Suandria Hall: My Choice My Power

Adverse Religious Experiences, Deconstruction, Deconversion, Podcast, Race, Religious Abuse, Religious Trauma, Secular Community, secular grief
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My guest this week is Suandria Hall. Suandria is a trauma informed counselor specializing in faith transitions. Her practice, My Choice My Power, is online and she offers mental health counseling to residents in Colorado and life coaching sessions online, by phone, and email for anyone.

What is more important to me than anything is being honest and being authentic about who I am and who I choose to be in this world.
While pretending for a moment seemed easy.
I really had no concept about how much I was about to unravel.
Once I make this choice to say this out loud that I don’t believe this any more. What does that even mean?
But I took a leap and I started to say out loud that I don’t believe this any more.

Suandria tells her story of being groomed for ministry in a very Charismatic community with rigorous honesty. In her early adulthood she began to question and eventually deconverted. She had a positive experience with a therapist who “held space” for her shifting faith positions. She then went on to become a secular counselor to help others through the same process.

What they are looking for is someone who doesn’t force any type of spirituality in the practice.
They just want to show up and say let me just talk through some stuff.

We talk about the power of parents to influence children. And the damage that can occur when parents pass that responsibility on to an invisible god.

The child learns that the love the adoration the loyalty the devotion
that a mother and a child would share with each other is now shifted.
So now god becomes the number one.

Her approach to counseling is trauma informed and acknowledges Adverse Religious Experiences and religious trauma. She helps people going through the process of deconstruction and deconversion while being open to all faith positions.

Trauma is when our bodies our systems becomes overwhelmed, flooded with emotions, flooded with bodily sensations.
It gets stuck.

Links

Suandria’s Counseling Site
https://www.mychoicemypower.com/

Twitter
https://twitter.com/mychoicemypower

Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/mychoicemypowercounseling/

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While these points may be a part of your thinking about religion or harmful religious experiences, they are not the foundation of religious trauma. WE ARE TRAUMATIZED when our central nervous system (movements, bodily sensations, thoughts, speech, memory) is… • overwhelmed, altering the way we process and recall memories (Van Der Kolk) • unresolved or incompleted responses (Levine) • overstimulated repeatedly and cumulatively, usually over a period of time and within specific relationships and contexts (Courtois) In plain terms, religious trauma is when your ability to respond and create or experience safety is interrupted by TOO MUCH ENERGY unable to release or complete within religious context. In even plainer terms, your brain & body says "Hey, it's time to take care of yourself and here's the blood flow, chemicals, and hype to do it", but you don't because your religion has taught you to obey, stay silent, trust others (God, the Word, leaders, the group) instead of yourself. You live over stimulated, ready, and "ON" which can look like anxiety, fear, tension. Compliance dampens the discomfort. Examples and potential effects: I want to meet other people outside of our community/beliefs. NO–they are dangerous, sinful, will lead you astray. Obey. Must tow the line to maintain relationships and community acceptance. Kept away from people, cultures, and beliefs unlike yours. Can perpetuate social issues like racism and inequality based on ignorance. I want another my path, explore my interests. NO–stay in God's will. Doubt your ability to make decisions. Limit education and opportunities. Blocks creativity and exploration. Wait for someone or something else to guide you. Hyper-spiritualized decision making. I'm curious about sex and sexuality and want to have ownership of my body. NO–your body is not your own, submit and obey, in heterosexual marriage only. Struggle with intimacy, sexuality, and sometimes even routine health screenings. —– Even when you KNOW you can make another choice you don't because YOUR BODY reminds you that you can't. This is trauma work. This work isn't anti-religion. This work is pro-human experience. #sundaymorning

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Interact

Adverse Religious Experiences series
https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/category/adverse-religious-experiences/

Steps of Deconversion
https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/

Full show notes
https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2020/10/18/suandria-hall-my-choice-my-power/

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Support the podcast
Via Anchor.fm and Stripe
Via Paypal: paypal.me/gracefulatheist

Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Janice Selbie: Divorcing Religion

Adverse Religious Experiences, Atheism, Deconstruction, Deconversion, Podcast, Religious Abuse, Religious Trauma
Click to play episode on anchor.fm

My guest this week is Janice Selbie. Janice is a Registered Professional Counselor (RPC) in Canada helping people through religious trauma syndrome. Janice is the director of the Conference on Religious Trauma. Janice’s personal story of fundamentalism, tragedy and eventual freedom is inspiringly and honestly told on the episode.

