Colin: Deconversion Anonymous

Comedy, Deconstruction, Deconversion, Deconversion Anonymous, Podcast, Religious Trauma, Secular Grace
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This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode.

I have become the person I always wanted to be.

My guest this week is Colin. Colin absorbed his mother’s Evangelical Christianity. He has mostly good memories of the people in church. He bounced from his mother’s to his father’s families never quite fitting in. He hung on to his Christianity long after he recognized it no longer brought him “positive results” out of fear of losing everything: salvation, community and identity.

My first and only real religion is inclusion.

Colin’s doubts began young with a dynamic Sunday school teacher who was not allowed to preach in church and a gay uncle he was not supposed to approve of. Colin recognized that love demands inclusion. He felt it was his moral obligation to be inclusive.

That to me is love, for lack of a better word. I was being totally authentic and I was being totally accepted.

In his late twenties, in therapy, he experienced true acceptance. Even while he was explaining to his therapist he was still a virgin, having been a part of the purity culture of the ’90s.

I found unconditional acceptance immediately outside of religion whereas I often found highly conditional acceptance within it. Imagine my surprise!

Colin’s story takes a dramatic turn of self-discovery. He discovers himself and discovers his voice. He then experienced more acceptance telling his story of recovering from growing up Evangelical to non-christian audiences. Colin tells his story with rawness, honesty and a great deal of humor.

Interact

Deconversion
https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/deconversion/

Colin mentions a post I wrote on apologetcis: What If I Grant That
https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2016/11/26/what-if-i-grant-you-that/

Colin mentions my friend Bryce interviewing me
https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2020/06/26/bryce-harrington-interviews-the-graceful-atheist/

Full show notes
https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2020/11/29/colin-deconversion-anonymous/

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Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Suandria Hall: My Choice My Power

Adverse Religious Experiences, Deconstruction, Deconversion, Podcast, Race, Religious Abuse, Religious Trauma, Secular Community, secular grief
Click to play episode on anchor.fm
Listen on Apple Podcasts

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

A post shared by Suandria Hall (@mychoicemypowercounseling) on

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

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/

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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

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/

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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

Karen: Deconversion Therapy

Atheism, Deconversion, Podcast, Podcasters, Religious Trauma
Click to play on anchor.fm

My guest today is Karen, the co-host and creator of the Deconversion Therapy Podcast. Karen is a comedian, a writer, and now a podcast host. She grew up attending Evangelical schools from grade school to Bible college.

Everyone is good at something. I was good at being a Christian.

Karen was so dedicated to Christianity she became a missionary with YWAM. After attending DTS, she and her husband moved to Thailand.

With hindsight what I got called to was adventure, meaning, purpose, travel and helping people.

Honest laughter from the Thai women she was working with shook Karen up enough to recognize maybe they were fine without her Western Jesus after all. Later after reading Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus, Karen further deconstructed when she discovered the premise of her missionary work, Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,” was not in the original manuscripts.

Karen’s best advice to Christians:

Don’t research. It is bad for your faith.

Along, with her co-host Bonnie, Karen uses humor, sarcasm, self-deprecation and occasional snark to eviscerate the silliness of Evangelicalism. Their podcast is Deconversion Therapy.

We can laugh at this stuff. We are OK.
You can laugh at this. You are going to be OK.

Links

Website:
https://deconversiontherapypodcast.com/
Deconversion Therapy Link Tree:
https://linktr.ee/deconversiontherapy
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/deconversiontherapy/
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Deconversion-Therapy-Podcast-378017629443177/
Facebook Community Group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/302187740481879/
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/The_DeConverted

Book Recommendation

Interact

Deconversion
How To Deconvert In 10ish Easy Steps

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