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So I haven't made a post yet but today seen a church sign and felt I needed to. It was a church sign that simply offered addiction counseling. I'm not here to criticise any religion because I do think that most religious folks have wonderful intentions. However in the past year as I have tried to deal with my own personal issues, I sought some counseling to help me deal with a drug addicted family member. It was helpful and I was told that I was already on the right track by having definite boundaries. But there was a religious overtone and the counselor wanted to pray with me. I indulged him for several reasons not the least of which was to just not have "the" discussion. Not everyone is ready to know that some folks do not believe in God. But back to my main topic, I found myself so wishing for counseling that was not religious based as well as many other things in life. I think it would be interesting to know how many other folks feel the same and at some point I think we owe it to future generations of non-believers to start organizing non religious based.... life! I think we also should start an organization that furthers education in our beliefs (without anger) and teaches people that you can have compassion, kindness, generosity, respect and morals without believing in God. Any thoughts or information on the subject?

Daphne 4 July 5

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A professional counselor, not using a 12-step program, would be the one to seek out in my opinion. If I recall, the very first step of the 12 is the "higher power" one. That's essentially admitting a person has no control over themselves and asking an outside, fictional being to run things. As an atheist, I have real issues with that. Behavioral counseling would be the way to go.

I am no longer seeking. I made the post mostly to get a feel for how many folks would benefit from a free drug treatment program. I think that we as a group should start requesting all kinds of assistance programs as well as activities free from . But thanks! I'm sure someone who is seeking assistance will read this and benefit from it. It angers me that so many things in my life have to have religious overtones.


Please consider that individual councelors, the ones you have to pay, like a doctor or other professional, may very well offer what you are looking for. When you use community-based councellors, the funding comes from other sources, churches, non-profit organizations, etc. Always follow the money! It is cool to ask: "who funds this service" when you are not paying for it. That will give you a hint.


See my earlier post from a few days ago about exactly this. Religion is a very poor, destructive alternative to actual real science-based treatment.


See if there is an Atheist Church in your area. They do exist, and they are wonderful. They try to help promote the best parts of humanity with zero religious basis.


There are evidence-based counseling programs available. A therapist or counselor should be able to direct you to one if you request it. I went to a counselor a long time ago and they and their suggestions were deeply religious. I politely explained I wasn’t and I’d feel more comfortable with a more secular counselor, they were very understanding and got me in touch with someone much less religious.


In England we have non-religious counselling for a wide range of difficulties including drug addiction and mental health, in my opinion it works very well and is all the more welcoming because it has no religious overtones and no percieved ulterior motive.

And I thought we left England to escape religious persecution. Lol


You go girl!


Not living in USA it seems a really strange idea that counseling is religion-based. A concept that is totally alien in England or Australia. Religion can frequently, along with family dynamic, be at the root of the problem, therefore no room to move. Difficult if there are no non-most-probably-Christian groups in your area.


Hard to move away from faith based when AA is so deeply rooted in the belief of a higher power.


Move to England.

or Australia!


Like an alligator focusing on a sick animal, theists prey on the vulnerable.


As addictions go, religion is probably the least harmful (to the addict that is) of them. It beats substance and other compulsive substitutes in that it isn't quite as self-destructive and might facilitate long enough life to eventually become free of all of them, including religion. A crutch is a similar example.

Religions love addicts also because the 'trade' benefits them. Successful or not, at least some of the addict's substance money goes to new pushers and grateful families kick-in too. It's a win:win for awhile at least.


Hello neighbor!



I understand what you mean in that many groups and counseling sessions for help in combating drug addicted people or their families are faith-based. It's been my experience that many individuals, even those not addicted to substances but who are depressed or lonely, find comfort if they are able to look to a "higher power", and believe that there is something or someone greater than themselves who will provide them with an unseen helping hand to raise them from their despair.

For those of us who are Agnostic, or Atheist, or otherwise secular or non-believers, this line of logic or what ever you would want to call it does not seem to fit for us. Perhaps there's something in the "awkward situations group that might help, but speaking with a private or individual counselor and explaining your feelings might be the way to go. I also see some good advice already posted.

Not sure of your work situation, but when I was working, My company had an Employee Assistance Program that provided free help for a number of services - everything from attorney referrals for closings, wills, etc, to counseling for you or family members, to travel agents and a number of other things. Maybe yours does too. Also the State I live in has a free information line that provides some of those same things.

Best of luck!

I am fine now and really know I'm good at counseling myself most times. I have a teenage daughter nearly grown and mostly sought counseling because I felt it might be good to talk to folks going through the same thing. But she is focused on her life and her and her dad have never been really close. She's probably stronger than me about the situation. Lol. I don't have medical insurance lost that after my estranged husband was fired from his job. As I have aged I have definitely acquired wisdom and absolutely know what I want in my life and what I don't. I mostly know that there may be lots of people like us with a need for all kinds of assistance programs that are not religion based. I would eventually like to see more organization in our beliefs and hope that one day agnostics can even hold political offices.


I would support it...


A therapist assumed you wanted to pray with them? I'm sorry but I would report them to the APA.

I just don't know that's the answer. The guy was in his attempt to help me and was so very kind. Answering everything with anger is not going to help our cause. I see it in the political world every day. As as folks are insulting and playing tit for tat instead of sitting down like adults and saying "I understand your point of view. Let's work together" this is going to continue on a downward spiral and may end in civil war!

@Daphne He pushed or coerced you into doing something that's against your principles. I have, as can you, respectfully told them to stop the praying. Standing up for yourself shouldn't start a civil war unless he's an incredible snowflake.


If you do a search on previous posts for addiction you will find that this subject has come up at least once. If I remember correctly, there are names of a few addiction centers/counseling that does not require the belief in a higher power.

I just know we need more. There are so very few and so many are just not near this kind of help.

@Daphne I completely agree. You shouldn't have to "know someone who knows someone who knows an addiction counselor" that doesn't require you to believe in a higher power.

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