Counseling Perspectives

Paul Benedict


"How do we, as non-theists, respond to those who occupy the positions and pews we once left? As a counsellor, I sometimes find myself in a situation where, in a professional context, where I am engaging with a person who is a fervent evangelical bringing some of their dogma to the table. Dealing with it professionally is one thing but locating and addressing my own feelings after the client has left is another. I have noted some of my inner feelings that I shared with my supervisor and wondered how readers of this blog feel and how they deal with their reactions.

"1. I want to jump in and challenge the dogma - but do not, because I work with clients where they are and cannot manipulate a session to address their belief structure.
"2. I feel surges of anger when religious defences preclude any inner analysis by the client.
"3. I feel despair when Bible verses are trotted out to compensate for actions that might address better an issue - this includes prayer and prayer-chain involvement.
"4. Many clients say, "You must be a Christian because you are so compassionate and understanding" ... oops, this certainly strokes my ego but raises all sorts of reactive but unuttered comments in my mind.

"So, please respond. Life remains a journey of discovery and sharing with those of like minds as well as others who differ.

"Paul Benedict"


Brian Worley     October 10, 2009     All rights reserved!


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