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Old 12-05-2018, 02:13 AM   #1
poet8
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Question Seeing which counselor?

I used to come on here regularly as Jazzy123456 but I can't remember my password and now I am on here as poet8. Just wondering who might still be on here who I might know. That was several years ago though. Here's my question for everyone: how would you feel about seeking counseling in the same place you go to church? If you don't attend church, just imagine a place you typically go to. The problem is...

I lead a creative group in my church and people see me as the leader but I really need counseling and I am really afraid that I could lose my leadership position if I seek counseling from a lady in the church, because I would be afraid of being viewed as unstable. I really wanted to see this counselor because she fought through cancer, overcame and is cancer free and I am battling chronic pain and want to learn from her strength.

When thinking that you could lose a leadership position, or maybe that is just a "fear" would you see this counselor? I am not sure this would be traditional counseling where something was signed, indicating that she would keep her word of confidentiality. I think it would be more like a mentorship and I would have to just trust her.

Also. I really needed to see someone and so I went back to my counselor from several years ago first. I thought she wouldn't help me, because that's the reason I left in the first place. I thought her counseling was no longer effective. But surprisingly, I felt a lot better when I left. So, now I am wondering if it would be easier to just go back to her? She's an hour away though. And the lady from my church is only 15 minutes away. And she is the traditional counselor with a practice. Also. I just got a degree in counseling and the lady who was delivered from cancer who would mentor me, was actually one of the students in the class with me. Not sure if her knowing me prior to mentoring me would make a difference??

Any thoughts? What would you do?
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:14 PM   #2
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Hello poet: I don't recall knowing you in the past here on PC. (This is my second time around here.) But it's nice to see you back under any circumstances.

I'm not a church person & in fact I'm pretty reclusive nowadays. I've seen a few therapists for brief periods over the years. But I never stuck with any of them. So, all things considered, I'm probably not the best member to be replying to your post. That said, I don't think I would seek counseling in the same place where I was in a leadership position... or probably any other position either. It just strikes me there's too much potential for conflict of interest.

As a result, my thinking would be to stick with the professional therapist you see. And if you can develop an informal mentoring relationship with the lady at your church as well... so much the better. Of course if the situation is that both of these individuals need to be paid, & you can only afford one, then again I'd just go with the professional therapist. I wouldn't pay someone who has no credentials. But then that's just my personal opinion. Good luck!
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: Seeing which counselor?

My experience is that it is a bad idea to mix mental health/illness with work. That is, the people that I work for and with should not be intimately aware of my mental health challenges.

They start treating me different - initially itís a kindness, an accommodation... but it seems over time there grows some resentment and then I have had my mental health thrown at me as ďreasonĒ why I canít be trusted/relied upon or something, with no discussion or warning.

Professional mentor would be different - but I would restrict the content of my discussions with a professional mentor differently than I would my therapist, you know? Also, I donít think I would seek mentoring from a former classmate.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Seeing which counselor?

Hi Poet,

I have to agree with Skeezyks on this one. And I know for me, credentials are huge. Also, if you were to see the one at your church, assuming the same boundaries/confidentiality applied, she might actually hinder your growth in your workplace because of those boundaries. Can you seek out this other woman as a friend and mentor, and see a professional therapist separately? I know the drive sucks - but I think long term it would be a much better option.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Seeing which counselor?

Why are your ex-counsellor and some charlatan from the local church your only options? I mean, an unregistered and unprofessional mentor doesn't even seem like a reasonable option to me, but that aside. What about exploring other counsellors to give yourself a third or fourth option?
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:32 AM   #6
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I personally would not seek counseling from any church. I like othersí suggestions of seeking help from a qualified professional.
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:57 AM   #7
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I personally would see someone from my church. I really value my privacy. I would have trouble trusting that they won't slip up. Even if they were bound my confidentiality, I would be afraid they might judge me because it is likely we would run into each other at social events. I am very involved in our church with the youth amongst other things.
So it is not a risk I would want to take.
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Seeing which counselor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poet8 View Post
I am really afraid that I could lose my leadership position if I seek counseling from a lady in the church, because I would be afraid of being viewed as unstable. I really wanted to see this counselor because she fought through cancer, overcame and is cancer free and I am battling chronic pain and want to learn from her strength.
For me, I don't think the perspective that someone in counseling is "unstable" is valid at all, and would have a hard time being part of a community where this was the case. Are you sure that's just not your fear that you're calling about someone else?

But it seems to me there's more than one or two options. You have experienced recently the other counselor as "tried and true" so I'd go back there as long as the travel isn't prohibitive.

Could you actively facilitate an unnamed relationship with the person at your church, asking something like, "I'm battling some chronic pain issues and would like to learn more from your strength in your health battles. Would you be willing to talk to me sometime about your experience?"
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Old 12-12-2018, 02:57 PM   #9
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For me personally I would never seek counseling in the church, it is better to see someone professionally that has the training. When i first started therapy i got it from the church at first it was ok then it got all screwy because they seemed to lack training/ education. 7 years of that and i still am working through the issues that caused me harm in the church. I think churches are not equipped to handle counseling as a whole. Also allot of them are not licensed and some will try to judge one meds, psychiatry and therapists. I have lost allot of respect in church counselingand this is only my opinion if you want to try the lady in your church go ahead, you might have much better luck then I did. Hugs
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Old 12-12-2018, 03:10 PM   #10
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I probably wouldn't see someone at my church for counseling, even though my pastor does have his PhD in Marriage and Family Counseling. Churches are like micro-communities and everyone ends up knowing everything about everyone in a lot of instances. I would value my privacy a lot and even though Church is good for many things for me, I don't think counseling would be one of them. Kit.
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