Have you had formal counselling/therapy?
Yes. I absolutely had to talk to someone neutral/objective after leaving the organization because it was absolutely devastating emotionally. After all, wasn't I condemning my children to everlasting death by leaving? It really helped talking with someone who understood and listened. Now, with my dad's death, I'm still in therapy. Alas, today I got the standard lecture on alcohol because I let it slip that I had a bottle of wine on Saturday night at the Apostafest, but other than that she's cool. In spite of the wine whine I got, I would highly recommend therapy for anyone leaving the organization.
Therapy helped me quite a bit.
I am glad this topic got started. I have been seriously considering counseling. However, I am not sure about how to determine what type of therapy is appropriate and who to go to. Any suggestions as to how you picked someone? They all look about the same when you look at a list in the yellow pages.
Yes I have therapy and continue to do so. I went through outpatient treatment for alcholism and chemical. Addicted to sinus decongest meds and laxative's. Had hell of an experience. It was my therapist that confronted me with my use. I fortunately grap ahold and face my addictions. The reason why because she cared. My children went through family treatment for alcoholism. Involved with many support groups. rape survivor , incest, Women For Sobriety program, Lesbian Mothers group and parenting groups.
They were life preservers over the years. I would'nt have survived and dealing with issue regard org.
Its a plus having a good therapist. I educated her regarding JW's.
I strongly encourage others to take care of themselves and utilize these support systems.
I am grateful for sitting here and to be able to post.
all the Best, Crow Woman
I recommend it highly. In fact, anything the JWs and other fundys object to must be good. First you find a therapist you can trust. You might have to go throught half a dozen or more to find one with whom you're comfortable. A good MSW is frequently expert enough to handle your issues (Master, Social Work). And if you can find one who deals with cult issues, or abusive husbands, etc. (since they're so similiar), you're that much better off.
I've certainly had my time with therapists. And I recommend them highly.
yes, started 15 years ago, right after the "society" "graciously" gave its approval. Medication has been consistent throughout, though actual therapy has been a little hit and miss. The therapy I did receive concentrated on my marriage. Only recently, 2 weeks ago as a matter of fact, did my new doc of 6 mos decide I should be evaluated for Post Tramatic Stress Disorder. She was not familier with JW beliefs and what they teach their children. I think I scared the crap out of her when i gave her a brief description of the JW teaching of Armegeddon. LOL. Ok, it's not funny, but the look on her face and the speed in which she picked up the phone to make an eval. appt. was priceless. JW teachings can be sick.
My personal opinion: If a belief or painful memory makes you physically sick, keeps you from accomplishing everyday tasks or personal goals, makes you feel you deserve to be in an abusive environment, ect; IT IS extremely beneficial, perhaps life saving, to seek attention from a professional 3rd party. And it's OK to ask someone to hold your hand and accompany you there.
again, my 2 cents.
Take care all and have peace
Edited to add this: if a belief or painful memory makes someone think an early death is better, Please, take a deep breath, pick up the phone, post on the board, anything. We don't want to lose you.
Yep from 1985-1991.
My first therapist was the most, ummm unique. She was a big believer in Leo Buscaglia (this was 1985 and he was big back then). I'm coming to her with major depression, suicidal thoughts, dysfunctional family and she counters with love yourself, love life, love the universe, etc.. One time she told me that my problem was that I never learned how to "play". So her "Homework" was that I should go blow bubbles in the park. Really. She was serious.
My worst therapist was an egomaniac who was so proud of his PBS weekend radio show. He told me he would only agree to see me if I agreed to his demands of: an exercise program that he would set up, follow a strict diet that he would draw up for me, study a "life plan" and follow it to the letter and listen to his radio show and pass a test to prove I listened. I saw this bozo just this once. That was more than enough.
My best therapist was my last. She was a dear, sweet and caring person. She was associated with Renee Fredrickson and worked exclusively with adult survivors of sexual abuse. She taught me it was more important to deal with the anger, fear and sadness of incest rather than get the names and dates of who did what. She kept telling me "Stay out of your head. What does your gut say?" At the time I was not suicidal but still suffering from major depression and I was not sending out a lot of signals; very very shut down and non-responsive. But she was patient and believed in me. She told me again and again that it didn't matter if the details were incorrect (was it day or night? inside or out?), she would say what mattered is "something hideous happened". I've always responded better to women than men, probably because most of my rapists as a child were men (although I know of at least one woman who abused me) and that probably created early fears of being dominated. Well that and I guess sodomy to a 3 year old is a bit more painful and traumatic than oral sex by a woman, (which at least didn't hurt). But I digress.
But this therapist got me to trust her more than I had anyone and she helped me recover and become who I am more than anyone. Unfortunately though our relationship ended badly. She cajoled me into group therapy and I agreed but only on a temporary basis because being around people frightened me back then. Well after 2 months I decided I wanted out. I didn't really care for some of the people in the group (there was a woman who was really abrasive and another woman who had "issues" about men and really hated me). Well she made me come to group one last time and announce to everyone that I was leaving and why. Then she sat back and let them tear me apart. The group took the opportunity to use some of the fears I had expressed against me and after two hours of intense attacking they left me a shaking wreck. I left never to return. A couple of months I wrote her a letter telling her how I felt about what happened, but she never responded. This was the last therapist I ever saw. I was attending college at the time and planned on becoming a therapist myself but I was so disgusted at how I had been treated I quit college completely. That was 12 years ago and I used the tools she gave me to work on myself until I'm in the shape I am now. Not perfect I know, but light years from where I was.
All in all I think psychotherapy is a bit like dating. You have to find the person that is right for you. If you don't, then you could end up worse than when you began.
Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware.
Yes, and it was a total joke.
Big Tex & others, thanks for sharing your insights and experiences with therapy. I have never had therapy though I am conscious of the fact that I probably needed it when I was leaving the WT. However the JW mindset didnt even give me a place to consider it, thankfully I don't consider myself in need of it right now but can totally understand and would recommend it (with caution) to people who do.
Newyork44, I have never had therapy but am studying to be a counsellor. I will tell you briefly the 3 most popular forms of therapy and where you stand in relation to the therapist.
Pschodynamic: This is a form of therapy where the therapist is like a detective. S/he will prod through your past and try to discover events that could be related to your current feelings or behaviour. In some way you are like an experiment, and lots of theory is used in answering WHY you feel the way you do. I am not an authority on this type of counselling, its my least favourite and controversial so I have spent little time considering its worth.
Congruence: This is more a behavioural type therapist, YOU are the student, the therapist is like the teacher. The approach is directive but the counsellor is the one in control of the therapy.
Person Centred: (This is my personal bias one). The power balance is EQUAL. You and the therapist are on the same level. It is not directive, you will not be told what to do and there will be no agenda on the therapist part. A person who needs counselling has some "disturbance" in their life, the pcc therapist will join you on that journey to help you recognise what is causing the problem. You will have the answer to your problem within you, the counsellor will get along side you and join you in your journey to healing.
but dont let me influence you, my bias is not everyones ideal. Just thought I'd offer a little outline in what to expect.