Gbadamosi’s faith was what inspired her to become a counselor in the first place. On a college mission trip, she worked with teenage girls who had become pregnant in relationships with older men in their 50s and 60s. Those teenagers had gotten into those relationships hoping the men would offer them financial stability and support but ended up in unhealthy circumstances.
The work showed her the scope of mental health needs around the world and inspired her to go back to school to become a counselor. She also continues to work with a nonprofit in the Dominican Republic.
Gbadamosi, whose practice is called Blooming With Bisi, said she tries to help her clients, whether they are religious or not, realize their own self-worth. She also tries to live up to her name, which she said means “blessing.”
“I want them to feel like they’ve walked away from a session gaining something that could really be beneficial for their lives,” she said during a podcast episode of Jemar Tisby’s “Fighting Racism” series, produced in partnership with RNS.
Since leaving her church, she said that she’s run into other Christians who have had similar experiences. That’s helped her make sense of what happened to her.
“It made me realize that it wasn’t something that was all in my head, or that I was blowing out of proportion,” she said.
Despite the challenges she’s faced, Gbadamosi said her faith remains strong.
“I still love Jesus,” she said. “I still love God’s church.”
This article originally appeared here.