Cult Involvement

Exploited by a cult or psychotherapist?

Many different groups can be considered cultic or high-demand groups. They can be religious, spiritual, extreme political, human development, questionable therapeutic groups, and pyramidal business groups.Anyone can be vulnerable to recruitment in one of these groups at transitional periods in life—graduation, divorce, family difficulties, old age. Cults are deceptive in how they recruit. Cults promote isolating members from their families, and make them suspicious of mental health professionals. Cults may exploit members emotionally and financially, and may abuse members and their children physically and sexually. Those who become involved with a cult gradually lose the ability to think for themselves, to think critically, and to know what they feel.

People who leave such groups often find themselves having mood difficulties, “spacing out” or having other dissociative symptoms, intrusive memories, difficulties in work and social relationships.

If you are questioning your involvement with such a group and would like to explore it further, or if you have left such an intense group and find yourself feeling isolated, lonely, and confused, you could benefit from a consultation with a psychotherapist who has worked with former cult members and is knowledgeable about the ways of various cults. If you have a family member involved in a cult and need help in finding ways to maintain the connection with this person, consultation can be of great benefit to you.

If you have been exploited emotionally or sexually by a psychotherapist, you may be understandably reluctant to consult another therapist. Therapy with a psychotherapist who treats you respectfully and is familiar with the problems of a person who hase been exploited by a therapist can be healing and transformative.