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Cult Recovery: A Clinician’s Guide to Working With Former Members and Families

Cult Recovery: A Clinician’s Guide to Working With Former Members and Families

Editors: Lorna Goldberg, William Goldberg, Rosanne Henry, Michael Langone

This landmark, 500-page book, with chapters from leading clinicians and researchers, describes the current state of the art in helping people adversely affected by a cultic dynamic, whether in a cult, mainstream religious denomination, psychotherapy, family, or other interpersonal relationship.




Those harmed by destructive cults need a comprehensive approach that addresses the intentional, interpersonal and often emotionally overwhelming aspects of cult trauma.

This seminar will define attachment and mentalization, and how these developmental capacities are systematically undermined in cult environments. It will explain cult trauma through the lens of attachment and offer six therapeutic tasks that improve cult recovery.

In addition to the well-established psychosocial approach to cult recovery this developmental and relational one adds important avenues to healing.

It focuses on resuming derailed psychosocial development, evaluating the intention of cult survivors and cult leaders, improving one’s ability to create and maintain relationships and enhancing cognitive and affective skills.

Understanding this framework enables therapists to help survivors move more quickly to a mentalizing mode of experience where they more clearly understand the relationship between their internal and external reality. Along with this new perspective comes the possibility of helping cult survivors mentalize cult trauma, develop more secure attachments, and reclaim their resilience.

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