I've wondered about this before as far as people on this board but never thought to start a thread. Thanks MrFreeze !!
JuanMiguel's 1st post is spot on.
I am currently going to therapy regularly. The idea came to me a while back to face issues regarding the way I was raised - mainly regarding physical and verbal abuse. I tried to address the situation by confronting my father with these issues, which he basically dismissed. This continued to trouble me to the point that I saw therapy as a necessity. But it wasn't until I had a crisis of conscience with my religion that I actually went for my first visit.
The therapist I saw initially is a witness. He has been disfellowshipped before and even served as an elder in the past. I went to him because I knew those things and I thought that he might understand my feelings. I must mention too that I chose him because I was trying to avoid receiving "wordly wisdom." However, that wasn't a major concern as I had already began to frequent this site, though not yet a member.
As far as dealing with the issues with my father, he helped immensely. He even recommended a book that our dear Lady Lee mentioned on this site. It's called Toxic Parents. A great read if you want to understand how your parents have a huge effect and control on your life, even after becoming an adult and establishing your own life.
He even helped empower me in dealing with my doubts as a witness. I wasn't completely open with him, but he helped me not to worry about things like stepping down as a servant, of which I was terrified of, and not focusing on being a people pleaser, which we identified was a major problem of mine in the religion. Yet as much as he made sense, he continually defended the org. I couldn't understand it but knew I couldn't continue trying to work out this issue with him.
I took a few months off and then began searching for another therapist. This time I found a non-witness, but a therapist that offered faith based counseling nonetheless. I've really appreciated her efforts in trying to understand what this religion is like. It helps that she has seen other witnesses in the past. I've only been to 3 sessions with her so far but I definitely feel good and look forward to more visits.
She did give me something to think about. I currently am not sure what my true feelings are on God. She said that many times our view of God is often a reflection of how our parents raised or treated us. My father was a strict man of rules. His word was law. You never questioned Dad and you always saw it his way if you knew what was good for you. I must admit that this is exactly the way I feel about the society in a nutshell. Fortunately, despite realizing that, I am also very aware of the BS so I am not in anyway ready to be forgiving to this organization because of that revelation.
I agree with what has been said though. How you react to or accept therapy depends on the type of a person you are. But in my humble opinion, if you apply yourself and are practical in the process, you will see benefits. It specifically helps me because as many here know, I have a wife still mentally in. And while she listens and agrees to many things I say, she also often times crawls back in her cave after receiving "encouragement" from the congregation. Being able to totally open up about my feelings without receiving judgement at a therapy session is what keeps me calm and sane. I recommend it to everyone, but especially those in the struggle, whether currently in or out of the org.
Feel free to ask any questions and I will answer what I can. Hope this can help someone.