Going through a faith transition can be very difficult. For people who grew up with certain beliefs and later lose them it can be very confusing. It can also be hard for people whose family members make different choices about faith than they do. Faith transitions can cause all kinds of negative feelings like resentment, anger, and frustration. Learning to process those feelings and move forward with your life with your new beliefs is essential. 

Many people have questions about how to process all of these feelings and all of the complications from a change in faith. Here are some of the frequently asked questions we received at Symmetry Solutions about faith transitions and therapy. 

How do I deal with feelings of anxiety during my faith transition?

Faith transitions can be very stressful and cause a lot of anxiety. You might not know what to believe about what happens when we die, or if God is real. You might not know how to deal with family members who still believe in your old faith. All of these feelings are normal for people experiencing a faith transition, but that still does not make them easy. Talking to a therapist can be helpful as you try to sort through all of those feelings. 

It is also important to just be patient with yourself. There is a lot to figure out and that will probably just take time. Give yourself some time to work out your feelings. You don’t have to have it all figured out the moment you decide to leave your faith.

man crying faith transition

Can therapy help me if I’m unsure of whether I want to stay or leave?

Therapy can be a great tool for those who are unsure of whether or not they want to change their faith. Some people may not agree with every part of what their church teaches but still find some value in belonging to that church. That is completely normal but it can be hard to feel like you have a foot in both the group of people who are in the religion and in the group that has left. 

Sorting through these complicated feelings may take some time. But it is important to remember that you don’t have to figure everything out right now. Taking the time to process everything and make the best choice for you is great, and therapy is great for sorting through all of those feelings.

How do I set boundaries with my family regarding my faith transition?

Setting boundaries with family can be one of the hardest parts of changing your beliefs. Often families can be very disappointed in the family members who choose to leave a faith. This can lead to awkward or hurtful conversations that make the people who left feel isolated or misunderstood. 

In order to set a boundary with someone you have to care about yourself and your feelings and know that your feelings are valid and deserve to be respected by the people who love you. Having a conversation with your family about how you feel and what you need from them can be very hard but it’s a necessary part of setting boundaries. Being firm and letting your family know that they need to be respectful of your feelings can make it clear to everyone what you need to feel loved and respected.

How do I deal with a spouse who believes differently from me?

One of the hardest situations to figure out when going through a change in faith is whether your spouse will change with you or not. Often people who were married in high demand religions (Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc) and later changed their beliefs have struggled with one spouse wanting to leave and one wanting to stay. 

The pressure from a high demand religion for people to be married and be united in their faith can cause a great deal of stress on a marriage. It can be scary not knowing what to do. But holding different beliefs does not mean that your marriage is doomed. The most important thing is to remain respectful of each other and your beliefs. As long as you continue to show each other respect then you can work out the details and find compromises that will work for you. 

couple on a bench faith transition

Can therapy really help me with my faith transition?

Therapy is very helpful for anyone who is going through a transition in faith. For however long you had your faith you were given a specific lens through which you could view the world and your life. Taking that away can be frightening. 

Things you once thought were bad might seem OK to you now, or vice versa. What you thought the afterlife would like or even if you think there will be an afterlife might be different. Processing all of this as well as any anger or resentment you may feel towards a religion for things that happened to you while a part of that religion can be difficult. Therapy is great for helping us to get past those negative or confusing feelings to a place where we can feel comfortable and happy.

How do I find a therapist who can understand the complexities of a faith transition?

Many of the therapists here at Symmetry have gone through faith transitions themselves. As members of high demand religions who have changed their faith or religious affiliation they know how hard it can be for family and friends to understand and how hard it can be to lose a community that you had been close to. Having gone through it themselves they can share with you how they overcame many of the biggest obstacles associated with a faith transition and show you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Things can and will get easier even if they may seem daunting now.

Faith transitions are complicated. You may have many mixed feelings about different aspects of leaving your faith. You may feel anxiety, anger, or resentment after leaving, or you may even feel happiness and relief! But no matter how you feel and what you are choosing to believe, therapy can make the transition easier. 

If you would like to try therapy with any of our excellent therapists then schedule an appointment today.


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