As I’ve developed my presence and approach as a secular therapist, I’ve had others ask me, “Do we really need secular therapy? Isn’t all therapy and counseling secular?” Well, no, not exactly. It’s true that nowadays many therapists are trained to use secular, research-based methods in therapy. In fact, my own masters in counseling education at a traditionally Catholic university was entirely secular. Some universities, however, teach their students a Christian-based perspective on counseling. And there are troubling stories of counseling students bringing their own religious views to the therapy process in a way that is potentially very harmful to clients.
I want to say here that I am not criticizing faith-based counseling. If therapists and counselors practice Christian counseling, or serve another religious community, it should be described on their website and other marketing. Then those clients who prefer a religious approach can seek out those practitioners.
If spirituality is important to you – wonderful. I am absolutely accepting of others’ spiritual and religious beliefs. I hope you find the right therapist for you, be they spiritual or secular. Indeed, I successfully work with clients from all religious backgrounds and faiths.
What is problematic is when a client finds a therapist expecting a research-accepted approach to therapy, and instead receives unwanted religious instruction or spiritual guidance. Continue reading “Why Secular Therapy Is Important”