Therapists Using Religion in Session with Children
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13-12-2012, 02:10 PM
RE: Therapists Using Religion in Session with Children
Thank you.

Is it appropriate to ask before a session about a therapist's views on religion in their sessions? Is it better to wait and meet with them first? I don't want to waste anyone's time.
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13-12-2012, 02:14 PM
RE: Therapists Using Religion in Session with Children
(13-12-2012 01:28 PM)thirteenislucky Wrote:  Well, no luck within the 200 mile radius. I will keep checking back though.


Bummer. Sad

Still, I guess it shows it's not easy to find a completely secular therapist.

In my own case, I don't know if my therapist is religious or not because I've never directly asked her, but she has never made any comments that would lead me to believe that she is. If she had, I wouldn't have seen her for the past year and a half.

But, I went twice to a psychiatrist that I never went back to because of his comments. The first session I told him I was an atheist who had left religion, and he proceeded to tell me that the "Atheist Position is just as untenable as the Theist Position" and was basically encouraging me to be an agnostic. I ignored this until the next time I saw him and he recommended I read a book by a Buddhist monk. Really not the direction I was looking for.

But I would certainly encourage you to ask, even before making an appointment with a therapist, what their religious views are. Even if a therapist doesn't openly talk about their religion, it will influence the way they treat you. If they are a Christian, in their mind they are not crossing line. Pathology is linked to sin so the only way to treat it is to be right with God. They just see themselves as being in a position to help you "find the Truth." So if someone said they were a Christian or New Age, I'd move on to the next one.

If you have a family doctor, I'd ask him/her for a referral. If not, go through your insurance company's website to see if they recommend practitioners, then ask them before making their appointment if they have any religious affiliation.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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13-12-2012, 02:15 PM
RE: Therapists Using Religion in Session with Children
For sure, you should go to a different therapist.

Quote:... I feel like he crossed a line.

By my count, he crossed three lines. Browbeating a child with religion; doing it in the absence of (and without first consulting) the parents, and saying ".. how to break her of these issues." Therapists do not break patients - especially patients who are very possibly depressed, alienated or introverted.

Quote: Some of the information he has given has helped.
As for information, there is a ton of literature available; you can educate yourselves without the hassle of appointments.

Quote:...
should I ask ahead of the appointment if the person's religious beliefs will be part of the therapy?

Yes, in juts that neutral terminology - so that your question can be interpreted either way, and you don't need to discuss your own beliefs. It's none of their business, really.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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13-12-2012, 05:57 PM
RE: Therapists Using Religion in Session with Children
Your therapist sucks. He's doing it all wrong. Peterkin's post is pretty spot on.

And yes, you can and should "shop around" to make sure you get a therapist that is right for your daughter. That includes lots of things:
Personality (they had better like each other or it won't work)
Approach (different patients respond better to different approaches)
Relatability (girls often relate to female therapists better, young patients usually relate better to young therapists, etc.)

While you're shopping around, you should feel quite free to ask the therapist if they would use religion as part of their therapy. And you can also ask, even insist, that religion be excluded from therapy - tell the therapist that you and your daughter don't believe in any particular religion and neither one of you would respond well to being told to pray for help or to trust in god, etc. Gauge your prospective therapist's reaction. He or she may respond negatively, neutrally, or positively to your request, and how they respond should be a good indicator of whether you can trust them to respect your wishes on this matter.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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17-12-2012, 07:06 PM
RE: Therapists Using Religion in Session with Children
I have gifted boys and that actually means something when it comes to behavior. Not all "problems" are actually a symptom of a psychological defect or deeper issue, sometimes, an immature brain can't process boredom, or the emotions that accompany an understanding of the world. Try SENG for a list of professionals with an understanding of the needs of "more than average" kids.

There are "symptoms" that actually have relatively easily resolved causes (like apathy). And many symptoms can be attributed to many diagnoses (like social awkwardness, which can be a symptom of autism, juvenile bipolar disorder, ADHD, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and being "so much smarter than your age-mates that you feel like an alien")

Any therapist worth anything wouldn't try shaming a kid like that. Get a different one pronto.
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20-12-2012, 07:13 PM
RE: Therapists Using Religion in Session with Children
I find this disturbing and also presumptous. I mean, what if you were a Jew or a Muslim, or something else? How do they justify only pushing their own religion, while knowing not everyone is the same religion (or any at all)?

