by Moxy 25 Replies latest jw friends

  • Francois

    The best thing I got out of therapy was the realization that emotions are choices, and are our own responsibility. I had all my life heard people blaming each other, and me, on their emotional choices. And, since I was trained that way, I blamed my emotional reactions, choices, on other people: "You make me so mad." That really does allow others to be in control of us. So I learned, to my surprise, that I could pick and choose among emotional reactions.

    I'm not saying I couldn't have learned that from a Best Friend who already knew it. I guess I just didn't have any Best Friends who knew themselves.

    So I paid the hundred bucks an hour and found out. All in all, I guess it was worth it.


  • jst2laws

    Hello Moxy, Scott Peck in The Road Less Traveled says that therapy simply accelerates the process of healing. Anyone who wants to grow and wants to heal will eventually get there, but a good therapist can get you there quicker. I have never had such help but should have more than once in my life. My feeling is if therapy can get you healed faster why not. If you can afford it why not get better fast. Besides, some people get worse before they get better. If that is a possibility I would go for help. Good to hear from you again. Jst2laws

  • patio34

    Hi Moxy,

    It's good to see you again!

    I have been in therapy for a year and it's due to end this month, because the therapist is retiring. Here's a couple of salient points.

    1. I didn't go into it because of JW issues, but a serious family problem with a drug-addicted daughter.

    2. It makes a difference to work with one you feel is good at working with your problem. The first one didn't help much, but the 2nd has been of enormous help.

    3. I would say that you get tools that help you to see things more clearly and properly.

    4. My Employee Assistance Program at work has covered almost all of the cost.

    5. I also think books are an important resource. I spend a lot of time at the bookstores.

    All the best,


  • pettygrudger

    ((Moxy)) - in my experience with therapy, I found that knowing why something is the way it is doesn't always solve the problem. There are some hurts/pains I will have to "deal" with for the rest of my life, therapy doesn't solve that imho.

    But, it can be a good avenue to learn coping skills as well as getting to the root of the problem.

  • JanH


    I certainly remember you very well. You always were one of my favourite posters on this board. I am sorry you run into hard times. Yes, you appeared to always be one of the more solid, unbreakable types here, which I guess just means you don't like sharing your private problems in public. I can relate to that, very well!

    When I left the dubs, I was surprised at how well everything went. I joined a support group for exJWs, and met a lot of ex-dubs, many of which had serious 'issues'. During the next few years I ended up running the whole support group with my then-wife, which was a very time-consuming, stressing but also rewarding job. I learned that the mixture of JW and family issues had caused serious problems for lots of people, and that professional help was necessary.

    I didn't come to a point where I myself needed professional help before a few years later, then (I think) unrelated to JW issues, but I benefited greatly from the work of a professional psychiatrist. Personally, I would not go to any other sort of professional, but that is of course my prejudices. I also benefit from a social medicine programme in my country that meant this cost me very little; and that may not be the case where you are. However, as much as I benefited from professional help, nothing can replace the care of real friends, and I am so lucky that I have quite a few.

    Feel free to contact me privately if you want to. I wish you all the best! If you are struggling with problems, you should never, never, be struggling with them alone.That is the important part.

    - Jan

    Blogging at Secular Blasphemy
  • jurs

    I started seeing a counselor a few months ago and it kindof ,sortof ,has helped. There are some things I don't like to discuss with friends. I really don't want them to know about my crumbling marriage or that I don't speak to my mother or that I was in what I believe to be a cult and am trying to figure out whats what. I find that its better to have a facade that I've got my shit together rather than have them ask every time they see me if "everythings ok" Also there have been times where I have shared information about my background to a friend and I think I made them uncomfortable by doing that. I think its better to talk to a counselor who is not apart of your life or "HERE " where you'll probably never see these people. It saves embarrasment by completely baring your soul to someone who may not really want to hear it. just my opinion .jurs

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Proplog mentioned Albert Ellis, who in the 1950s developed "Rational Emotive Therapy," expanding on the 1930s work of Abraham Lowe. In the 1960s Aaron Beck further developed this work, calling it "Cognitive Therapy." Today there are two excellent books on this subject, both written by David D. Burns: "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" and "The Feeling Good Handbook." You don't need both of these, either one would be very helpful. It's a great way to begin, and it will only cost you about $15 US. Please go to your local bookstore, find the book, and spend some time lookiing through it. Read the blurb on the back and the introduction, then decide how this sounds to you.

