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Hiking Path in Forest

Religious + Spiritual Exploration

“The people who know God well—mystics, hermits, prayerful people, those who risk everything to find God—always meet a lover, not a dictator.” ― Richard Rohr

Does God feel like a dictator to you? God is this Person you’re supposed to feel lots of gratitude toward because he saved you from a fiery eternity and you show this gratitude by being good and righteous. We have to do and be good because there’s this big scary person who apparently loves us and saves us, but it actually feels like he’s mad all the time. A harsh inner critic develops, we over-moralize every choice we make, and shame paralyzes us.

Maybe you are plagued with doubts and when you turn to people in the church, you get answers that are either so vague that you feel profoundly unseen and unheard or are so rigid and certain that you feel like the walls are closing in.

Lots of us raised in the 80s and 90s in evangelical Christianity are coming to terms with tremendous hurt from the church and culture we believed offered us Truth. Some folks remain committed to the church and their faith but need help integrating new ways of thinking and practicing their faith so it feels more authentic. Others have no interest in church and faith, but find themselves haunted by the past and need help moving on. Some are dismantling rigid beliefs, but don’t know how and even if they want to rebuild. This process is often called “deconstruction”. Lots of folks are surprised by how unbearably painful this experience can be, especially if you lose important relationships because of religious deconstruction. Anxiety and depression are common side effects.

Why would you seek out a mental health professional for a spiritual problem?

First, this line we have drawn between spiritual and psychological is culturally bound and also probably total nonsense. I firmly believe our spiritual and psychological selves  are not distinct but interrelated and deeply influential of the other.

Second, our religious and cultural backgrounds impact our deepest sense of self and how we navigate our world. Deconstruction affects everything about you. What better place to talk about this than in therapy?

Third, as a licensed mental health professional, I am trained to help you navigate trauma and trauma responses, as well as implement evidence-based interventions based on the symptoms you might be experiencing as part of your journey.  Not everyone who is deconstructing is healing from trauma, but many are. I am able to help you safely process the past and engage effectively with the present.

Last, I have no agenda other than your well-being. You don’t have to worry about being judged or preached to or convinced. Your journey is your own and I am here to support you as you find your way. I will help you find tools to tolerate the mysteries of being a human on this earth and face the pain that is held deep inside you. I see deconstruction as a part of being human and growing and changing.

If you are exploring what comes next, reach out to me today for a free consultation. Let’s find out together.

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