‘Counting On’: The Reason Jill Duggar is the Probably Only Duggar Who is Receiving Therapy

Derick Dillard has shared a lot of information about his famous family in recent months. One of the biggest admissions to come out of Derick’s recent social media musings is the fact that his wife, Jill Duggar, is currently seeking help from a licensed therapist. The proclamation, made to Katie Joy of Without a Crystal Ball, took family followers by surprise. It would seem that Jill would be the first Duggar to seek the help of a licensed therapist who isn’t directly linked to the family’s ultra-conservative Christian ministry. Followers are pretty sure that Jill is the only Duggar currently seeking therapy, and the fact that she and her husband stepped away from the family’s conservative belief system is probably why.  

Jill Duggar is no longer tied to the IBLP

Jill and Derick are not involved with the IBLP. It has long been assumed that Jill was no longer connected to the ministry after marrying Derick, but family followers never expected her to admit it. Derick was never a part of the ultra-conservative ministry, and grew up in a more mainstream, although still religious, family.

In a lengthy interview, Derick suggested that he found many of the ministry’s teaching to be oppressive and counterproductive. He zeroed in on the ministry’s modesty rules and their thoughts on alcohol specifically. Derick has been pretty outspoken about the fact that he doesn’t believe drinking is a sin, and that he’s partaken in alcoholic beverages before. He also subtly suggested that he and his wife are using birth control to plan their family. Birth control is strictly prohibited for IBLP adherents.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar don’t seem to believe in mainstream therapy

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar don’t appear to believe in therapy, at least not in the type of treatment that people in mainstream society are used to. During a lengthy interview about Josh Duggar’s inappropriate behavior towards his siblings, the patriarch and matriarch of the family claimed they put Josh in counseling after the incident, but it was later revealed that they only looked for counsel from the Christian ministry they belong to. They, in essence, sent Josh to a family friend to engage in labor for his actions.

Psychology Today notes that the way they dealt with Josh’s behavior was likely detrimental to his well being and the well being of his victims. Later, after Josh admitted to engaging in extramarital affairs, the family claimed he had been sent to an in-patient program. Family followers believe he was, once again, sent to a faith-based program associated with the IBLP, if he spent any time in treatment, at all.

Are adherents of the IBLP allowed to seek out therapy?

The Duggar family belongs to an insular social circle. They refused to allow their children to attend school out of fear they would encounter a different belief system. Their dates were chaperoned, and their friendships were highly scrutinized. In fact, Amy Duggar, the family’s rebellious cousin, once claimed that she was not allowed to spend one-on-one with her cousins because her uncle, Jim Bob, was fearful of what she would tell them.

Chicago Magazine notes that this type of belief system is not uncommon for people who are apart of the ultra-conservative Christian organization, the Institute of Basic Life Principles. Counseling isn’t exactly verboten, but advice from a secular source is strictly prohibited. In fact, the now-disgraced former leader of the group, Bill Gothard, was often tasked with one-on-one counseling sessions. Gothard holds no degree or accreditation that would make him qualified to dull out therapeutic counseling, alleges the publication. If the Duggars who are still involved in the ministry wanted to seek counsel, they would be expected to do so through the group, which seems unlikely to be beneficial.

Jill appears to be benefiting from therapy because she is no longer apart of the group. If the other Duggars were interested in pursuing psychological counsel, they’d like need to part ways with the ministry. While Jill has removed herself from the group, and it’s believed Jinger Duggar and her husband, Jeremy Vuolo, are not adherents, many of the other married Duggars are sticking close to their roots.