I grew up in a radical faith community that conditioned me to believe psychology was deceptive and dangerous. For those who are familiar with the term (and I truly hope you are not) "Nouthetic" counseling was all that was allowed. It's difficult to articulate the damage this did to my psyche, but I'm happy to report that I'm healing and growing stronger every day. My hope is that you'll be able to say the same someday if you were unfortunate enough to be raised in a similar environment.
My approach to therapy is eclectic, compassionate, and always trauma informed. My late therapist used to say, “People are too complex to be broken down into parts and explained by a theory,” and I couldn't agree more. With that disclaimer in mind, there are some theories I pull from more than others. Rogerian Person-centered, IFS, and DBT, offer unique language and imagery which is especially useful in exploring spiritual abuse and religious trauma. I am also EMDR trained.
I believe people are more important than the programs we create for them. They are valuable simply because they exist, not because they consume or produce valuable things. Their stories are worth hearing, their pain is worth feeling, and their journeys are worth sharing. This is not to say that people can’t be shitty. They absolutely can, and in such cases, it is contemptable to demand forgiveness, something all-too-common in religious circles. I believe white privilege and systemic racism are real. These are not controversial ideas, in my view, they are facts. I believe the LGBTQIA+ community needs our support now more than ever and that silence is complicity, even if we are affirming behind closed doors. I believe toxic masculinity, and the patriarchy that powers it, has damaged our collective psyche in ways we cannot fathom. I believe the same religion that helps one can be extremely harmful for another, and that faith communities need to stop gaslighting religious trauma survivors.