Posted by: Marie | June 6, 2009

(82) An end to therapy – Part 2 of 3

Post #82
[Private journal entry written on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 – continued from previous post]

It is about this point in our conversation that I knew my counseling sessions with Mark were at an end. My belief system, my truth, will never be valid in his mind. He will never respect my choice to believe as I believe. He again promised to keep his beliefs out of our counseling, but I know he cannot. He will always push me to return to my Christian roots. He confuses my pondering out loud about God with my granting him permission to evangelize.

Going White by Martin Chen

Going White by Martin Chen

He believes that my negative experiences come as a result of my not living a “righteous” life – that they will not change until I embrace the “Christian” version of God and denounce Satan.  He believes that my beliefs are “cancerous” to my soul and that it is his responsibility to point out the error of my ways.  With that operational model, he is not able to counsel me effectively – and he is violating the boundary I put in place with our scripted “boundaries” conversation.

I assured him, again, that I agreed with him that my top priority is to heal my relationship with God – but that is a journey that I cannot take with him. That seemed to upset him – it feels like he really wants to help me with that journey.  He promised that he would keep his beliefs out of future sessions.  However, based on past experience . . . I know that, instead of working within the context of my belief structure, he will “preach” for much of the session in an attempt to change my belief structure.

Case in point . . . he “preached” to me for at least an hour today – it was outside the session time for which I was paying, so I didn’t take steps to stop it.  I am proud of myself – I really listened.  I really focused on pulling out anything that could be useful to me (because it is possible I can learn something valuable from a Christian sermon) – I didn’t state my beliefs, I didn’t argue, I didn’t get defensive – I just listened.

I knew it was likely the last time I would spend significant time with him, so it seemed the least I could do.  I wanted him to feel he had a real opportunity to share his faith with me – that he had done his best to lead me to Christ so he could be “off the hook”.  I also recognize that there is no value in stating my beliefs – it only causes his sermon to get longer and his preaching more passionate.

His heart is in the right place – I fully understand where he is coming from . . . he is very afraid for my soul, for my salvation . . . he really, really cares about me.  It seems to me he doesn’t believe any soul-level healing can occur unless my beliefs align with what he believes.  I know he is trying to do the right thing.  But, that is his battle, not mine.  I have to do what is right for me – if I involve a therapist again, he or she needs to have a belief system that is more in alignment with mine.

Towards the end of the session, he promised me that he would pray for me everyday.  I really appreciate that gesture . . . I fully understand the sincerity and depth of that commitment.  I hope I was able to express, and I hope he recognizes that I really appreciate the value of that gesture.

Mark has been a huge part of my journey over the last eight months.  I can’t imagine having made that journey without him – he stood steadfast when I really needed him the most.  He has given me hope for the emotional intimacy I might have with a man some day.  He led me places I couldn’t have gone by myself and would not have gone with most people.  I forever am grateful to him.

I believe Mark is very similar to my dad in many ways – it is hard for me to remember exactly how my dad showed up in the world, but I believe the two of them are similar.  I was able to complete some unfinished business I had with my dad through my relationship with Mark – especially through the conflicts I had with Mark.  It was rather like completing that business with a more evolved version of my dad.  I’m sure it was no accident that I chose Mark as my therapist.

Because the issues I had with my dad were often the same issues that showed up in my romantic relationships, I was also able to complete unfinished business I had with ex-boyfriends and my husband through Mark – with Mark acting as a surrogate partner of sorts.

I wish we could have continued – that would have been my preference.  However, our differences in beliefs have gotten in the way so I must go another direction.  It will be hard not having our time together.  I will miss him.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


  1. I was right! You should have dumped him!

    I know how you felt, tho. Sometimes, I get preached to, also, but it’s usually me who starts it.

    Did you find another T, or was Mark under your skin and impossible to set free? I hope I never feel that way about Mr.S. Like Mark, he has gotten me thru so much.


    • Yup, Ivory — you were right, LOL!!!!

  2. Sorry you are having a hard time. You should dump him and get another T. I don’t know what I would do without mine,She has helped me through so much. Good luck to you..take care..Mary

    • Hi, Mary –

      Thanks for the encouraging words . . . a solid relationship with a qualified therapist is truly golden!

      – Marie

  3. I find it so … profoundly offensive that a therapist would try to impose religious beliefs on a client.

    I can see how in some cases, spiritual beliefs align with psychological health — for example, in matters of relating to self and others in a responsible way. But those ideas should never be couched in terms of a specific doctrine.

    • Hi, David –

      LOL . . . I was joking when I said I needed attention from you . . . however, just the same, I’m delighted to see your handsome “face” show up here and to be the recipient of your “author care”!

      – Marie

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