Most people deconstructing have spent the vast majority of their lives part of a wonderful, loving and supportive group.
A group with whom they can rely on, share their greatest joys and darkest sorrows.
However, there is usually a big asterisk next to that welcoming and embracing community… and it reads “*must believe like we do.”
This is where deconstruction often hurts the person most. It creates a huge divide between the person and their families, friends and community. They often go from everyones favorite person to public enemy number one. This can look like anything from harrassment to being completely ignored.
The consequences of navigating this alone
Research has shown there are a lot of positives that show up in the lives of those who deconstruct/disaffiliate/dechurch such as greater autonomy, freedom, self-discovery, trust in self, etc.
However it has also found consistently very negative impacts, more often than not heavily tied to the loss of community. This includes but is not limited to:
Increased risk of depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, a loss of idenity, stigma and isolation as well as doubt and uncertainty about their deconstruction.
The power of seeing myself in you
Group work can be so healing for many reasons but a huge one is that it helps us realise we aren’t alone. To have our experience reflected back at us through someone sharing their experience. To have people who “get it” in a way that nobody else does – even if their own journey is quite different to ours!
While I love the work I do in 1-1 sessions it is often in groupwork that I see the biggest shifts occur in people. Religion has often developed significantly harmful thought patterns – our own inner-oppresors.
Showing ourselves compassion, encouraging ourselves to trust that voice within, that our emotions matter… those things have been discouraged in us for so long it is hard to begin overcoming that…
However, paradoxically it seems, we are often very quick to offer others going through the same things compassion, encouragement and affirm their value.
Having peers who believe in you more than you believe in yourself (and offering that back) is one of the most powerful things you will find in the healing process of deconstruction.
How do groups work?
Each support group runs weekly for 8 weeks.
They are 2hrs long and you will be able to vote on a day / time that suits you.
If you sign up to the waitlist below you will be notified when a new group is opening up and be given a chance to vote on times/days that will work for you.
The group is not led by myself, it is led by the participants. Topics are picked by the group and discussions are navigated by the group.
It is not my group, it is yours.
The group is given access to my Patreon’s discussion server on Discord for 1 year.
You will be able to discuss things throughout the week in your own private channel as well as participate in other discussions on the server with over 100 other members.
Our groups are led by the participants themselves each week. I am only present as a facilitator to help ensure everyone is able to participate and feels safe. Each week tends to follow the following pattern:
We will start our time together with a brief check-in to see how everyone is doing.
Members of the group put forward a topic they would like to discuss.
They then vote on the topic they want to discuss most that is not their own.
The discussion starts by having the person who put forward the topic share why they wanted to talk about it.
The group then discusses their experiences with the topic, whatever that might look like.
As we come to the end of our time I will wrap up the time by doing a brief check-in to see how everyone is doing.
The group is designed to be a safe, non-judgemental space. You almost certainly won’t agree with everything others say. But that’s kinda the point! We have done existing in spaces where agreeing was the goal… that’s a big part of what brings us to where we are today!
Rather, we listen and ask questions to understand and help one another expore their understanding. We are all on equal footing in the group. There will be no loud voices who hog the time, or leaders who get to have a “final word.”
We value one another’s privacy and confidentiality is taken very serious. What is discussed in group stays in the group.
The space does not exist to preach, teach or convince other’s you have the right answers. The slightest hint of proselytizing will result in you being asked to leave.
How much will it cost?
Short answer – $160 for 8 weeks ($20 / session) – £128 for 8 weeks (£16 / session) Long answer – keep reading…
Flexible Pricing I love being able to provide almost everything I do 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 coaching sessions and 1 support group 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.*
Standard Price My standard charge for support groups is $160 (US) / £128 for the 8 weeks.
Budget Price The absolute bottom of what I can presently charge is $120 (US) / £100 for the 8 weeks.
Privileged Price 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. :)
Things happen, life gets in the way sometimes. If you can’t make the session it will go on without you and you’ll have to catch up a bit in the week via the Discord server.
Regarding your payment: The cost of these sessions is for me allocating the time each week to facilitate these groups and hold a spot in it for each participant. Whether you attend or not that spot cannot be filled with someone else and I need to pay my bills. Because of that I don’t generally offer refunds if you can’t make a session. With that said I’m not an asshole, if you have a legit reason for not showing, you aren’t going to make it a habit to not show and the $15-20 is a big deal for you let me know and I’ll be happy to refund it.
Is this like group therapy
While I actually am in the process of becoming a licensed counsellor here in the UK this is not in any way to be considered group therapy work. It is simply a safe, informal space for people to explore their deconstruction together and figure out what works for them.
How often do we meet?
Groups meet once a week to give participants adequate time to sit with and process the things we discuss each session. The groups run the full 8 weeks with no breaks.
Is there any support for me between sessions?
As always, whether you are working with me in a paid capacity or not, I am avaliable throughout the week on Instagram in my DMs to talk. Additionally you will have free access to my Patreon only Discord community for a year as a group member. This allows you to continue to process your deconstruction in a safe community of others also doing the work. The group itself will also have their own private channel for discussions between sessions.
Will what you believe or your own journey be something we talk about?
I will generally try not to be too vocal in the group unless I feel it is particularly important or I am called upon. Generally speaking 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.
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.
These groups are about you finding out what is right for you, not about emulating mine or anyone else’s journey!
What software / hardware do I need to take part?
Calls are done via Google Meet. (It’s basically Zoom by Google)
If you use a computer/laptop this works seamlessly in your browser as long as you have a microphone and webcamera. If you are wanting to use a mobile device such as a phone or ipad you will need to install the Google Meet app.
Is what we talk about private and confidential?
Confidentially will be part of the group’s working agreement with one another. The general rule is we are not to talk about what is discussed in the group unless in a therapuetic setting – even then it is expected that people would remove any identifying markers of what is shared. I cannot vouch 100% that this is upheld as I am not able to (or interested in) control other people. However I can say for myself 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: 1. I occasionally may need to process something we discuss with my personal counsellor – no identifying information would ever be shared with them. 2. If you state any of the following things I am legally obliged to break confidentiality and work with you in seeking help with the appropriate agencies: • you have plans to harm yourself or others • you tell me of a child who is being abused • you tell me you are planning an act of terrorism
I’m not sure support groups are for me, can we talk 1-1?
Absolutely, I offer a handful of 1-1 coaching sessions a week – you can find out more about them here.
Join the waitlist
You can register your interest in the next support groups to open up and join the waitlist by clicking here…