Recovery from Religion: Recognizing and Supporting Individuals through Crises of Faith or Religious Transitions
Rebecca Williams, MS, LMFT
Questioning, then doubt, and a crisis of faith. This experience can be terrifying for a devoutly religious person. They may find themselves saying “I never intended to be here! How did this happen? What will my family think? What will become of me?” The result could be a reconfiguration of faith, religious switching, or a transition to irreligion. Some make these transitions smoothly and some people get stuck. They experience confusion, anxiety, isolation, depression, and relational problems. They may show up in your office not entirely sure what’s happening to them.
This presentation will give participants an overview of stages of questioning/doubt, Religious Trauma Syndrome, and stages of recovery from a crisis of faith. We will discuss simple questions for assessment and strategies to support individuals through the process. The presentation will address how to help people maintain ties with religious family members and friends. And we will discuss when referring out is the most appropriate step for the client.
1. Participants will learn the symptoms individuals may experience when separating from their religion.
2. Participants will learn the stages of recovery from a rigid religious experience.
3. Participants will learn how to support individuals leaving their religion in maintaining ties with religious friends and family members.
4. Participants will learn to recognize when to refer out individuals leaving religion.
Rebecca Williams is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#81817) in private practice in Riverside. She is passionate about couples therapy and works with couples who are destabilized by one or both partners exiting religion or recovering from addiction. She has done training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy and Gottman Method Couples Therapy. She is a member of CAMFT, the Mormon Mental Health Association, and the Secular Therapist Project.
Ms. Williams came to the family therapy field from a background in education. Working with troubled teens, she saw that there was only so much change that could happen for the kids without change happening in the family as well. She graduated with her Masters from Loma Linda University and did internship work with substance abusing teens and their families. She has a love and talent for relational work.
Rebecca was drawn to this specialty through personal experience. As a formerly devout and observant religious person, she understands the existential crises that follow a loss of faith and the painful struggle to maintain relationships with family and friends who remain faithful. In meeting with other formerly religious people, she discovered common experiences of marital strain, family rejection, and being misunderstood or harmed in therapeutic settings. These are the people she loves to serve! She believes there is enough love, respect, and creativity in the world to allow individuals in marriages and families to have different spiritual paths while remaining intimately connected and having fulfilling relationships.
Inland Empire Chapter of CAMFT is a CAMFT Approved CEU Provider Agency Provider # 62278
CEU Hours: This course meets the qualifications for 2 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences
Certificates: Completion certificates will be awarded at the conclusion of the training and upon participant’s submission of his or her completed evaluation.
Refund Policy: If a participant is unable to attend and notifies IE-CAMFT 24 hours in advance of the training, full reimbursement will be sent within ten (10) working days.
Grievance: If any aspect of the training is not to the full satisfaction of any participant, please notify the coordinator, CEU committee chair, or another IE-CAMFT board member. We hope to resolve any issue immediately on-site. If not resolved, the full IE-CAMFT board will review and resolve the issue.IE-CAMFT wishes all participants to have an excellent learning experience. Please notify the coordinator or other board member if you need special accommodations. If possible, call Garry Raley at (951) 640-5899 in advance