Therapists and spiritual beliefs

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Shimmer1

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Therapists and spiritual beliefs
« on: November 12, 2014, 03:17:00 PM »
I have been seeing a therapist that provides EMDR treatment.  At first I was telling her about losing my faith due to FOO emotional/spiritual/verbal abuse.  At recent appointments I have made comments about God, and specifically talking to my daughter about this. (I have trouble with this because of the things my parents told me about God and I really want her to find her own path.)  My therapists made a comment along the lines of "Well I can understand her having questions on Jesus and God, because that belief is questionable."

I feel uneasy about going back.  Has anyone else ran into this?

As a Christian, I don't want to have something in my path (especially as a means to heal me), that is a stumbling block to my faith...

Any thoughts, opinions, or encouragement are appreciated.

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seekingvision

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Re: Therapists and spiritual beliefs
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2014, 01:13:00 PM »
You have to decide what is important to you.  If I thought the t had something to offer, I might :) t set a boundary with them of no religious discussion.

However if they don't believe the fact you do might impact the therapy.

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Hopelessly stuck

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Re: Therapists and spiritual beliefs
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2014, 09:19:04 AM »
I do not know how to really answer You...I do know however that there are T"s that advertise they are Christian in our area. perhaps You would feel more comfortable with a Faith based T. If they are good then perhaps it would be good to stay and find someone else to give You therapy concerning Your faith in G-D.

Hey I do know how You feel... Most Christians are such GOOD people that have never lived with people with personality disorders, so they have not understanding of how bad it is! :bighug: :bighug:
Controllers, abusers and manipulative people donít question themselves. They donít ask themselves if the problem is them. They always say the problem is someone else. Darlene Ouimet

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flee

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Re: Therapists and spiritual beliefs
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2014, 04:22:11 PM »
Shimmer, I've had to be very cautious in choosing a T for this very reason, as well as some others. Because the Christian worldview is so intrinsically interwoven with the innermost thoughts and intentions of people's hearts, it makes conversations about PD-related things and my personal recovery really dicey with a non-Christian T. (And even on OOTF, most days.)

I believe that EMDR and treatments for PTSD/C-PTSD have a lot to offer individuals. Psychology is only just in its infancy in beginning to delve into the workings of the brain, though, and will understandably leave spiritual beliefs out of the equation in the pursuit of unbiased science of the brain.  What stands is that much is still theory -- and theory that your therapist may hold to with a very firm grasp over any spiritual worldview. So, that remark is understandable from her side of things.

My encouragement would be, in light of this, to acknowledge the stumbling block if you are already struggling in your faith and get into an environment where your faith can be built up for a season. Think Christian therapist or biblical counselor. Get to the root of some of these issues as far as sin/pain/the fall are concerned, start allowing Jesus to work in that pain in the way He needs to, then see if it would be worthwhile to return to the other T for EMDR or any other treatments for trauma that a secular psychologist may be more well-versed in. (You make luck out and find a Christian T that does both. I have not found them to be wholly nonexistent!)

Blessings and God's grace to you as you weigh your decisions.
"Those who do not move do not notice their chains."  - Rosa Luxemburg

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Latchkey

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Re: Therapists and spiritual beliefs
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2014, 11:05:52 AM »
Shimmer1,

I would say to keep going to this T until and if you find another that is a good replacement. In the mean time interview others and see if it is a better fit.

I had an interesting experience with this and it was kind of the opposite thing happening.

My SS had the same T from the time he was 10 until he was 16. This T was and is very ambitious and my family used him and others in the practice he created, since we had 6 kids in a blended family over time 4 of them saw therapists and counselors in his practice. When he started out he let it be known through literature in his waiting room that he was anti-meds and we were ok with that b/c we were not looking for a med answer to behavioral issues with our SS. He was recommended by the pediatrician practice and so we felt comfortable.

As the years went on this T wrote a book, then another with a Fox news commentator on how marriage and family should be.. and it was pretty conservative IMO. He was married to a Jewish woman with 3 kids but he definitely began marketing to Christians. He hired more and more counselors and expanded his offices. There were now signs in his office window showing he was a supporter of a big Tea Party commentator. He ran for the local school board. His web site now had a blog and on this blog he would quote articles on how he believed Psychiatry to be a hoax.

We kept our SS with him because SS was on the spectrum and this T knew his history and had no problem telling his BPD mom to back off and could write really good letters to the schools as needed. However he completely missed the boat on dealing with SS when he was psychotic and never really was good with his spectrum issues.

To make a long story short, SS 16 is now seeing a new T because this T stopped returning calls as he was opening a  new clinic promising ADHD with no med therapy and a decidedly Christian slant to his therapy. It's a huge new market for him.

