Updated: Jun 29
Someone who understands
Over the years in my work with people who left religion I have offered a listening ear and heart, and given guidance from my own shedding religion journey, and training in addressing spiritual abuse and Religious Trauma Syndrome.
My religion recovery work with people has included individual counseling, religious trauma support groups, leading retreats, and speaking on the subject and the steps, stages, and process of disentangling oneself from toxic religious beliefs and practices.
There are deepening levels of recovering from toxic religion. Many people begin by removing themselves from a religious community that is having a detrimental impact on their mental, emotional, psychological, spiritual well-being and health. The deconstruction process involves divesting ourselves from various religious beliefs and practices that we no longer accept. Religion recovery involves identifying the deeply rooted toxic beliefs that are the root cause of self-sabotaging mindsets and neuroses that govern our lives such as shame, fear, anxiety, depression, self-rejection, perfectionism, and powerlessness. Recovering from toxic religion involves building a new relationship with yourself in areas such as self-acceptance, self-trust, self-compassion, self-reliance, and self-care.
Life After Religion
Breaking free from religion can be a volatile process. It feels like the rug of safety and security has been pulled out from under your feet. You doubt your previous beliefs and even doubt your doubting of them. You don't have a newly defined set of beliefs to replace the old ones, and you're not even sure if you can really know anything at all for sure. Shedding religion feels volatile and messy, like the tectonic plates of your life are shifting, colliding and rupturing. You no longer believe in the idea of hell but still a little worried you could wind up there. For many people, leaving religion means your entire relational world and social network goes up in smoke. Our sense of personal identity and security is typically tied to our religious belief-system. For many people who leave their faith, it is like a death or divorce. Losing faith in one's beliefs about God can be destabilizing.
Recovering from harmful religion is not a journey you have to walk alone. Some of the critical steps are:
making peace with your religious past
rooting out toxic religious indoctrination
navigating a crisis of faith
new ways of approaching life's existential questions
new tools for personal growth and development
exploring what spirituality is for you
building a new relationship with yourself
establishing new meaning and purpose in life
cultivating true peace and happiness
Life After Religion 30-Day Group
I created the Life After Religion 30-Day Investigation Group that is designed to support people in the process of rebuilding their lives after religion. What I mean by "investigation" is a daily project, assignment, or activity that is meant to aid group participants in creating a life of meaning, happiness, and wellbeing outside of religion. The 30-day journey includes:
a daily investigation assignment that I share and offer instructions
each participant undertaking the investigation for that day
recording your findings in a daily journal
sharing your discoveries and insights with others if you choose to
a daily video where I share my thoughts and respond to comments
a final PDF with all 30 investigations for future use and reference
Some of the areas of these investigations include:
deeper levels of deconstruction
overcoming spiritual abuse
conquering shame and fear
exploring non-religious spirituality
addressing the root cause of chronic unhappiness and disharmony
disentangling oneself from toxic religious indoctrination
dealing with difficult post-religion issues
cultivating a new relationship with yourself
working through post-religion identity crisis
30-Day Investigation Group Details
I have created a private FB group for the 30-Day Investigation Group . All the written content, video content, daily investigation assignments, and sharing will take place in this private group. I am asking each participant to make a donation of $25 to my PayPal Friends of Jim Palmer Scholarship Fund. I utilize these funds to cover the costs of my pro bono personal development work with the homeless, incarcerated, cult survivors, and victims of domestic violence. I have also seen an uptick of people interested in coaching and guidance around the world who have been impacted significantly and distressed by the realities of the coronavirus. I will not deny any person's participation in the 30-Day Investigation Group, even if they cannot afford the $25, but if all possible please consider a 25$ donation or more if you are able to help others who are in great need and crisis.
In our explorations and investigations we will be doing a daily investigation into our inner world, the substructures of our personal identity, the assumptions on which we understand life and the nature of reality, and the root causes of our chronic unhappiness and disharmony.
The basic idea is to apply ourselves to self-inquiry, be students of our own lived experience, and rely upon critical thinking and direct experience as tools for investigating our identity, consciousness, and the true nature of reality. Each day I post a FB Live video to discuss that day's investigative assignment. If you are interested, please sign-up ASAP.
Here is the link to the PayPal Friends of Jim Palmer Scholarship Fund. I have left the amount open so you can determine what donation you are able to make. After you enroll with your PayPal contribution, go to this link to request membership in the private group.