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I've just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and am seeking therapy to improve my coping skills. I've mentioned to my therapist that use to be a Jehovah's witness but now I'm atheist. In a round-about way, she basically said I get depressed because of my lack of belief. Any suggestions on how to correct her? I'm atheist because I process critical skills, not because of my chemical makeup.

Phantom_mind 3 Oct 4

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Are you sure that's what she said? Have you tried putting it back on her? "So, are you saying to me, Ms. Therapist, that if I were a JW again, I wouldn't be depressed? Because that's what it sounded like to me." If you get her to agree with that point, tell her you're going to file a complaint with the California Board of Psychology for endorsing religion as a means of therapy. Also, was it she who diagnosed you in the first place? If so, my recommendation would be to seek a second opinion. Peace.

Is it really forbidden in California to use religion in psychological therapy? That would really surprise me given that your state is the home of many pseudo-, Krypto- and quasi-religious therapeutic movements situated somewhere between science and quackery.
(Esalen Institute comes to my mind)

@Matias I am not a psychologist, so I do not know the nuances, but it would clearly depend on the state of mind and wishes of the patient. IF the therapist were endorsing or in any way affirming a religious path in favor of the secular or atheist path that @Phantom_mind appears to have chosen, the therapist is not acting in the best interest of her client. I doubt there's a specific code signed by Jerry Brown on this, but one could still lodge a complaint. And yes, California is the capital of oddball cures, therapies and practices. We may lead the world in quacks and phony healers. Now where did I leave my healing stones? 😉


So by her logic no religious person ever gets depressed?

Get a new therapist.


In fairness to your therapist, leaving the Witnesses was a loss and she may simply be opining that you haven't adequately mourned that. You lost community and belonging. That doesn't mean you ought to go back to that particular community, but that you may need to find it elsewhere. Likely in your case, outside of dogmatic religion or probably religion, period.

I would ask her if she thinks you should return to the Witnesses and if she says yes, then you need a new therapist who doesn't have her head up her ass. On the other hand if she just acknowledges that there was a nonzero cost to you to break free of them, and you need to deal with that in some healthy fashion, it's a different story perhaps.

Should've read your post before I made mine! Redundant I've become. 😟


Well, you did say in a round about way, so any advice you receive will be from the assumption your interpretation of her words are correct. You need to either look for a new therapist, or confront her that if she can't do her job without superstitions, she should let you know immediately. That is a call only you can make based on the relationship you have with her. I would also ask her why a belief in accepted social delusions and imaginary friends will help her deal with a physical problem.

There are a lot of unknowns in this scenario, but I would suggest not to be emotional about it, approach it in a professional manner, and if you don't feel that she can professionally provide you with what you need medically (not what you want), then find someone else. Even if you are close and comfortable with her, if she can't do the job the right way, you need to seek proper medical care from another.


Oh. Don't teach her anything. Look after yourself. Get a professional therapist.


Google search another therapist..stat!

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I started therapy 3 weeks ago to cope with family member loss, divorce and a general lack of motivation on my job because of said loss, etc. I sought out a therapist using an online "healthgrades" type site where you can look at where they were educated as well as a snippet about how they go about treatment. For some reason (I suppose because they are not too far away) there are a lot of therapists in this area that got their degree from Liberty University. She was not one of them and I made sure of that.

I had a 33 page intake form I needed to fill out. It took me hours! In it, she asked what role religion played in my life. It is the only area of the form where I used ALL CAPS and they were underlined. Along with a note..." If you EVER ask me to include prayer of worship in my treatment I will never see you again! We can certainly discuss why I am an Atheist, but I only have belief and faith in friends and family... And I will only worship the woman I love!"

We haven't gotten to the religious portion of the show yet... lol

Find another therapist immediately!!!!


Find an atheist therapist.


How to correct her? That's not your job. Find another


That's silly I had a therapist tell me that too I am also a bipolar I was diagnosed about 10 years ago My therapy that I do for that is that I keep very busy I get lots of physical exercise and I find lots of hobbies and things to do if you sit and think that's when the bipolar bites you I'm usually in my depressed phase in the mornings I seem to cycle every 24 hours in the morning I'm so depressed I can barely breathe and by the afternoon I'm so manic that I think I can take on the world a cup of coffee and a nice toke of weed seem to help me in the morning to get going


You may need to change therapist, not all are good at what they do. In my opinion as an individual person and former psychologist: If what you say is true, the therapist is a not a good therapist. It is unprofessional to do what she is doing and could harm you if she continues to do it. If the person is a licensed psychologist they are being unethical toward you and could even get into trouble with the board that they have a license with if they continue to try to convert you. If she/he just made a one time mistake and you work well together and are getting better in therapy: you should talk to her about what she said and say you know getting better by changing to a religion does not heal most people. You ask her/him what they did, how it is hurtful and you do not ever want it to happen again. Good therapists do not bring religious personal feelings into the office, If religion helps you, they may talk about religion with you. Converting an atheist, unless the client wants to change and have stated so, is very unethical because the therapist is using you for their own agenda. They are not practicing their science or adhering to their ethical code when they do so.


Being diagnosed as bi-polar does not mean you are, misdiagnosis is common with people who make a big change to their thought processes, it's a phase most of us go through at some stage, try talking to friends about it, it can be the be the only therapy you really need...


tell the idiot that you DO BELIEVE!!! you BELIEVE that there is no such thing as ghosts and etcetera all the bullshit


Dang long road ahead.Sorry girl...I am in the same boat...pill shopping for the "magic bean" bit there is none and mess can make it advice...don't b3 a a consumer!


Find another therapist ASAP!


Is changing therapists an option?


Correcting her might be useless. Maybe consider a new therapist?

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