The Strategic Interactive Approach (SIA) encourages a positive, warm relationship between cult members and their families while helping to raise essential questions for cult members to consider. The SIA is non-coercive and empowers individuals by giving them the tools they need to detect and remove undue influence from their own minds. The SIA relies on a “dual identity” model: the cult identity and the authentic identity. The Strategic Interactive Approach liberates and then integrates the parts of the authentic identity that were co-opted by the cult identity. The goal is to restore the creative, interdependent authentic self, and enable the individual to digest and integrate their experience, and become stronger from it.
The SIA focuses on the development of healthy relationships within the family. The safe and nurturing environment created by the SIA offers many opportunities to heal old wounds. As an integral part of the family system, the cult member is automatically included in the process. The SIA provides a long-term recovery process for both the cult member and members of the family. Everyone is traumatized by the cult involvement, even those who are not directly involved. Feelings get hurt. Belief systems are assaulted or shifted. People lose sleep. They get depressed. Anger, frustration, and resentment are repressed. Each person who has been involved in the traumatic experience of having a loved one in a destructive cult needs support on psychological and emotional levels. The gentleness of the repeated mini-interactions will help the relationships to become more honest, caring and compassionate: setting the foundation for future interactions.
It is an ongoing process that makes each telephone call, letter, and visit more effective. Focus on small, strategic, meaningful interactions that communicate unconditional love and provide space for the loved one to express doubts and fears. In some cases, a formal three-day intervention is beneficial. Many times, mini-interactions may make a formal intervention unnecessary.