Life’s transitions and challenges are often accompanied by difficult emotions. Leaving religious life is no exception. You may find yourself coping with powerful feelings of depression, grief, or anxiety (or a combination of all three!). This is totally normal. Often, such feelings can pass with time, but if they don’t, or if you feel overwhelmed by them, you might consider hiring a therapist to help you through the healing process.
Confronting your feelings and emotions can be extremely uncomfortable. A therapist understands that and works with you to lean into that discomfort at an appropriate pace in order to bring about healing.
Whether you have been in therapy before, are looking to start seeing someone, or are uncertain about what the right move is for you, we encourage you to take a look at the information below. It may help guide you to what is the best fit for you.
Types of Therapy
When looking to start therapy, it is important to realize that each therapist has a certain style of therapy that they specialize in. Below are the more common practices, with links to more information about each:
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
It is also important to recognize that there are specifically Catholic and Christian therapists available. While these types of therapists are great in bringing in a certain perspective, some women who have recently left the convent may not be ready for that approach yet. And that is okay. Whether you decide to see a Catholic therapist or a secular therapist, it is key that you let them know where you are in your comfort around talking about your faith.
The Next Step…
Here are some places you can begin searching for someone who is right for you:
: A great first start when beginning the search for a therapist. Many licensed therapists put profiles on this website, so you can begin by searching the city that you are in. You will find that certain therapists specialize in certain types of therapy, so keep that in mind during your search!
: Not all Catholic therapists will have a profile on here, but it is a solid start if you are specifically looking for a Catholic therapist! Especially if you are near a big city, this site may have options for you. It is worth a look.
: This is the largest online counseling platform worldwide. This service provides the opportunity to receive professional counseling through a phone or computer. After you sign up, you are matched with a counselor who fits your goals and preferences. The cost of counseling is $60-$80 per week and you are able to cancel your membership anytime if you feel it is not of benefit to you.
: Very similar to Betterhelp.com. You complete a brief assessment, choose from a list of recommended counselors, and begin your therapy journey!
Local parish/diocese: Call your local parish or diocese to see if they recommend anyone. More often than not, they will know of a great therapist in your area.
Contact Us: Simply let us know
of your interest and we can help you find someone that works for you. A few therapists have reached out to us and are specifically interested in helping women who have been in religious life.
How to know if my therapist is right for me?
- Do you find them trustworthy and likeable?
- Can you be honest with them?
- Do you feel heard by them? Do they actually listen to you?
- Are they respectfully and appropriately challenging you?
- What is their area of expertise?
- Do they have enough availability?
- Do you see value in working together?
*The suggestions given on this page do not constitute professional mental health advice.