Was it possible that everything I had believed had been wrong?

CORT2020 is sponsored by the Secular Therapy Project (a division of Recovering from Religion) and by Journey Free, which is Dr. Marlene Winell’s organization.

Use the discount code GA036  for $60 off a standard ticket.

Janice also provides a workshop called “Divorcing Religion” using the analogy of divorce to help people out of fundamentalist religion.

It might take a tragedy (or more than one) to shake you loose from your cognitive dissonance.

This episode is another in the series of mental health professionals who specialize in religious trauma, religious abuse and the emerging term Adverse Religious Experiences.

Book Recommendations

Janice’s “extimony” has recently been featured in a compilation book called Daring to Share: Deception to Truth:

https://www.amazon.com/Daring-Share-Deception-Diana-Reyers/dp/1999401042

Links

Conference on Religious Trauma
https://cort2020.com/

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/Wise_Counsellor
https://twitter.com/divorcereligion

Secular Therapy Project
https://www.seculartherapy.org/

Journey Free
https://journeyfree.org/

Interact

Series on Adverse Religious Experiences
https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/category/adverse-religious-experiences/

Send in a voice message

Support the podcast
Via Anchor.fm and Stripe
Via Paypal: paypal.me/gracefulatheist

Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Brian Peck: Room To Thrive

Adverse Religious Experiences, Deconstruction, Deconversion, Podcast, Post Theism, Religious Abuse, Religious Trauma
Click to play episode on anchor.fm

My guest today is Brian Peck. He is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) who specializes in religious-based trauma in his private practice and who helps guide individuals through their deconversions with evidence-based practices online. His practice is called Room to thrive and Brian describes it as “secular therapy for human well being.” It is trauma-informed therapy and coaching.

Brian has had a huge impact on me and my thinking. It was a great pleasure to get to pick his brain. You can hear me learning in real-time during our discussion.

If you have survived trauma (of any sort), your nervous system did exactly what it needed to do to survive.

This episode is another in an ongoing series of mental health professionals who specialize in religious trauma, religious abuse and the emerging term Adverse Religious Experiences.

We humans need community to survive.

Links

Room To Thrive
https://www.roomtothrive.com/

Twitter
https://twitter.com/RoomToThrive

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/RoomToThrive/

Viral “Trauma is not your fault (period)” post
https://www.facebook.com/RoomToThrive/posts/2496151297329417

How and Why We Believe
https://lifeaftergod.org/059-how-and-why-we-believe-part-1/

Interact

I quote Brian in my article on the Steps of Deconversion
https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/

Adverse Religious Experiences series
https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/category/adverse-religious-experiences/

Send in a voice message

Support the podcast
Via Anchor.fm and Stripe
Via Paypal: paypal.me/gracefulatheist

Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Laura Anderson: Adverse Religious Experiences and Religious Trauma

Adverse Religious Experiences, Deconstruction, Deconversion, Podcast, Religious Abuse, Religious Trauma
Click to play episode on anchor.fm

My guest is Laura Anderson. We discuss religious abuse, religious trauma and the difference between them.

Abuse is the thing that happened to you.
Trauma is the experience that your body or nervous system has as a response to the thing that happened to you.

Laura is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of Tennessee, a Professor of Psychology and an Approved Supervisor through the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). She has a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and is in the final stages of completing my completing her Ph.D. in Mind-BodyMedicine at Saybrook University. Laura specializes in complex trauma, religious trauma, religious abuse, and purity culture.

Laura has developed a manual for mental health professionals on Adverse Religious Experiences and Religious Trauma which is available on her website. This is a resource for both mental health professionals and those who have experienced adverse religious experiences themselves. Use the discount code: RELIGIOUSTRAUMA15 for $15 off the price of the manual.

This episode is another in an on going series of mental health professionals who specialize in religious trauma, religious abuse and the emerging term Adverse Religious Experiences.

Links

Website:
https://www.lauraandersontherapy.com/

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/ms_elleanderson

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/ms_elleanderson/

Interact

On the show, I mention my writing on the steps of deconversion and “doubling down” that can be found here:

https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/

Send in a voice message

Support the podcast
Via Anchor.fm and Stripe
Via Paypal: paypal.me/gracefulatheist

Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats