Leaving the jws is a "lifestyle choice" according to a counsellor
So I had my first appointment with a counsellor, of course I explained about being a born in jw, mentally leaving, the penalty of doing so and therefore the mental strain of pretending to be someone I'm not.
Her response was that she couldn't help me with that because leaving a cult was a "lifestyle choice". I tried to say to her that its a cult not a religion and how it brain washed me but no. There's no box to tick for "former cult member" and so they cannot help.
I don't feel like leaving was a lifestyle choice, it was an awakening to a reality that had been hidden from me and now I'm having to sit on the fence of both worlds
Do you think it's a lifestyle choice?
Many health insurance companies and psychiatrist and psychologists will only diagnos and pay for treatment for recognizable mental health conditions in the mental health community as listed in the DSM. If it is not recognizeable most companies won't pay, you could always pay for a counselor on your own who accepts your contention.
Do you think it's a lifestyle choice?
To a person who is obviously not qualified to deal with high demand, controlling groups, brainwashing and negative influence, I can see how that answer should suffice. Plus, let's face it, some mental health professionals are quacks. If that's what you got, I'm not sure she knows what she's talking about, nor she seems like she's interested in addressing what you went there for.
In essence I do agree to some degree, but looking at it that way is a very simplistic and dismissive way of looking at what that represents to a person who has been affected by its negative influence. Your counselor didn't show any sensitivity for what that means to you. Leaving the WT organization is not like changing your look. being fashionable is a lifestyle choice; dealing with family shunning you because you don't believe their same crap is not a lifestyle choice.
Looking at it that way doesn't give you the entire story. Change counselors. Look for one who knows about cults and negative influence from high demand controlling groups.
Many people aren't even aware that JWs exist much less for their practices and beliefs. Its probably something she just doesn't understand.
I was very, very lucky to get a Therapist who understood exactly what it was like for me, a born-in, to leave after nearly 6 decades in.
She had treated a number of JW's and ex-JW's before me. She was surprised at exactly how DFing and subsequent shunning works when I went in to detail though. When she learned how very evil the JW system is, especially to those like me, in a mentally "delicate" state shall we say, she said :
" If that is the case and they treat people like that, I would challenge their right to call themselves Christian "
Find yourself a Therapist who understands, if that is possible.
I have been to several counselors and some of them were as crazy as the JW's. One I work for and I am amazed at what and how she believes. I am like really you are a counselor? How? I mean do not get me wrong she is a nice person but does not have her life together anymore than anyone else.
One counselor told me that men should have control over women as it is in the Bible? I am like seriously? Another told me that I should be willing to go and change my dad's diaper and that there was a problem with me not being able to touch my dad's penis. My dad molested me. Seriously I should now as an adult not have a problem with changing his diaper?
It took me at least 4 counselor's before I found one that was not crazy themselves. I had one that I found and I only went about 2 or 3 times a year just for checking in as I am still connected to the JW's through my husband. I also have a really hard time with boundaries and letting people make me do things I do not want to. So my counselor had to quit and just in the last couple of months I had to find a new one. I found one I loved or so I thought and she called me out of blue and insisted that I change my time with her so as to accommodate another client of her's. At first I thought she was joking and just seeing if I would stick to my boundaries. I told her no as my schedule is very tight and she would not let it go but kept insisting that this other client needed my time slot. So I did, I changed my day with her and jumped through hoops to do it. I then left her a voice mail telling her that it was really putting me out and that I just could only do it this once.
Well she called me again and again insisted that I change my time. Well at this point I thought for sure she was just testing me to see if I would do what she was demanding. I texted her and just told her it was unacceptable and that I would not do it. I thought she would say I was just testing you with your boundaries, nope she was not she meant it she really wanted me to change my time yet again. I told her I was not coming anymore than. She texted back that she would still like to see me just one more time, I stupidly went thinking she would tell me it was just a misunderstanding, nope she never brought up how rude she was and than proceeded to tell me she belonged to a cult. She is more screwed up than I am, the cult she belongs to is truly crazy.
So my advice to you is just find someone else as it is really hard to find a good one and counselors can miss with your mind just like that JW's did if you are not careful.
When you see a counsellor it is best to tell them if they know about "Religious
She has a career to defend. Telling people to leave a cult because it is causing them harm puts her at risk from its adherents, leaders, lawyers, and possibly - for all she knows - even you.
So, lifestyle choice. Take it as a codeword if you must.