All posts tagged: Children

Daniella Mestyanek Young, survivor of notorious sex cult Children of God

Growing up in a Sex Cult with Former Army Captain Daniella Mestyanek Young

Have you heard the term “cult baby?” This refers to someone born or raised in a mind control religious human trafficking cult. Daniella Mestyanek Young is a third-generation survivor of the notorious sex cult Children of God (COG), later rebranded as “The Family of Love.” The cult group’s influence even extended so far that members

The Horror of School Shootings and Where We Go from Here – with S. E. Cupp

I had the opportunity to invite S.E. Cupp and discuss the terrible shooting and mass violence at another school in Uvalde, Texas, for my podcast, The Influence Continuum. S.E. Cupp is an American political commentator, practical conservative, and writer. She is famously known for hosting a political panel show named S.E. Cupp: Unfiltered and CrossFire. She has also hosted a digital series on cnn.com called S.E. Cupp’s Outside with Insiders.

Marsha Gilmer-Tullis, of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® – An In-Depth Discussion with Marsha Gilmer-Tullis

Marsha Gilmer-Tullis and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® deal daily with the unthinkable. As the Vice President of the Family Advocacy Division, she uses her more than 40 years of experience in the mental health and child welfare fields to coordinate therapeutic services to the families of missing as well as sexually exploited children, including online enticement and child sexual abuse material survivors. I am honored to have interviewed her as one of my guests for the Influence Continuum podcast.

Joyce Maguire Pavao, adoption expert

Child-Centered Adoption: A Conversation with Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao

I contacted a long-time friend and colleague, Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao, to discuss best adoption practices and the importance of understanding the human need for positive attachment and relationships for my podcast, The Influence Continuum. Pavao is a pioneer in advocating that the emphasis on adoption should be child-centered—that its goal should be to find

Healthy Parenting

Healthy Parenting Helps Children Develop Their Unique Selves

“Wouldn’t it be great if children came with a handbook?” Healthy parenting requires a deep commitment of time, energy, emotional maturity, and insight. Most likely, every parent has wished for a handbook more than once! The birth or adoption of a child is only the first step in a long parenting journey. The skills needed

hypnosis

A Paradigm Shift for Health: A Biopsychosocial Model of Hypnosis

In my work, I spend a lot of time talking about how authoritarian cults use undue influence and mind control. But just as it is important to work to understand the unethical tactics that these cults use to influence others, it is important to learn about how one can use influence ethically and positively for the benefit of others. On the most recent episode of my podcast, The Influence Continuum...

Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation: Turning Children Against Their Parent

In my work with ex-cult members, I have been aware of the use of parental alienation tactics for many years. It occurs in situations where one parent leaves a cult, but the other parent remains. In such cases, cult policies usually call for extreme measures to “demonize” the ex-member and turn their children...

indigenous

Indigenous People: Desiree Kane Talks About Genocide and Healing the Wounds

I am delighted to talk today with Desiree Kane, who I first met doing a TEDxMid Atlantic program titled Dismantling QAnon. Desiree is a Miwok journalist and activist. We have had several occasions to share our professional expertise and personal commitment to freeing people from undue influence and authoritarian control. In particular, Desiree has helped

Psychologist Abuse

Psychologist Abuse? Therapist Abuse? Life Coach Abuse?

Amy Avalon Therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, life coaches, and spiritual advisors are all expected to address emotional or spiritual well-being and nurture a person’s healing and positive growth. Most of them are committed to doing just that. Unfortunately, some have darker motivations, such as a desire for power, money, or sex. Instead of using their skills to help their clients, they use undue influence to manipulate and abuse them. Are