recovery

Islamophobia and Psychiatry: Recognition, Prevention, and Treatment

2019-01-12T19:49:43+00:00January 12th, 2019|Blog|

  Introduction The book begins by covering the general and clinical challenges that are unique to Muslims, drawing from an internationally, ethnically, and intergenerationally diverse pool of experts.  The text covers not only how psychiatrists and other clinicians can intervene successfully with patients, but how we as clinicians can have a role in addressing other societally connected mental health challenges arising from Islamophobia. The text addresses three related but distinct areas of interest: Islamophobia as a destructive force, Islam as a religion that is threatened by stigma and misinformation, and the novel intersection of these forces with the field of psychiatry. [...]

Freedom of Mind: Index of Blogs

2018-12-16T20:52:05+00:00July 19th, 2018|Blog|

June 19, 2018 I try to blog every week with updates about my work, research, current events, high control groups, coercive control, media and other topics.  I have written pieces on U.S. politics, world news, child abuse, human trafficking, terrorism, undue influence, multi-level marketing, and healing and recovery.  Whether you are new to Freedom of Mind or have been a long-time supporter or even former client, I think you will benefit from this resourceful list of previous articles. If you like one of these blogs, please share it on your social media. If you have suggestions for future blogs, [...]

Errant Belief #9: “She’ll Walk out on Her Own When She Is Ready”

2018-12-16T19:34:00+00:00May 31st, 2018|Blog|

Is She Really Free to Leave? This attitude presumes that the cult member has the freedom of mind, finances, and the resources to just "leave." The bars are invisible but very real. In my experience, depending on the length of his involvement, the "exit cost" is usually very high to walk out of a high demand group. The indoctrination of the group's beliefs, along with the habits ingrained into behavior, make it difficult to leave without help. If she did have freedom of mind, I can say from my own experience, she would have left the group long ago. [...]

High Control Groups Program Members to Fear Mental Health Help

2018-12-16T19:35:56+00:00May 24th, 2018|Blog|

Mental Health Awareness Month May is Mental Health Awareness Month! I wanted to write this blog on how some high control groups program their members away from mental health help. This is true, especially in the case of Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology, The Moonies, as well as countless other high control Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups. A recent murder-suicide by Lauren Stuart, an ex-JW, is a horrible reminder of the need for any former member to get educated about mind control as well as the healing necessary by going to a specialized mental health professional. Family members and friends need [...]

The Freedom of Mind Approach to Recovery and Healing from Destructive Cults

2018-12-16T19:49:06+00:00May 17th, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

The Freedom of Mind approach to recovery and healing from destructive cults is customizable and designed to meet the needs of most any person who has been influenced by a cult. People who were born or raised in a cult have spent their early developmental years under cult control. Other people may have entered into a cult later on in life as adolescents, young adults, adults, or older adults. Both sets of former cult members may have very significant needs for recovery and healing. The Freedom of Mind approach to recovery and healing helps the former cult member to [...]

Errant Belief #8: “She’s Better Off Where She Is”

2018-12-16T19:34:15+00:00May 10th, 2018|Blog|

Are They Better Off Being Left in the Group? Sometimes family, friends, and even mental health professionals may think that a person is better off in the cult. This way, the family, and friends may not feel obliged to do anything to help rescue the individual. Sometimes this is because the person has been a member for a really long time. Sometimes this is because people think of how the person was when they first got involved. This is especially true when the cult member gives a convincing argument that they would have committed suicide or overdosed on drugs [...]

Recovery from Spiritual Abuse and Healing Oneself to Trust Again

2018-12-13T21:09:21+00:00August 9th, 2017|Blog, News and Updates, Resources and Support|

This past weekend, I attended and spoke at a conference at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. This one-day event was sponsored by MeadowHaven, The Protestant Chaplaincy of the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, Dartmouth Bible Church, and International Cultic Studies Association. The title of my talk was "Spiritual Abuse: Strategies to Help Someone to Exit, Heal and Trust Again," which was quite a large topic to cover in forty-five minutes! However, many people have told me that they really got a lot from it. I was invited to speak there by my colleague and friend, Rev. Bob Pardon who along with [...]

Old Cult Objects: What to Do with Them?

2018-12-16T21:05:44+00:00June 1st, 2017|Blog, Resources and Support|

Scientology E-Meter Here is an exercise for recovering ex-members: Look around your home. How many objects remind you of your former cult? Do you still have cult clothing, books, music, or art? How does having these objects affect you? I recently worked with a woman who had been out of a Korean cult for 7 years. She understood that it was a cult, knew the leader was a rapist, made the decision to leave, went back to school, and got married. But, she still struggled. When she and her husband came into my office to do recovery work, I [...]

Effective Healing Takes Hard Work

2018-12-16T19:50:05+00:00February 4th, 2017|Blog, Resources and Support|

I’ve written before about why ex-members need to heal themselves before helping others. Even if they’re not interested in becoming a vocal activist against destructive cults, there are plenty of good reasons to learn about undue influence and work on personal recovery. It still amazes me to encounter incredible ex-member activists who have not done their own learning and healing! Unless people put the time and effort into educating themselves and doing the healing work needed, I have found that ex-cult members can be carrying around unwanted baggage. They can also be more vulnerable to other forms of undue [...]

For Ex-Members: Surviving the Holidays

2018-12-16T19:50:21+00:00December 23rd, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

For many people, family-oriented holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah are loving, happy times: baking, singing, playing games, decorating, sleeping in, giving gifts, and spending time with family and friends. However, for former members of “high-demand” groups, it can be a very difficult time. Especially for those with family members still involved with the group, holidays can provoke a lot of anxiety and even phobic reactions. One option is to avoid the visit. Some people decide it would be too stressful or even harmful for them. This is unfortunate, but everyone must take care of their own health first [...]