Secular Mental Health Options

I recently posted about the difficulty of finding a support group for people going through a divorce that isn’t faith-based.  My therapist is secular, which helps me trust her.  I have worked with other therapists who, while they may or may not be religious, they never let their personal beliefs influence how they have dealt with me or my children.  They are professionals and have always suggested practical exercises and therapies grounded in the real world.

The problem I have encountered isn’t so much with therapists (when I use the word “therapist” I mean a psychologist with a PhD in psychology).  Myself, I need a divorce/grief support group; my son a support groups for teens with ASD, ADAH, etc; my daughter a support group for siblings of children with behavioral/cognitive disabilities.  The problem is that every single group I have checked out is faith-based, run by ministers, pastors and priests.

We are a secular family.  I am an atheist and my children are non-religious.  I don’t raise them as atheists because that is a decision they should make when they are mature enough to decide for themselves.  I raise them to be critical thinkers and to question everything.  The last thing I want for any of us is to be told that the path to healing is through faith in Jesus or some other superstitious entity.  That is not the way to healing, that is the way to delusion.  It is an easy out that makes it easy, if not inevitable, to avoid the real, difficult steps needed to truly heal and deal mentally and emotionally with life.

I have contacted my local atheist group asking if anyone there knows of secular support groups.  I will work with my therapist to see if she might be able to find a secular councilor who would be willing to run a support group.   I just want a group where issues and ideas can be discussed and experiences shared without having to bring god and religion into it.


3 thoughts on “Secular Mental Health Options

  1. Are you considering divorce, going through a divorce, or dealing with a trauma or transition?
    The decision to divorce sets in motion a series of transitions that can lead families in to a court battle that leaves deep wounds, emotional scars, and huge financial costs.
    My weekly Divorce Survival Group is an open, secular, ongoing support group for people dealing with issues surrounding divorce. Group offers legal and emotional support during this tumultuous time by providing an opportunity for individuals in similar circumstances to discuss and share interrelated experiences while supporting each other with the challenges that come with divorce. Protect yourself from becoming a victim of the courts and your spouse. Persons at any stage of separation or divorce are welcome. Each week will have a specific topic as well as an open discussion period. Led by a caring licensed forensic psychotherapist: Karyn Mehringer, MA., LCPC.

    Date: Mondays, beginning April 18, 2011
    Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm
    1010 Jorie Blvd., Suite 112
    Oak Brook, IL 60523

    For more information or to join this group call: 708-323-6040 or email:

    *Individual sessions also available.

  2. I share your frustration in finding a secular support group.
    Have you been successful in finding any? I’m specifically looking for a bereavement/grief support group that is secular. Let me know if you have any suggestions.


  3. Grief Beyond Belief on Facebook is fantastic! The founder can probably point you in the right direction for face to face counselling if there is any in you area. xxx

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