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ICSA events give attendees an opportunity to learn, heal, teach,and help others. A distinguished conference committee oversees the planning and execution of ICSA events.

At ICSA events attendees meet and often become friends with people who understand what it is like to have been involved in a manipulative, abusive group or interpersonal situation.

ICSA has a variety of events, which serve different purposes. ICSA members receive discounts to many events. A limited number of event scholarships are available for those with financial need.[su_table]

Workshops are intensive events (usually over a weekend) where much healing and sharing occur. Connecticut workshops are for people who were born or raised in such groups.

Local meetings in selected cities provide support and an opportunity to educate and help others.


Former member support groups not directly connected to ICSA also exist.

Special events are usually brief (e.g., an afternoon), often focusing on a specific topic. ICSA has begun to organize “ICSA Conversations” in different cities. An ICSA Conversation consists of a stimulus talk (20 – 30 minutes) followed by 60 – 90 minutes of discussion. ICSA Conversations are listed on ICSA Calendar. Sometimes ICSA Conversations are combined with local meetings.


Virtual events provide an opportunity to interact with experts via computer or phone.

Conferences tend to be two days or longer, though some local conferences are one day. Our biennial Santa Fe conference is focused on helping former members and families.

ICSA’s annual conference, which usually takes place in late June or early July, is THE event in this field. The annual conference is typically three days in length with pre-conference workshops for former group members, researchers, mental health professionals, and educators.

Most annual conferences draw 200 to 300 attendees from around the world. Attendees include:

  • former group members,
  • families,
  • helping professionals,
  • researchers
  • lawyers, educators, and other interested persons

Recent annual conferences have had more than 100 speakers with 4-6 simultaneous tracks spread over three days. The conference includes special tracks for former members, families, mental health professionals, and researchers. 

Unlike closed, cultic groups, ICSA is firmly committed to freedom of thought, expression, and religion. Hence, ICSA’s conferences are open to people from diverse backgrounds with diverse points of view. Opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of ICSA’s directors, staff, or supporters. Former group members dealing with recovery issues should keep these points in mind and, when available, attend a preconference former member workshop, which will help them understand the challenges of an open conference. See ICSA’s essay on dialogue for an elaboration of these concepts.

Since 2005 the annual conference has alternated between Europe and North America. Conference cities include:

  • Madrid (2005)
  • Denver (2006)
  • Brussels (2007)
  • Philadelphia (2008)
  • Geneva (2009)
  • New York (2010)
  • Barcelona (2011)
  • Montreal (2012)
  • Trieste, Italy (2013)
  • Washington, DC (2014)
  • Stockholm, Sweden (2015)
  • Dallas, Texas (2016)
  • Bordeaux, France (2017)
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2018)
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