to hear that someone had taken your advice and committed suicide.

 

If anyone ever tells you that he or she is thinking about doing this, the best you can do is direct that person to professional help, where staff are trained to treat people in that situation, not make up whatever they feel like out of an ill-advised "just snap out of it, your problems don't exist" mindset.

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My MIL was in a serious state. Her husband dropped dead of a heart attack at the age of 58. She had been a totally dependent wife, had never written a check or used a credit card, and had never been involved in any of the business end of having a family. Her husband gave her cash weekly for grocery expenses and took care of absolutely everything else. He was a kind and loving man but both of them were old fashioned in their relationship of male dominance.  He had built their house which was unfinished. Money was always tight; they lived from one paycheck to the other. She had grown up as a dependent person and didn't know how to be otherwise. Her son had moved out several years before and was not really in her life. Her daughter had recently been married (to me), and MIL panicked about the house and about money and sold the house. Her domineering sister swooped in and made MIL move to an apartment and give up her dog. So life as she knew it had ended. Her husband, children, house and dog were all gone. It was in this context that this asshole of a counselor told her to go ahead and do it. Fortunately we were there and immediately took her to an inpatient hospital. After about three weeks she was OK to leave, but it took several years before she was stable enough to maintain an even keel. 

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Lydie, I don't want to put pressure on you but as a woman whp had an extremely submissive mother, I would rather she stood up for herself even at a cost to the stability of my family home. My view of how to be a woman has been pretty warped by how she used her role as submissive wife and mother as an excuse to avoid living her own life. Your situation is clearly not exactly the same but your daughter needs to see you taking care of yourself and taking control over your life so that she understands she is allowed to do that for herself. Uprooting her is a small price to pay for teaching her how to live with personal integrity.

 

I don't want to tell you how go live your life but may I ask you to consider this? I am sorry for the way this post will inevitably come off as attacking you.

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