Learning by sitting
Over the last decade I have had the privilege to sit with thousands who have embarked (usually kicking and screaming) on the journey of deconstructing their faith.
Early on I had all too many answers. In time, I realised that answers were generally the least helpful thing I could bring to the table.
What people needed was someone to sit with them. Someone that understood, that knew how hard this is, that didn’t tell them what to do or how to do it. Someone who made space for them to process, grieve, feel all the spectrum of emotions deconstruction can bring. Someone who created a space for them to figure out for themselves what deconstruction meant to them in their unique walk of life.
Deconstruction is not a common set path
When you have witnessed so many people’s deconstruction you notice a fair few things. There are many similarities that overlap when looking at people’s deconstruction journeys. However, you can never say that any two journeys will be the same.
Each person comes to deconstruction with a unique set of circumstances, upbringing, family, friends, relationships, beliefs, denomination etc.
This means that what is deconstructed and how it is deconstructed is unique to every person.
What might heal one person could actually be harmful to another’s healing. In extreme cases, what might be a traumatic trigger for one person could be a soothing answer to another!
One charismatic worship pastor might become a Methodist, the next an Atheist, the next again might not even need label such things and lose all interest in religious discussion.
And you and I would probably guess the outcome wrong 9 times out of 10! (As evidenced by your pastor’s last tweet about deconstruction.)
You are the expert of your deconstruction
Because of this I have grown to strongly believe in a very person-centered approach when sitting with people who deconstruct.
You are the expert of your deconstruction.
Not anyone else.
Not only are you the expert of understanding and knowing where you have come from. You are the expert on where you need to go.
You might not know that yet and need to take time to figure it out… but don’t let anyone else fool you into thinking they somehow do know what is right for you!
(We’ve all spent too many years letting religious authority figures dictate our paths. Let’s not get back on that horse for another ride!)
No direction, no set path
Over the years I’ve seen again and again, that two people who seem quite similar will frequently end up down extraordinarily different paths.
Seeing thousands of people end up in hundreds of different places has made me very adverse to being in any way prescriptive or trying to guide anyone’s footsteps.
While some might have a direction or goal in mind when helping others deconstruct. I try to approach the process as pluralistic.
Success for you and me
I see a successful outcome for us working together as you feeling you taking the reins of your own life and heading in a direction that you want to head.
I couldn’t care less if you end up Atheist, Christian, Muslim or Satanist… All could be success for me if it’s success for you.
What I offer
I sit with all sorts of people and help them process the myriad of things they are facing because of deconstruction.
I do this with zero agenda, no judgement and no direction… All I do is create space for you to figure out what’s next.
Some common things we look at are:
- Navigating feelings of guilt and shame
- Processing toxic theologies
- Working through fear of being wrong, punishment and hell
- Feeling stuck or overwhelmed in your deconstruction
- Grieving all the things your deconstruction has/will cost you
- Navigating regret over choices made before deconstruction
- Navigating complex relationships, inc. family, friends and leaders
- Processing life purpose and meaning on the otherside of divine “calling”
- Establishing healthy boundaries with others and developing autonomy in yourself.
- Navigating working for religious organisations / churches as you deconstruct
- Figuring out how to go about telling or not telling the people in your lives about your deconstruction
- Surviving in religious communities if you are not ready / able to leave them yet or don’t want to.
- Finding new communities / friendships to replace the loss of your relgious community
There are of course a million and one other things we can sit and chat about. Again, you are the expert on what you need to explore and where you need to go next.
Plus you get access to an amazing online community
As an additional perk when you work with me in this capacity you get a year’s free access to my Patreon only Discord community. This allows you to continue to process your deconstruction in a safe community of others also doing the work.
Sound good? Shoot me a message
If you feel having space to sit and chat about your deconstruction would be beneficial to you get in touch and we can see if it would be a good fit. You can email me using the form below or for a faster reply and more casual chat shoot me a DM on Instagram
How much will it cost?
I love being able to provide almost everything I do as I can for free. 100s of resources, tools to help people connect, research into deconstruction and chatting with people every day on social media etc.