    Best wishes, whatever path you take.

  • Navigator

    Most of my family went into therapy related to issues of the kids leaving the JWs and their mother staying in. We were fortunate in that the therapist had a good deal of experience with JW issues. Much of the work was done in group sessions which is significantly less expensive than one on one. In large metropolitan areas, there may be a significant number of people who are dealing with the issues of leaving the JWs. Ask around and see if there is a specialist in your area dealing with these issues.

  • Guest 77
    Guest 77

    Get a true and trusted friend that has EARS like Dumbo and you'll be all set! Really, the size of the ears don't matter, just make sure that person has ears, a good listener. I'm talking from experience.

    Guest 77

  • GinnyTosken

    Hello, Moxy,

    But what Im asking about it is therapy to resolve issues specifically related to life growing up as, and leaving, the witnesses.

    I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "issues specifically related to life growing up as, and leaving, the witnesses."

    How was it helped or not helped those who have discussed it with a therapist?

    I began seeing a therapist when I was 18 and still a baptized JW in good standing. Over the last 20 years, I have met with about ten therapists on different occasions. Most were only for a few sessions. I received long-term treatment from three of the therapists.

    None of these therapists were familiar with the specifics of being one of Jehovah's Witnesses, so I would have to explain the rules and conditions and how these affected my life. When I first saw a therapist at 18, I had very mixed feelings. I had been hospitalized for severe depression and desperately craved help, yet I had been taught not to trust worldly philosophy and that psychiatric medications could open up one's mind to demon influence. I wanted to talk about how guilty I felt about attending college and how jarring it was to wrestle directly with evolution and the charge that the Biblical account was only one of many creation myths. At the same time, I felt disloyal talking about the Witnesses at all. A worldly person could never understand, and my depression was reflecting badly on Jehovah's happy people. I received medication, but did little towards resolving core issues in these early sessions.

    I didn't mentally leave the JWs until I found other exJWs online in 1995. I read Crisis of Conscience, Apocalypse Delayed, The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses, and as much information as I could soak up online. The experience was liberating yet frightening. As I watched the JW dogma collapse, I felt as though someone had pulled the rug out from under my feet. All of the questions that had been stilled as a JW rose up en masse: Is there life after death? Is there a God? Is existence futile? Is there any reason to try to be a good person? Is sex before marriage wrong? Is abortion wrong? With freedom came the responsibility to research these questions, think about them carefully, and decide for myself. I felt overwhelmed and didn't see much hope for mankind without a God to step in, tidy things up, and create paradise.

    By that time, I was very tired of the fundamentalist Bible view, and I craved a different language and symbols for spirituality. I began reading about Eastern philosophy--Tao, Zen, Buddhism. I also began seeing a therapist who was also a Zen Buddhist. She listened carefully and taught me to listen carefully to myself. Part of my therapy was to keep a daily journal in which I let my thoughts flow from my head to the page without censoring. I'd find myself dancing all around an issue for pages, rationalizing, avoiding. When I noticed myself doing this, I'd begin a line with the phrase, "The truth is . . . " and the truth would come out. "The truth is I am scared." "The truth is I don't know." etc. This was a simple but powerful lesson.

    Facing these inner demons was extremely painful. Therapy was like puncturing a festering boil--there was some immediate relief, but it was a nasty, messy business at first.

    Because of a a change in jobs and insurance, I later began seeing a different therapist. Her approach was cognitive therapy. I chime in with proplog2 and Nathan Natas in highly recommending it. Cognitive therapy efficiently targets what caused us so much harm as JWs--distorted thinking and beliefs.

    Here is a list of 10 common cognitive distortions:

    In the thread below, I describe what I learned in a seminar based on Albert Ellis's rational-emotive therapy:

    I'm also very grateful for the information, friendship, and support I received online. I still remember how wonderful it felt to find other people who understood the language, unspoken rules, and taboos. Here was a place to express the shock, anger, and sadness. We also laughed a lot and told a ton of dirty jokes. I also highly recommend dirty joke therapy.

    Please e-mail me if you'd like to talk, Moxy.


    Edited by - GinnyTosken on 20 October 2002 14:56:40

    Edited by - GinnyTosken on 20 October 2002 15:8:23

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