I'd said you are certainly justified in asking them if they're going to do this shit. You're the one paying for it, you make the rules, or you go elsewhere. Maybe it'd be ok in a Christian family, but once the daughter said she doesn't believe any of that, he should have knocked it the fuck off. Respecting people's views is supposed to go both ways.

If you're not comfortable discussing it with him and he pushes stuff on your daughter, I think you should go elsewhere. I don't think it's necessarily critical to get an atheist therapist, but I think it is important to find one that leaves their religion out of it and respects your wishes for not pushing their woo on your daughter.

As for appropriateness, I'm sure there are Xian parents out there who would want such things discussed (despite the fact this would be a better job for clergy) and I'm sure they'd be fine asking if the therapist is Xian. Though if it were me, I wouldn't ask "Are you Christian?" but I'd say something about not being religious and that I'd appreciate the therapist addressing the issues at hand, and not any woo.

Also, what ScienceGeek said. As a kid, I was in all the "gifted" classes and assessed repeatedly as "emotionally immature" or something like that. I'd take it with a grain of salt. If it's actively causing problems, that's one thing, but sometimes if they don't like a kid's behavior and interests, they say shit like that. They told me I spent too much time alone, reading. I was repeatedly told by my mom and by some teachers that this made me sick and fucked up. No, it just meant I fucking liked reading books and learning stuff.
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24-12-2012, 09:34 AM
RE: Therapists Using Religion in Session with Children
Therapists? They don't know what they are doing.
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25-12-2012, 04:53 AM
RE: Therapists Using Religion in Session with Children
(13-12-2012 02:15 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  For sure, you should go to a different therapist.

Quote:... I feel like he crossed a line.

By my count, he crossed three lines. Browbeating a child with religion; doing it in the absence of (and without first consulting) the parents, and saying ".. how to break her of these issues." Therapists do not break patients - especially patients who are very possibly depressed, alienated or introverted.
He might be a decent therapist in professional academic terms, but he's not safe, the child's good is obviously not his priority.
I'd change the therapist immediately for trying to infect the girl with a mind-enslaving virus, because that's what he did.
I saw myself a local psychologist who admitted in his church that sometimes when he sees the patient is "ripe", he goes in with the religious stuff and basically converts him. Religious therapists are not safe and parents should have a full right to control that aspect of a therapist.

Of course, when it comes to gifted children with problems, I'd have them all mandatorily checked on high functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome. That is something which needs to be confirmed or excluded and specially in girls this condition might not be easily apparent. For example, I loved the books and still love them and there's nothing wrong with reading, but it might be a sign of a deeper problem, due to which the other kids and their fun is not attractive enough for the child as it should naturally be.
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27-12-2012, 02:19 AM
RE: Therapists Using Religion in Session with Children
How dare he? How fucking dare he? The most important relationship your child has is with her parents, and he wants to get in and insert Jesus between you without your consent? That's malpractice and coming from his position of power steps pretty close to the line of outright child abuse. It's a mistake that could be honestly made if he thought you were a Christian family, but after 7 months and surely knowing at least something of your family by now he tries this? Find someone else and if he questions it tell him you'll report him to his professional association. It's just a pity you don't have a recording of the events. His job is to listen and to guide you and your child in proven techniques for dealing with your issues. His job is not to save your child from his dark lord's eternal malice.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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27-12-2012, 06:41 AM
RE: Therapists Using Religion in Session with Children
You could teach the child about Jesus. Buy somewhere Jesus as a glove puppet. Dress as a cardinal, priest, pastor or Pentecostal televangelist mass exorcist (suit, tie, hair spray) or even an all-american cowboy with the star-spangled banner shirt or scarf. Take the Jesus Christ glove puppet with every costume and speak for him in funny voices, saying different things each time.
That will teach the child about the relationship with Jesus Christ. It's really a relationship with the man behind the cassock... I mean, the curtain.
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