Should a Fanatic Be A Psychotherapist?


I have seen with delight the way that religion, when properly practiced, helps people live a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life. But we have all Heard of people who have done something totally unholy with their religion; those we call fanatics, those who belong to shady cults, and so on. Indeed one of the main reasons people dislike religious cults is that often, their leaders prey on the vulnerable, which lives get destroyed in the process, as documented in the press over the last few decades.

So, would you be happy to send a vulnerable person to such a fanatic? Would you trust a religious fanatic with matters of your mind?

Of course, we have to first define the meaning of fanatic. There is a huge difference between a professional therapist who is a pious god-loving person and someone who twists religion to justify their judgment of others. When this is a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, or counselor, it can be scary. A mental health worker can not be fanatical about anything whilst carrying out their work. Therapy is there to help the client find their own solutions (not imposed solutions that suit the therapist), and come to a place of peace. And some would say that sure if a mental health worker were properly trained, they would know to keep their opinions and emotions out of the therapy. And that is certainly the ideal.

I was helping a vulnerable and suicidal client who was also seeing a counselor. I called the counselor each now and then in order to make sure we were helping the client in the best possible way as a team. This very vulnerable and suicidal client had the utmost trust in the counselor. However, I was not happy about the way the counselor seemed to be making the client have shame and feel inferior. I thought sure this is not the therapist's doing, so I called the counselor in order to see how we together can help the client feel proud of herself instead of accused, still not believing the counselor was the cause. It turned out that the counselor was a religious fanatic who strongly disapproved of the client and looked down on the client. So, somehow, my client had picked up on that. So apart from trying to placate the counselor, there was nothing I could do. Sadly, the client's parents dropped the client off my program, because counseling is more accepted and known that EFT, which I was helping the client with, and the client continues to be abused by their psychotherapist in insidious ways, as far as I know. As long as this continues, I can not see the client recovering.

One solution that I can think of is that mind workers should be transparent and declare their beliefs in their literature and before the client sees them for the first time. Then the client can make an informed decision. The therapist can also in that way not have to be triggered by clients who biology, genetic make-up, or opinions, are opposed to the therapist's beliefs.

Suzanne Zacharia