Freethinking for Dummies

Skepticism, secular humanism, social issues

Sometimes Being a Non-theists Sucks!

 

I am currently going through my second divorce in 5 years.  My first marriage lasted 18 years and produced two children who live with me.  The second marriage lasted two years, but we were together four years.   On the advice of my therapist I am currently looking for a support group that I can meet with to help me through this and possibly even make some friends from.   I never really recovered or grieved after the first divorce so I’m sort of reeling right now.   My therapist recommended that I find a divorce/grief support group.  A search at http://www.divorcesource.com brought up the following.  Notice a pattern?  Out of ten search results, only one is not, on it’s face, affiliated with a faith based organization.

Nebraska Divorce Support Groups

  • ( Dakota County ) 
    Assembly of God
    1219 First Avenue South Sioux City , Nebraska 68776 Phone: 402-494-1852 Contact: Mr. Ward Aspin 
  • ( Douglas County ) 
    Christ Community Church
    404 South 108th Avenue Omaha , Nebraska 68154 Phone: 402-330-3360 Contact: Data Administration 
  • ( Douglas County ) 
    Faith United Methodist Church
    4814 Oaks Lane Omaha , Nebraska 68131 Phone: 402-345-5383 Contact: Mr. Doug Ferguson 
  • ( Douglas County ) 
    First Presbyterian Church
    216 South 34th Street Omaha , Nebraska 68131 Phone: 402-345-5383 Contact: Mr. Ray Stewart 
  • ( Douglas County )
    Grace Counseling Center
    1316 South 8th Street Omaha , Nebraska 68108 Phone: 402-449-2909 Contact: Dr. Norman Thieson
  • ( Douglas County ) 
    Harvest Tabernacle Church
    P.O. Box 4772 Omaha , Nebraska 68104 Phone: 402-333-1322 Contact: Mr. Martin Williams 
  • ( Douglas County ) 
    King of Kings Lutheran Church
    11615 I Street Omaha , Nebraska 68137 Phone: 402-333-6464 Contact: Ms. Soni Schegelmilch 
  • ( Douglas County ) 
    Lutheran Church of the Master
    2617 South 1114th Street Omaha , Nebraska 68144 Phone: 402-333-4444 Contact: Mr. K.Alan Tyler 
  • ( Douglas County ) 
    Salem Baptist Church
    3336 Lake Street Omaha , Nebraska 68111 Phone: 402-455-0750 Contact: Mr. R.W. Williams 
  • ( Douglas County ) 
    Trinity Church
    15555 West Dodge Road Omaha , Nebraska 68154 Phone: 402-330-5724 Contact: Pastor Les Beauchamp
  • The real kicker is that a search for Dr. Norman Thieson and Grace Counseling Center brought up the following:

    NORM THIESEN, PH.D. is a licensed Psychologist in Oregon. Dr. Thiesen is a professor in the Masters in Counseling Program at Western Seminary. Dr. Thiesen has over twenty years of experience as a psychologist and college professor and now focuses his practice on adults presenting with mood/anxiety disorders, divorce recovery, life and career transitions, faith/spirituality issues, marital counseling and life coaching.

    The site I found that at is for what seems to be his personal practice.  They have this to say about their staff:

    The clinical staff at Cornerstone Clinical Services, P.C. represent a unique collection of Christian clinicians licensed in psychology, psychiatry, psychiatric nursing and social work. All are committed to excellence of care in a warm and confidential setting.

    Ten out of fracking ten!  Or more poignantly, zero out of ten. While I laud these organizations for the help they provide to people, and I’m sure they do provide much help and comfort, I could not imagine that I would fit in at any of these groups as I am sure that faith will somehow creep into the proceedings somewhere, somehow.  Perhaps I’m just being cynical.  I could just give a couple of them a try, but I don’t want to invest my emotions into a group that I could quite likely end up feeling uncomfortable with.

    Suddenly my rejection of faith, which until now hasn’t really hasn’t caused me much grief, except with a few individuals, is a significant stumbling block in a much needed mental health treatment plan.  I’m sure I’d be better off back east when I’m originally from, but I’m not moving my kids again.  They finally have stability, a home, and friends after almost seven years of constant change.   Of all the places we could have ended up, I’m in one of the reddest of the red, most God fearing states in the nation.  Geesh!

     

     

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    March 11, 2011 - Posted by | Religion | , , , , , ,

    7 Comments »

    1. Also a function of living at the buckle of the Bible belt I would think.

      Of course the cynic in me says that seeing as all of them are “Faith Based” that Christians must live an overwhelmingly sad and stressed life in need of much support.

      On the serious side, I hope you are able to find a non-faith based support group.

      Comment by fribnit | March 11, 2011 | Reply

    2. I think it speaks more to the idea that secularism doesn’t tend to value the “vow” aspect of marriage. Marriage, in this growing secular society is seen more as long-term live-in dating. As soon as it doesn’t feel like the honeymoon, throw in the towel. “If you’re not happy, get divorced, you deserve to be happy” is advice that usually comes from non-theists.

      In my experience secular counceling focuses on the self(ish) first which might (but not necessarily) explain why there are more secular councelors for individuals than for married couples.

      Comment by John Barron Jr. | March 12, 2011 | Reply

    3. Mr. Baron, did you not see that these are support groups for those already divorced or going through divorce These are not marriage salvation sessions. These are dealing with the divorce groups. “Fait Accompli, now how do I move on” groups.

      Your entire statement is false on the face of it because it does not in anyway address the issue at hand, rather it is another “religious people are better than atheists” Non Sequitur. Not really surprising.

      Comment by fribnit | March 12, 2011 | Reply

    4. It’s often hard to find resources of any kind that are not religiously based. Until recently, I was employed by my state working with children in foster care. Even working for a GOVERNMENT agency and with children of all different backgrounds, nearly all of the available community resources were affiliated with religion in some capacity. It broke my heart that they would use such sad circumstances to “spread their message.”

      Anyway, I hope you are able to find something to meet your needs. Don’t give up the search just yet. There may be something appropriate that just a little harder to find.

      Comment by justmeangie | March 12, 2011 | Reply

    5. In the absence of any group that is a Taylor made group, I would consider attending one on the list. Be clear from the start that you are attending for support in a very difficult time and that you are a “devout” athiest and not interested in conversion to a faith but rather support to assist in a healing. I am still your friend, regardless of if we agree or not

      Comment by Kerry | March 17, 2011 | Reply

      • Thank you for your suggestion. We are still friends. I’ve been going through a really tough time and I guess I just couldn’t deal with the discussions. I shouldn’t have unfriended you. That goes against what I believe. I’m sorry. I guess we all make mistakes. I apologize that you were on the receiving end of one of mine.

        Comment by Jay Walker | March 17, 2011 | Reply

    6. My experience with religious organizations is that they are simply trying to offer services to those who are hurting, not necessarily trying to use bad situations to spread their message. Of course, that is not always the case and I would be careful of that. But I think Kerry’s suggestion to simply be up front that you are a non-theist who is looking for support in a very difficult time and that you would prefer not to be evangelized to, is a good one. Any decent organization would respect that and simply try to meet you where you are and help as best they could in spite of their particular belief in God. I hope life will improve for you soon.

      Comment by Tim | November 22, 2011 | Reply


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