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Secular / Non-Religious Affirming

Just as some people seek out therapists who specialize in working with clients who subscribe to a specific religion, you've been on the lookout for one who specializes in working with clients who wish to approach therapy from a secular or non-religious lens. Generally, these clients fall into one of three categories:

You have always considered yourself secular

 

You concentrate less on a potential afterlife and more on the here and now. Depending on where you live and how you grew up, you might either keep your non-religiosity to yourself, be selective as to whom you share it with, or openly share it with others. Sometimes it can feel like you're a member of a secret society, despite the fact that in the US, the Pew Research Center (2021) estimates that the number of Americans identifying as atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, or "nothing in particular" went from 16% in 2007 to 29% in 2021.

 

Whether at work or in social situations, when religion comes up you quietly strategize about what to do, and you're unsure about how your true views will be received. At this point, you're thinking that spilling the beans about your stance might bring you surprised pearl-clutching at best, and blatant discrimination at the very worst. Maybe you've been considering therapy for some time, but still, you hesitate.

 

You've got this nightmare scenario of sitting across from a therapist week after week, ducking religious vocabulary you don't relate to, feeling judged, feeling cornered, and needing to defend yourself-- instead of doing the important work you went to therapy for in the first place. This unease can be magnified even further when you're in therapy grieving someone and feel like you have to stifle your non-religiosity because you don't want to offend your therapist.

I have the pleasure of working
clients from all sorts of religious backgrounds. One of my niches is working with those who are either newly secular, identify as secular, or who identify as religious but are looking to approach therapy from a non-religious standpoint for the time being, for whatever reason.

Or perhaps you grew up with religion and as an adult you are 'newly-secular'

 

If you are newly secular, this period in your life can be a challenging one, as you navigate a new stance on your former religion, and you figure out how to negotiate family ties and relationships with people who were aligned with how you used to think. You are looking for a safe space to parse this all out without judgement and find your way forward.

Or, perhaps you consider yourself religious but want to ensure your therapist does not bring any religion into therapy

 

I work with clients from many faith backgrounds, and some chose me because they are religious but were looking specifically for a therapist whom they knew would not bring any religiosity into their therapy.

 

Despite the fact that professional therapists are trained to not impose any religiosity onto their clients, due to the ubiquitous nature of religion, sometimes it does happen, whether consciously or unconsciously.

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