Guidelines for Faith Transitions

Faith transitions are brutal – for everyone involved. Those who are facing information or experiences that no longer resonate with their religious upbringing or conversion find themselves in painful situations where they feel confusion, pain, tremendous loss, doubts, having to redefine much of their personal, spiritual and relational identities, and are often facing less than ideal responses from their loved ones and church communities. Those who love their faith and believe in its principles and doctrines are usually at a loss as to how loved ones could leave or stop believing the things they themselves find inspiring, hopeful and sacred – feeling deeply grieved, uncertain as to the future,

How can I be a Better Listener?

Stephen R. Covey calls empathic listening "psychological air”. He continues, "The greatest need of the human heart is to be understood. “ “What air is to the lungs, listening is to the soul.” Unknown author People can disagree on an issue and still understand where the other person is coming from. One can increase their understanding of why another sees the world the way they do. We can increase our understanding, love and acceptance of each other without giving up our own view or beliefs. Remember a time when someone really listened to you and validated your view. Validation is not agreeing or disagreeing. Validation is allowing the other person to have their opinion and their emotions abou

Finding Effective Help - Part 2

Continued from last weeks post: In meta-studies on the factors that influence the effectiveness of therapy outcomes, the numbers fall out approximately like this: 40% client factors (what is going on in your life) 35% therapeutic alliance 15% placebo effect/client belief (a really powerful mysterious tool) 10% modality or techniques (do they fit) So having completely muddied the waters, what next? How do I find a “good fit” or a strong “therapeutic alliance”? And the short answer again is, it’s a roll of the dice. You have to just pick someone, go to the session and see if it feels like a good fit. It’s great to get recommendations. I refer to other therapists all the time, and I hope this i

Finding Effective Help - Part 1

Back before I was a therapist, choosing a therapist felt like torture. Now that I know how it all works, sadly, it’s not much better. “How do I choose a therapist” is one of the most common questions people ask me now that I am one. There are a ton of variables: do I want to choose a psychologist, a counselor, a marriage and family therapist, or a clinical social worker? Should I look for someone who uses EMDR, CBT, REBT, DBT, Adlerian, psychodynamic, gestalt, or person centered? Should I look for someone with a specialty in sex therapy, or addiction, or personality disorders, or eating disorders, or depression, or anxiety? Do I need individual, couples, group, or family therapy? The short a

Honoring Leaps Of or From Faith

I have permission to share the following poem anonymously written by someone who has experienced a faith transition (changes in belief) for many years. This was written towards the beginning of their process while this person was still a college student. Is it destiny That’s making me? Am I breaking down? Or am I breaking free? I feel so out of place when I’m in my element Can’t find the words to say... like I’m betraying an old friend So please tell me why it used to feel so right? Cuz I hate the things I see, and can’t believe it used to be me I’m gonna break your heart When I open mine Don’t wanna play that part But don’t wanna live a lie What is always so painful for me to see a

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