However, ultimately at the end of the day I have to feed my family. So to cover my costs I offer a handful of these chats a week as a paid service.
With that said I still want to be as flexible as possible so I offer a sliding scale as detailed below where you get to pick what feels good to you.*
My standard charge for my services are $75 (US) / £60 an hour. I offer a 10% discount for bookings of 6+ sessions.
The absolute bottom of what I can presently charge is $60 (US) / £50 an hour. There is no bulk discount at this price point.
I can however talk about setting up a payment plan if that would be helpful.
Please note – I will not permit anyone to go into debt to pay for my time.
If you find yourself in the privileged place in life where money is not as big a concern as it can be for so many in this world. I offer you the chance to pay more than my standard pricing – whatever feels good for you*.
This obviously helps me cover my bills, continue doing the vast majority of my work for free and helps me offer budget pricing options to those less fortunate.
*A note about “what feels good”: when talking about money, it’s that sweet spot where you feel you’re appropriately investing in something. Only you know what that number is for you, where you’re neither straining yourself to afford the thing, nor paying a number that represents undervaluing what you receive.
If that gives you pause, it’s okay. Take a minute and feel it out. :)
I am always happy to discuss my prices further if you need to. Just shoot me an email using the form above or a DM on Instagram
These prices are accurate as of Feb 2023.
Is this like therapy?
I actually am in the process of becoming a licensed counsellor here in the UK but that is not what this service is in any shape or fashion!
It is simply a safe space to chat about your deconstruction.
Some might liken it to coaching.
Broadly speaking, I like to keep it simple – it’s just having a chat with someone who has held space for countless other conversations like this… you can feel safe to be yourself, be accepted and find no agenda other than a desire from me to listen and help you process whatever you need to as you deconstruct.
How often can we meet?
We can meet to have a single one-off chat. Or we can meet on a more regular basis.
A lot of people find this kind of work very intense and often what comes up in our sessions can take a while to process and settle in. Because of that while some want to meet weekly others often choose fortnightly or monthly.
Ultimately, as long as my schedule allows it, we can meet as often as works for you.
What does a session typically look like?
I’ll ask how you are doing and what brings you to our session and we take it from there.
It might look like you ranting and getting stuff off your chest. It could be us processing how a particular theology or instance in the church has shaped your life negatively. It can be us discussing a particular problem you are trying to solve, maybe navigating being married to someone who is still fundamental in their beliefs or you might going home for the holidays to be with religious family, or struggling with being fearful of hell.
In short, the chat looks like whatever you want it to look like. You’re in charge :)
Will what you believe or your own journey be something we talk about?
Generally speaking no. I tend to try and avoid talking about my own journey and beliefs (or lack of them). This is a time to talk about you and your journey.
I may at times share something from my own path that might be helpful but more often than not if I have examples to share that I think would be helpful they will likely come from the countless deconstruction journeys of others that I’ve witnessed.
It is a common issue in those who deconstruct from fundamental faiths to create new authority figures in their lives, this is a trap people fall into regularly with those who try to coach or mentor people deconstructing. Because of this I do all I can to not give room for you to see me as an authority or someone who has answers or a path to replicate.
This is about you finding out what is right for you, not about emulating mine or anyone else’s journey!
How are calls done?
Calls are done via Google Meets. (It’s basically Zoom by Google)
If you use a computer/laptop this works seamlessly in your browser. If you are wanting to use a mobile device such as a phone or ipad you will need to install the Google Meets app.
Is what we talk about private and confidential?
Absolutely. I take confidentiality very seriously. Everything we talk about stays between us and is never something I would share with anyone else. There are two exceptions to this:
- I occasionally may need to process something we discuss with my personal counsellor – no identifying information would ever be shared with them.
- If you state any of the following things I am legally obliged to break confidentiality and contact the appropriate agencies:
- you are going to kill yourself
- you are intending to harm others
- you tell me of a child who is being abused
- you tell me you are planning an act of terrorism