Patrick Ryan, Moderator; Rachel Bernstein; Robert Chaen; Nitai Joseph; Joseph Kelly; Joseph Szimhart; Hana Whitfield; Jerry Whitfield; Doni Whitsett
Building Bridges: Leaving and Recovering from Cultic Groups and Relationships: A Workshop for Families
Rachel Bernstein; Joseph Kelly; Patrick Ryan
Topics discussed include assessing a family’s unique situation; understanding why people join and leave groups; considering the nature of psychological manipulation and abuse; being accurate, objective, and up-to-date; looking at ethical issues; learning how to assess your situation; developing problem-solving skills; formulating a helping strategy; learning how to communicate more effectively with your loved one; learning new ways of coping.
Understanding Group Involvement Through the Lens of Culture
Robert Chaen; Nitai Joseph; Joseph Kelly; Patrick Ryan; Joseph Szimhart; Doni Whitsett
Cult involvement is a form of acculturation that demands adaption and assimilation for new members and maintenance of belief and behavior for those born into a cult. If we define a cult as an eccentric or highly specialized social system that tends to be self-sealing, we can predict tensions with surrounding cultures. Those tensions can be psychological and behavioral among cult members, as well as among non-members among the surround toward the cult. A new cult member’s individual cultural formation may include special tensions different from new members from other cultures. Language, sexual codes, individualism or the lack of it, and social status can affect how one is treated and how one adapts to cult life and management. A panel of presenters will address aspects of acculturation and the special problems cults present to members attracted from various cultures. The panel will also discuss how concerned families of cult members need to adjust certain cultural prejudices and stereotypes to better grasp a cult member’s behavior. Also, we will discuss how interventionists and therapists can better relate to a cult member’s experience when considering the special cultural perspectives that a cult member brings to cult involvement.
An Approach to Exit Counseling/Intervention: A Case Presentation
Hana Whitfield; Jerry Whitfield; Patrick Ryan
Presentation will begin with introduction of exit counselors, and a brief history of length of time in their group, and exit counseling/intervention history. An illustrative case will be discussed in depth.