MIXED FAITH COUPLES & FAMILIES
Did you or your partner stop believing? Are your differences of belief getting in the way? Can’t agree on how to raise the kids moving forward?
When a couple has different beliefs about God and religion—especially when they didn’t start out that way—it can affect every level of the relationship: trust, intimacy, communication, childrearing, extended family relations, and even finances. Religious differences can come between parent and child, too. I will support all parties without taking sides, putting relationships first and facilitating healing and reconnection in the face of seemingly insurmountable differences. By putting the relationship first, couples and families can work toward a new normal that is satisfying for all parties.
Having doubts and feeling stuck? Not sure how to move forward after a loss of faith?
Doubting or losing one’s faith can be a lonely, harrowing experience. For many, religion is central to one’s social life, family relationships, routines, and spiritual, emotional, and mental health. Adults who struggle with faith may be facing new challenges for the first time, such as making friends outside of their church network, navigating major strain in intimate relationships, and personally grappling with unknowns about death and purpose. I can walk with you along this journey, listening and supporting without judgment, providing new perspectives, and guiding you toward establishing your new equilibrium that’s right for you.
Having a hard time reconciling your faith with your sexuality? Are your family’s beliefs and values incompatible with your loved one’s authentic self?
When family, faith, and sexuality all pull in different directions, mental health issues are likely to arise. Many queer individuals affected by familial and religious incompatibilities experience depression, anxiety, shame, loneliness, low self-worth, or self-harming behaviors. Families of queer individuals may also experience grief, shame, relational stress, and anxiety. I come from an LGBTQ-positive perspective that also honors the pain and complexity of the religious family’s experience. My goal is to facilitate reconciliation and mutual understanding in families and healing, growth, and peace of mind in LGBTQ individuals who struggle with their faith.
HOW ART THERAPY CAN HELP
Art therapy is uniquely suited for exploring issues of identity, meaning, and the other intangibles of religious struggle that many find difficult to put into words. No previous artmaking experience is required to access the benefits of art therapy, as the focus is placed on expression and exploration rather than finished product. I am qualified to use both art therapy and talk psychotherapy techniques, and together we will find the balance that works for you.
Additionally, I conducted my Masters’ research thesis on religious transitions and art therapy. My participants found the artmaking process to be “cathartic”, “clarifying”, “empowering”, “comforting”, and “hopeful.” My research will soon be available on the LMU Library website.