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Posted by admin VIP 55 Comment(s) Add a Comment
04/11/2012 02:48 PM
Contact: Dr. Darrel Ray
The Therapist Project
Connecting Secular Therapists with Secular Clients
“Dear Dr. Ray, I am an humanist and atheist in a very religious community. I have struggled with depression since my mother died and I experienced a serious illness. I am physically ok now but my problem is that I want a good therapist to help me deal with depression and anxiety. I have tried two therapists in my community and both eventually told me to go back to church or learn how to become more spiritual. I don’t want to go back the religion that abused me in the first place, can you help me find a secular counselor in this Bible belt community?”
In our work with RecoveringfromReligion.org, we frequently receive emails like this from secularists as they seek help only to find more religion from those who claim to be therapists. The field of psychology is fraught with religious and new age therapists whose methods are anything but secular and evidence-based. They may or may not have been trained in evidence-based therapeutic methods, but their practices often include a range of methods and ideas that have little to do with evidence and a great deal to do with superstition and fuzzy headed thinking.
What is worse, places like Jerry Falwell’s, Liberty University and Pat Robertson’s, Regents University are turning out Ph.D. clinical psychologists with fundamentalist ideas and training. Some of these schools even require an extra year of fundamentalist theological training for their degree. These religionists, in the guise of psychologists, have infiltrated the world of therapy. They have a clear agenda, to keep people infected with religion. Some even advertise that they use secular methods while calling themselves Christian or spiritual counselors. They have licenses in their state and may practice within secular mental health settings.
We know that there are secular therapists in most communities, however, much of their client base is religious. If a therapist were openly secular or atheist, he or she might stand to lose clients or even their practice. It might hurt their family or bring on other problems. One therapist told us that her husband would lose his job if the community found out she was an atheist. As a result, secular therapists often hide or downplay that they are secular and use evidence based methods. This makes it difficult for secular clients to find them.
We wish to address this critical problem by creating a registry of therapists who commit to use only secular, evidence-based methods with clients from our website. Therapists in the registry may still be religious or spiritual, but they commit to use only evidence -based methods with clients who come to them from The Therapist Project.
The registry is constructed to allow therapist and client to connect with each other anonymously. In this way, the therapist can connect with secular clients without having to openly advertise as secular.
The first step in this process is to register therapists. Once we have a reasonable sized database of therapists, the second step will be to open it up to searches from clients.
WE NEED YOU!
If you are a secular therapist, we need you. The registry will only be effective if we have a large database of therapists in many different cities and states. The process is simple AND anonymous. We have designed it like a dating site where both parties remain anonymous until they are ready to connect directly with one another. Clients will be able to search our therapist database to see if there is a therapist in their area. Once they find one or more, they can send an inquiry to the therapist, through our system. Therapists only reveal what they feel comfortable with in their profile and emails. Clients can send emails through our system to ask basic questions and determine if there is a match for their particular concern.
If there is no therapist in their area, they can also search our database for counselors who will do distance counseling. To register as a therapist, please go to http://www.therapistproject.org/index.php
If you know of a good therapist, please pass this along. Finally, a big thank you to Han Hills our web developer who made this all possible. Han has worked on this for six months and put hundreds of hours into it for no compensation. He sees this as an important step in delivering a critical service to those free of religion.
This is an iniative of Recovering from Religion and under the direction of Dr. Darrel Ray, chairman of RR. To contact or schedule an interview, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.