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Christian counseling? But I'm not religious...

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lisakm1126 posted 6/11/2013 13:02 PM

I'm starting with a new IC on thurs that is with a Christian based counseling center. I'm not a religious person and I don't know of anyone that has gone to her. Anyone else have a Christian "background" counselor? I don't think worry is the right word but I "worry" that our sessions (if I like her) might turn into talking about my religious beliefs or praying etc and I really want to focus on my issues. If anyone has any experience your input is welcome!

confused615 posted 6/11/2013 13:05 PM

I have not..but I would imagine her counseling will be faith based and involve alot of praying and "leaving it in God's hands."(No offense intended)

Myheartstillhurt posted 6/11/2013 13:08 PM

Our MC was a Christian marriage counselor.

It took many sessions before we ever even started discussing anything with God. There was only ever one instance of praying and it was towards the end of the two years as we were sorta "graduating" from MC.

She was totally meant for us and a huge part of our success.

No idea what it will be like for you, but this is just my experience.

lisakm1126 posted 6/11/2013 13:19 PM

I don't want to be judged because I don't go to church etc and I haven't been to much IC at all because I haven't found someone I really like. Her "bio" says that among other things she has additional training in affair recovery and marital issues so that's why I thought it might be good. I feel like I'm kinda desperate :( I've been struggling for about 6 months with EVERYTHING and Im SO wanting to talk to someone other than friends or family

lisakm1126 posted 6/11/2013 13:25 PM

Sometimes I feel like I would give ANYTHING to find someone where I live with the same experience that I could just pick up the phone and talk to whenever I wanted... I know should be posting here more often.. I just don't have much computer time sometimes... I hate feeling like I have nobody to talk to sometimes..ugghhhhhh!!!

HFSSC posted 6/11/2013 13:32 PM

I can't fathom any professionally licensed counselor that would judge you for going or not going to church or forcing his/her religious beliefs on clients.

Faith is very important to me and I would not consider going to a counselor who was not Christian. In fact, I want a counselor who shares my faith and prays with me. However, the counselors I have seen or who my family members have seen have never been the ones to lead the way in that kind of sharing. Between me, my kids and JM, we have seen 6-8 different counselors in my life time. And I have always been the one to say that my faith is important to me and I want it to be part of our counseling. Our current MC/IC (it's a husband and wife who see us for IC and the husband is our MC) had it in the paperwork we filled out on the first visit.

I feel quite certain that you will be able to say or note on your paperwork that you prefer not to include religion or faith in your counseling.

I can also categorically state that I've never been told to leave anything in God's hands. All of my counselors have been proactive in helping me process the stuff in my life that has sent me to counseling. My current IC was actually pretty strongly in favor of me choosing S and even filing for D if that's what it took to either wake JM up or make my life safe again.

sudra posted 6/11/2013 13:44 PM

I have not..but I would imagine her counseling will be faith based and involve alot of praying and "leaving it in God's hands."

My experience couldn't be further trom the truth. I am a Christian and I remember it was months before anything even remotely Christian-based came up. If I hadn't know it was Christian based counseling, I wouldn't have known, KWIM?

And our counselor was fully degreed, etc., not just some church dude who thought he'd tell us what God says about marriage.

And we have never once prayed with us or even suggested it. He's our counselor, first and foremost, not our minister.

It does give him a definite bias toward R, at least for us, as that is what we wanted.

I wouldn't hesitate to give it a try, and tell the counselor you are not religious so she knows.

[This message edited by sudra at 1:45 PM, June 11th (Tuesday)]

jjsr posted 6/11/2013 16:12 PM

For me personally, I don't want any religious counseling. I don't want that aspect in my marriage or counseling.

Finally10 posted 6/11/2013 16:20 PM

I go to a Christian based counselor/facility. One of the first things he asked me was whether I wanted a Christian based or a secular based approach. They are there to counsel, not convert, so I suspect you will have a similar experience. I would just be up front and state that you are interested in a secular-non christian based approach and see where it goes from there.

h0peless posted 6/11/2013 20:26 PM

My IC was Christian based and I made sure that she knew I was athiest and that coming at things from a religious perspective wouldn't be helpful to me. She was respectful of that and even though she would occasionally frame things in the way she would with one of her Christian clients, she took a secular approach.

Alyssamd24 posted 6/11/2013 20:30 PM

My therapist is also Christian based and at first I was skeptical. Like others have said, she asked me at our first session if I wanted a Christian based approach or secular.

avicarswife posted 6/11/2013 20:51 PM

We go to Christian counsellors -

It has NONE of this

involve alot of praying and "leaving it in God's hands

that sounds pretty ill informed to me.

Our counsellors basis is Christian - but it our beliefs rarely comes into discussion.

We didn't specify whether we wanted secular or Christian - they just follow our lead I guess.

Gipper posted 6/11/2013 21:04 PM

I am a Christian and deeply religious. We went to 2 different Christian counselors. It did not go well. They both wanted to deal with the "biblical view of marriage, and husband and wife roles." It would have been useful for pre marital counseling, but both ignored the 800 lb infidelity gorilla in the room.

IMO, any counseling that doesn't address the infidelity issue first will not work. I hope you find someone who works well for you, friend.

Hearthache again posted 6/11/2013 21:21 PM

We have a Christian counseling center on our church campus and they help people of all faiths. They are all liscenced by the state mental health board so they have to put psychology first.

I have been to both faith based and secular counseling. No difference really. I do prefer the Christian based because of my relationship with God and the understanding it. My H went before he was a believer and they respected his views. When we were doing MC our counselor only prayed once with us when we were done with MC.

Christian counselors are there to help people with psychological stuff. They know that if you wanted spiritual guidance that most people would ask a pastor first not them.

HeartInADustpan posted 6/12/2013 07:38 AM

My IC is affiliated with Christian based faith. I just straight up told him that I'm agnostic and any therapy dealing with religion wouldn't help me. He hasn't talked about God or praying since.

IMO any IC/MC should be a counselor/psychologist first.

Opheliapain posted 6/12/2013 09:20 AM

Both FWH and myself are non religious and we both go to a Christian counselers. Our MC is also my IC. We told her first meeting that any advice based in religion would be dismissed by us and we do not believe.

Our MC is awesome. There is zero judgment and she gives great advice and counseling. But if we couldn't work together it would never have worked. My advice is to ask her point blank if not giving religious advice will be a problem. A good counselor will work with you.

It can be done. Good luck!

sisoon posted 6/12/2013 09:29 AM

lisa, Why worry? Why not call the IC up now and ask your questions about what 'Christian counseling' is, as opposed to any other counseling?

My bet - and I'm neither Christian nor fundamentalist - is that you won't have a problem if she's a competent counselor, and if she does have a problem with your beliefs, the problem is that she's an incompetent C, not that she's Christian.

lisakm1126 posted 6/12/2013 09:38 AM

Thank you everyone for your input! I noticed after filling out the new patient forms etc that the "spiritual history" section states "optional" so I plan to keep my appt and see what happens.. Hoping for a good match with her tomorrow... FINALLY.

keeponkeepingon posted 6/12/2013 16:35 PM

My IC is also Christian based. I am an atheist. She has always respected my point of view. Yes, there are a few things that come up but it is never in a way that makes me uncomfortable. She might share different lessons from the Bible. Even though I am an atheist I still understand that there are good lessons in different religions. I take it in a similar way to how I can learn a lesson from even song lyrics.

FeelingSoMuch posted 6/13/2013 23:29 PM

I'm not religious, but I can appreciate Christian values minus the theology.

If the counselor takes a secular approach based on values you should be fine.

I guess you'll have to judge for yourself.

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