Wednesday, September 20, 2006

This Counselor is Starting to Worry Me

I've been in counseling for several years for anxiety and depression issues. A lot of this is related to my early life and I don't want to get into detail here. However, somethings about the current therapist are making me a little nervous.

First off, I get the impression she's a Southern Baptist. While this does not condemn her as a person, she knows of my Mormon background and I think her sect's perception of it is affecting her professionalism. I know a lot of us in Outer Blogness refer to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as a cult, but you'd be hard pressed to find an example of me referring to the organization as it exists today as such. The church is just weird.

She's brought up Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in a few of the last sessions. I've looked up the symptoms online and can see why she thinks this, but I do not think there were any events in my past that could have led to me developing PTSD. Either she's totally wrong, or I'm missing something that she is seeing. The earlier therapist brought it up once or twice as well.

While craziness may be the normal impression most of us get from Southern Baptists, even if they are living outside of the South, it is not good to find such disturbing traits in a mental health professional. Although the saying of people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones may apply here, it just makes me wonder if I'm really getting what I should be getting out of the experience or if she's applying her own prejudices in my case. Which brings up another question, is projection a real problem with psychotherapy?

I've tried to bring up the issue of her calling the Mormons a cult, but she said only, “How do you know that isn't what they want you to believe?” Now, while I'm not a big fan of the Mormon church in general, I've done my own research and come to my own conclusions. I may or may not be using my own personal biases as I still want to take something of value out of my experiences as Mormon, just as she's using her own perceptions to paint the brush of cultism on a religious denomination she doesn't personally agree with.

I don't know if her religious convictions come into play here or not. I know at times it's hard to separate what we have to do professionally from what we believe personally. (For example, I believe a lot of customers really need a good, swift kick in the rear, but I'd get fired for acting out on that belief.) It seems to me she is not separating them the way she should.


At Wed Sep 20, 06:54:00 PM 2006 , Blogger Sister Mary Lisa said...

Just because you show some similar symptoms to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it doesn't necessarily mean that's what you have. Same goes for certain symptoms of diseases. It could be any number of things.

At Wed Sep 20, 07:18:00 PM 2006 , Blogger The Sinister Porpoise said...

Which brings up the question of what else it could be...

I don't have the DSM-IV memorized any more than I could quote from the Book of Mormon for you.

Well, just have to ask her. As I understand it what triggers this has to be physical.

At Thu Sep 21, 02:24:00 AM 2006 , Blogger La said...

I'm leaning towards her being biased.

Does she understand the definition of "cult"? It basically just means religious sect. There is some connotation of extremism that the word drags with it. But under either of those cases, Southern Baptists are definitely cult-like as well.

Steer clear of SB's. That's a motto I hold firmly to.

At Thu Sep 21, 04:19:00 PM 2006 , Blogger Sideon said...

If you're not 100% comfortable with your counsellor/therapist - find a new one.

Interview them. Have a list of questions they should be willing to answer. You're looking for a "fit." It's not a popularity contest - it's you and them fitting and being able to work together.

Keep us posted. I'm sending positive thoughts and white light your way.

At Fri Sep 22, 11:47:00 AM 2006 , Blogger Threads of the Divine said...

Sinister, I would find a new therapist. She is obviously bringing her religion into the room with her. Personally, I think you should try to find a therapist that either has no religious affiliation, or an ex mormon therapist. Otherwise, how will you really ever get objective counseling? If not objective counsel, you at least need someone that understands where you are coming from. Outsiders think they know what being an exmo is all about, but I'm convinced they are clueless. It's one thing for us her in outer blogness to joke about the church being a cult, it's another for this therapist to keep calling it that.

At Fri Sep 22, 04:58:00 PM 2006 , Blogger The Sinister Porpoise said...

I don't know if I made this clear. I don't know that she IS a Southern Baptist, she just seems to be giving me that impression. (The avatar I'm using is a major hint to where I'm from by the way.)

The place is associated with the Lutherans and I did not have problems in the past. As it was set up for me by the county and this place is the closest to where I live, I want to see if I can work this out first. If it continues, then I'll find another therapist.

Let's face it, even if it isn't a cult there are aspects of the church that can screw you up.

At Fri Sep 22, 09:50:00 PM 2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know I tried to comment on this days ago, damn blogger being down.

At Fri Sep 22, 10:07:00 PM 2006 , Blogger Matt said...

PTSD does not HAVE to have a physical cause, I don't think.

BTW, I firmly believe that TSCC IS a cult. And getting out of a cult might cause PTSD like symptoms.

Are you sure that maybe you are not "projecting" on to her?

If you feel her religion is getting in the way- tell her!

At Sat Sep 23, 01:51:00 PM 2006 , Blogger The Sinister Porpoise said...


Well, thanks to that particular updage I can now comment on Non-beta blogs.

Matt --
No, I'm not sure if I'm not projecting on to her. If I do have PTSD the trauma *wasn't* church related.

I have tried to bring it up gently, perhaps I should ask what her religion actually is. More people than just Southern Baptists think the Mormons are a cult.


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