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On the other hand, my T of 15 years is wonderful and accepting of my eclectic views on God and religion. When I told her about my interest in the virgin mary she clipped an article for me on the Marian traditions of the Catholic church. Her H is a minister in a protestant more liberal church. For me she is the perfect blend of faith and spiritual beliefs and also well versed in psychology.

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Anyway, it's worth mentioning to your T your concerns about her comment and see what she says. In the mean time if it's not working out then transition to a new T if needed or add in another source for therapy if your time and budget allows to deal more with the spiritual aspects of things.

just my .02

Latchkey

« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 11:09:59 AM by Latchkey »
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Amelit

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Re: Therapists and spiritual beliefs
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2014, 05:44:14 PM »
In my experience, the best Therapists help you find your own path, without bringing their own biases in. If you want a T with your own views to strengthen yourself, it may be better to find someone else. but if they can work from where you are, whether or not they personally share the same beliefs, it can be beneficial; but if they start questioning your core beliefs, it may not a place you can fully feel comfortable with and open up.

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unsinkable

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Re: Therapists and spiritual beliefs
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2014, 07:22:44 PM »
Dear Hoplesslystuck,
Sorry, but I don't get your comment that "most Christians are such GOOD people that they have never lived with PD's in their lives", or something like that.
I am a Christian, as are many posters in this section, and we are all here BECAUSE we have PD's in our lives. IMO being a Christian does not exempt us from problems or pain, like having mentally ill family members. Do you think that having this in your family must mean you aren't a GOOD person?
"He (God) is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or think." "My God shall supply all my needs, according to His riches in glory."

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unsinkable

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Re: Therapists and spiritual beliefs
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2014, 07:32:36 PM »
Dear Shimmer,
I have to agree totally with Flee.

"Because the Christian worldview is so intrinsically interwoven with the innermost thoughts and intentions of people's hearts, it makes conversations about PD-related things and my personal recovery really dicey with a non-Christian T. (And even on OOTF, most days.) "

I have seen Christian counselors and Non-Christian. It is like day and night, in favour of the Christians.
Unfortunately the T that I have financial coverage for right now is not Christian. I have made it clear from the get go that I am a strong believer and haven't heard any negative comments about my faith. If I did, I think I would stop going to her. It's such a huge piece of who I am that I cannot leave that out. I hope things work out well for you, in whatever decision you make. God Bless and keep you! xoxo

"He (God) is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or think." "My God shall supply all my needs, according to His riches in glory."

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Scarlett O

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Re: Therapists and spiritual beliefs
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2015, 01:20:17 AM »
I think it was inappropriate for your T to make that comment about your faith being "questionable". Therapists deal with people's view of the world, and if she discounts that part or you, I think that is condescending. I have had good and bad experiences with T and have been thinking a lot about that lately. You are hiring her to provide a service, not to condescend you or question your faith. My faith is important to me, so important that I would need to only work with someone who respected me. There are ALOT of bad counselors out there---willing to take your $$ and listen to you for 45 minutes without providing a service. I think I would start shopping around for a new T. Just my .02.

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Hawkie

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Re: Therapists and spiritual beliefs
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2015, 04:12:02 PM »
Hi Shimmer1,

I have been away from this board for a while so am probably a day late and a dollar short with a reply, but just in case:

Is it possible that she meant God and religion is something that many individuals question and grapple with at some point in their lives, which I'm sure a T would see a lot of, rather than that it is a "questionable" belief system?

In any case ITA with the person upthread who said the best Ts are the ones who work with you to find your true path, not try to dictate their own beliefs. I hope you were able to clarify with the T and either sort it out or find someone else. I have been on the receiving end of more than one T who didn't understand that the sessions were not about them. You would think it would be something they learn during training but apparently many skip that class...  ::)

Hope you found a good resolution for this. Wishing you and yours a wonderful 2015!

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rosie

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Re: Therapists and spiritual beliefs
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2015, 05:11:32 PM »
I have had the opposite experience- a T who tried to convert me to her beliefs. I was not comfortable with this, and other things about her, and moved on. She was trying to dictate her own beliefs to me.

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betta fish

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Re: Therapists and spiritual beliefs
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2015, 07:04:04 PM »
When I read the statement your therapist said, at first I took it as meaning "you can ask questions about god and beliefs." I had to read your post a second time to understand that it could be taken as "religion is untrue.".  Religion and God mean different things to different people and I am sure your DD has questions and that is how I initially understood your T's comment.

Just thought I'd share, my first interpretation of your T's comment, in case it could have been misunderstood.

A therapist is a very personal choice.  It is someone you need to be vulnerable to, so confidence is a must.  Only you can make that determination.

 
ďStepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.Ē
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