New Humanist Services Center
The following article is from the Secular
Humanist Bulletin, Volume 15, Number 1.
Center for Inquiry International, in
Amherst, New York, has established a Humanist Counseling and Services Center. The Center
will provide humanist counseling, hospital visiting, and secular celebrations for the
Greater Buffalo area. It will also serve as a pilot for the development of similar
programs across the U.S.A.
The Humanist Counseling and Services Center will be run by Joe Beck C.S.W. Joe brings
to his new role over 25 years of mental health experience as a psychiatric social worker,
family life educator, private practitioner, and director of employee assistance programs.
As a single parent, Joe is especially interested in helping parents and children maintain
their relationship and minimize the stresses that can arise during a divorce. Joe is
available to humanists who desire assistance in resolving any of life's stresses - for
example, divorce and parent-child issues.
Joe has already been recognized as a secular humanist counselor by Buffalo's largest
system of hospitals (CGF Healthcare System). His "pastoral care privileges"
enable him to visit patients requesting services from a humanist counselor at all Buffalo
metropolitan hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes. Beck has even been officially
accepted as a secular humanist counselor at all the Catholic hospitals in the Buffalo
The CGF Healthcare System will also add the choice "hum.," for humanism,
under the "religious affiliation" section on its intake form. This is a great
improvement from the "other" designation which was previously the only
alternative for humanists entering hospitals. This recognition is a first in New York
State and possibly the nation.
The Council for Secular Humanism aims eventually to
make humanist counselors and hospital visitors available across the U.S.A. The secular
humanist option will be an alternative to religious pastoral care. The Council's
nonreligious alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous, SOS (Secular Organizations for Sobriety),
is already widely available and has recently been adopted by the Texas prison system.
Joe Beck is available to help individuals and local groups wishing to develop humanist
counseling and support services in their own area. He can be contacted by telephone at
716-648-7075; by mail at the Center for Inquiry, Amherst, New York, NY 14226-0664; or by
e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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