reFOCUS does not have ‘official’ support groups, nor do we endorse any of the following. The following are support groups that are currently meeting. The list at the end consists of support groups that are open not only to former members of cults, but to families of cult members. reFOCUS also differentiates between 'support groups' that are facilitated by mental health professionals who charge participants for the meetings as being ‘therapy groups.’ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Mary Jo Cysewski, LMFT, LPCC is currently offering two support groups in Los Angeles, California: 1) Second Generation Former Members (born and/or raised); 2) Survivors of Coercive Control. Email: email@example.com | Phone: 310-963-4000
Colleen Russell, LMFT, CPG, currently offers two support groups: 1) Online workshop behave, believe, become – or not! This group is for former members, including those born and raised, and partners. It is offered bi-weekly nationwide. In this educational, interactive video workshop participants meet each other and address many experiences of cult involvement and adjustment into mainstream culture with educational slides included to augment their understanding. Begun in October of last year, it appears to be a valuable opportunity given participants feedback.
2)A hybrid supportive therapy group for former members including those born and raised is offered every other Saturday, face to face in Marin County, SF Bay Area, and on online video. Participants address relevant issues in their lives, current and past, often involving cult recruitment and indoctrination, relationships, trauma, loss, family of origin, difficult transitions, challenges, successes, self-care. Slides in the video online format in a secured Hipaa-compliant website augment individual narratives and experiences. One or two individual consultations are requested prior to workshop participation. Fee: $45.00 per person; $60.00 family. These are not therapy groups. Contact: Colleen @ 415-785-3513 firstname.lastname@example.org; www.colleenrussellmft.com .
Rachel Bernstein, MSEd, LMFT in addition to seeing clients in private practice, she currently facilitates a support group in Encino, CA for former members and family of current members. Phone: (818) 907-0036 | Email email@example.com | www.rachelbernsteintherapy.com
Vanessa N Weber, MSW, LCSW through her private practice offers a support group. Contact: New Milford Counseling, LLC | Website: www.newmilfordcounseling.com| Address: 143 West Street, #C106 New Milford, CT 06776 | Phone: 860 717 4400
New Jersey/New York
Dana Wehle, LCSW, MFA, certified psychoanalyst is offering two groups: 1) a process group for former members and those born or raised in cultic groups. I am excited to announce the start of a new cycle of my group for former members and SGAs who have been in, or are currently in individual psychotherapy. It will focus on personal/educational/professional identity and life transition after involvement in a cult. A subtheme of particular interest is how to focus on creativity and creative living following the cult experience. I draw on my training and experience with the arts, trauma and psychotherapy and on having led a long term dynamic group addressing these issues that was in the journal Group in the winter of 2016 . A member list for this low fee group is now being formed for those in the NYC area who are interested in meeting every other week at my office in the Chelsea area of Manhattan. Please feel free to email me with any questions and if you would like to meet for an initial consultation to see if this group is a good match for you.
2) Creativity and Trauma group: Primarily psychodynamic trauma group for those for whom creativity was part of survival since childhood, had early cult/non-cult related trauma, currently struggle with creativity, and are in ongoing psychodynamic individual therapy. Dana Wehle, LCSW | Phone: 212-479-7963 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Englewood, NJ: Monthly support group for former members of cultic groups. Bill Goldberg, LCSW & Lorna Goldberg, LCSW | Phone: 201-894-8515 | Email: email@example.com
Manhattan, NY: International Cultic Studies Association New York local meeting, began on March 25, 2011. ICSA's monthly meeting is for: families, ex-members, and others needing support; people who share ICSA's interests and want to learn more; people who want to work with others to educate the public about cult issues or help victims. This group is facilitated by Chris Carlson, LCSW and Daniel Shaw, LCSW. Phone: 201-497-0756 Brooklyn, NY: "Wounded Pilgrims" is a new support group for those who have experienced spiritual abuse. It is being held the first Friday of every month. Please contact Maureen Griffo, MA, MEd for more information. Phone: (928) 288-2275
We are a Christ-centered support group for folks who are trying to break free from dangerous high control or cult groups. We believe what often keeps people from getting the help they need is the fear of the word cult (which is the root word of words like culture or cultivate; which simply means to group). The danger comes when the group begins to isolate members, elevate leaders, and mutilate truth, all in the name of "god" or "religion." Our goal is to educate, come along side, and encourage relationship, all in the name of Jesus Christ. We meet once night a week for eight weeks and off for 4 weeks and back on a rotating schedule in Columbus, Ohio. Please contact Gina for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dallas area. For former members of cults, high-demand groups, or spiritually abusive groups. The support group provides a safe place to discuss personal experience as a former member, a nonjudgmental group of peers, and basic educational information about cultic groups. The group meets on the 4th Saturday of the month in Dallas, Texas from 3 - 5 p.m. Call 214-607-1065 or email at email@example.com for more information.
Washington DC area
A Washington, DC area cult recovery support group has begun. They meet once a month in Arlington, Virginia. If you would like to attend the support group, you are invited to contact the co-facilitators, Mary Moore at 410-980-3155 or Marita LaPalm at 734-546-9880 for more information.
A group has formed in Central London for those who have left or are trying to leave high control, high demand, or cultic groups, as well as loved ones of those in such groups. We have a confidential peer support group that has been meeting every few weeks, and we also have done social events. If you or someone you know is interesting in attending, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online/ Facebook Support Groups
Katharina Meredith leads a monthly Brunch meetup and support group in Zurich for people that grew up in destructive groups and cults. The group is in German. More information on www.facebook.com/starkenerven
This online group is a safe place where people can go to engage with others who have left faith-based belief systems and are looking for community. The process to join is to simply email email@example.com for more consideration.
Helping Resources: Rosanne Henry, M.A., L.P.C. Rosanne is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in the Denver area. She specializes in the Recovery from Cults and Other Abusive Relationships. She served as vice president and then, Co-Director of the former Cult Awarenss Network Denver affiliate from 1991 to 1996. She now serves on ICSA's Board of Directors. Rosanne has also facilitated ICSA's Recovery Workshops in Estes Park for the last 17 years. She is a former member of an Eastern based cult called Kashi Ranch. Visit her web site: http://www.cultrecover.com
Except where noted, entire contents Copyright 1998-2016 reFOCUS, Inc. - - a secular, nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation, (928) 288-2275. All rights reserved. Opinions of individual authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of reFOCUS.