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Reason and Depression: Presentation & Discussion, Southdale Library, Edina

As we all know, religious beliefs are often given deference even when they run contrary to healthy practices. One case in point came from a member of this Meetup who was taken aback when a licensed psychologist insisted that a depressed individual's belief in eternal damnation as punishment for suicide should be respected. The number of responses to this post were so numerous and thoughtful that it became clear the topic of Reason and Depression should be addressed in a Meetup event.

Please join us on August 29th at the main meeting room of the Southdale Library in Edina for a presentation and discussion on how to deal with the intrusion of religious dogma into the counseling of mental health professionals and others. Those of us who have been met with unhelpful suggestions from friends, family members, co-workers, and therapists will be able to share their stories and learn techniques for countering faith-based advice.

The format will consist of three parts:

1) an introduction to the topic, followed by questions and answers,
2) short statements from individuals who wish to share their own experiences, and
3) group discussions

This Meetup will be presented and moderated by Nick Pease.

Nick is a freelance writer and also teaches in a couple of programs at the U. After decades of first-hand experience with depression and psychotherapy, he is convinced of what his old Irish granny once told him: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” He also subscribes, however, to the injunction “live and let live” and, in certain circumstances, to Sartre’s conclusion that “Hell is other people.” (Nick Pease recently gave a presentation on Existentialism as a positive and life-affirming philosophy at a Minnesota Atheists Monthly Meeting.) Such ideas will form the basis of the discussion. In Nick's own words, it "should be a hell of a time!"

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent group and discussion. Well done Nick.

    September 6, 2010

  • Jack C.

    This was a big topic, but I appreciated the thoughtful approach everyone took, and the way Nick invited discussion with his format and organization. I heard some new perspectives and learned a lot.

    August 31, 2010

  • Sara

    There were some interesting questions brought forth, and the group was full of insight and compassion. It was nice to see a topic that is sometimes just 'not talked about' explored....thanks.

    August 30, 2010

  • Linda B.

    A very good and thought provoking discussion. I found that the discussion related to me personally in many ways. I really enjoy these kind of meetings.

    August 30, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    Interesting discussion. I wish I could have stuck around longer, but I had to skedaddle. I might have quickly brushed upon the positive thinking movement ala' The Secret. I have had this pop up in individual therapy a couple times. <ick face>

    August 30, 2010

  • Rrandy M.

    90 minutes went by quickly. This subject is too enormous for such a short treatment. I hope to see it continue in the Discussion Board.

    August 30, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent discussion of a very complex issue. But keeping religion's nose out of places were it doesn't belong will remain a major problem for years to come.

    August 30, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    There were many thoughts, few conclusions. I think breaking the group into smaller subgroups at some point would have been helpful. As usual, getting atheists to abide by ground rules can be like herding cats.

    August 30, 2010

  • Jack C.

    For those of you who can make it, these are exactly the sort of issues we will discuss at the Meetup. For those who can't but would like to contribute their thoughts and opinions, I suggest you start a thread on our Discussion Board.

    August 28, 2010

  • jill t.

    I am agnostic and Deist. While I don't respect the belief of those who choose to believe in hell and damnation, I DO respect their right or choice to believe as they do.

    August 28, 2010

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