Many mental health professionals are often unaware of their clients’ cult involvement or ill prepared to help them deal with it. Even former group members lack understanding of the harmful effects of destructive cults, and often fail to see the connection between their presenting symptoms of depression or
relationship problems and their group experience.
Examining and understanding their group experience and understanding how they were deceived, manipulated, and exploited can be vital to their recovery. Therapists should keep in mind that clients who look anxious and dependent or sound psychotic might in fact be demonstrating a reaction to a cultic environment.
will define destructive cults in a way that places them toward the end of a continuum of influence and persuasion. The workshop will present three cross-sectional models of thought reform and manipulative environments, and suggest tools to help screen clients for cult involvement. The most typical cult-induced psychopathologies will also be discussed within the context of cult trauma
Participants will see that treatment of former group members follows a somewhat predictable course, usually beginning with consultation and cult education. Six problem areas for ex-members will be discussed along with recommendations for therapists. In addition to individual therapy, other useful treatment modalities will be discussed.
AFF Mental Health Workshops are organized and coordinated by Rosanne Henry, M.A., L.P.C. who has been actively educating the public about destructive cults for over ten years. She has handled hundreds of phone calls and spoken at local and national conferences. For the past seven years she has
facilitated workshops on recovery from destructive cults and does individual and family work with ex-members and their loved ones in her private practice. Ms. Henry is on the advisory board of Cultic Studies Review.