I'm sure you've heard many misconceptions about people going through faith transitions or crises. One common myth is that they simply "want to sin." As a psychologist who specializes in faith transition therapy, I come across many myths surrounding this area of practice. That's why I've put together a list of the top 5 myths that I often encounter specific to faith transition therapy.
Myth #1: Faith Transition Therapy is Anti-Religious
I don't think faith transition therapy is much about religion to begin with. It's neither pro-religion nor anti-religion. Faith transition therapy is about your mental health and navigating your faith journey in a healthy and productive way. Sure, religious topics will come up during therapy, but ultimately, it's up to you to determine your own beliefs and chart your own path forward. As a therapist, my goal is to help you improve your mental well-being, not to take a stance for or against any particular religion.
Myth #2: Faith Transition Therapy is Only For Those Who Decide to Leave Their Religion
This myth stems from a narrow understanding of what a faith transition entails. The assumption is that "transition" automatically implies leaving. While it's true that leaving one's religion is one possible outcome of a faith transition, it is by no means the only one. Another potential outcome is a shift from a black-and-white view of one's religion to a more nuanced perspective. For instance, some individuals may begin to question their faith's stance on LGBTQ issues and other topics. Such questioning can spark an evolution of faith that may or may not lead to leaving one's religion. As a therapist, my aim is to support you in navigating your faith journey in a way that promotes your mental health, whether that involves remaining within your religion or exploring alternative paths.
Myth #3: If You Are Attending Faith Transition Therapy, You Never Had a Testimony About [Insert Name of Your Religion]
As a therapist who works with many individuals going through faith transitions, this myth is quite upsetting to me. In fact, many of my clients have been some of the most dedicated and faithful members of their congregations. They have spent countless hours and years reading scriptures, studying their church's materials, serving in various capacities, and participating in religious rituals. Some have held very high leadership positions within their respective faith communities and have shared their personal testimonies to help others through their own faith crises. The idea that individuals who question their religion never had a testimony is a gross oversimplification of their experiences and is simply untrue.
Myth #4: Faith Transition Therapy Isn't Helpful. All You Need to do is Read More Scriptures And Pray More
While reading scriptures and praying can be helpful for some individuals, they are not substitutes for therapy. Faith transition therapy is about improving your mental health and navigating your faith journey in a healthy and productive way. Pressuring yourself to read more and pray more can actually harm your mental health in some cases. Some clients I work with experience guilt and shame as they engage in more intense study and prayer, often due to cultural or familial pressures, without finding the relief they need for their questions and concerns. As a therapist, my goal is to help you live a meaningful and mentally healthy life, no matter where your journey takes you. If reading scriptures and praying more is a helpful part of that journey, that's great. But if it's not, that's great too.
Myth #5: If You Attend Faith Transition Therapy, You Are Weak
Some people assume attending faith transition therapy means you are mentally or spiritually weak. But that's simply untrue. In fact, seeking therapy takes a great deal of strength and courage. It means that you are willing to acknowledge your struggles and take the necessary steps to address them. Some people attending faith transition therapy have experienced severe religious trauma, which should never be taken lightly. We all face challenges in life, and seeking help is a sign of resilience, not weakness. Many of the people I work with in therapy are easily mentally and spiritually healthier than a lot of people I meet during my day to day life.
I Need Help, What Can I Do?
If you feel overwhelmed and need support, feel free to reach out. I am a Licensed Psychologist with a Ph.D. in Psychology. I specialize in helping individuals navigate faith transitions and religious trauma and many related issues. I have helped numerous individuals through the complexities of a faith transition and helped them live authentic and fulfilling lives.
You can contact me by calling/texting (385) 200-0204 or emailing email@example.com to get started. You can also schedule a free 15-minute consult here. If no timeslot appears through the link, then I likely have a waitlist. Call/text/email instead.