Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Workshop for people Exiting High Demand Groups

Announcing.. .

Workshop for Former Members of Cults or High-Demand Groups

Special Guest Facilitator: Janja Lalich, Ph.D., former cult member &

author of Take Back Your Life and Bounded Choice

March 13th, 2010 from 1:00 – 5:00 P.M. ­ Mill Valley, CA Location

(In the San Francisco Bay Area)

Fee: $45.00 ­ Participation limited to 20

This is an opportunity to meet and participate with other former members of cults or high-demand groups. Our goal is to provide a safe, respectful environment in which participants may gain mutual support, share perceptions, and learn from each other. We hope to focus on typical post-cult aftereffects and responses, the process of recovery and personal development, strategies and successes for a creating a life of one's own making. While this is not a therapy group, it may be therapeutic.

The session will begin with brief introductions, followed by an open discussion in which participants can expand upon anything previously stated, comment on emerging thoughts and feelings, and address relevant issues.

The facilitators, Colleen Russell and Janja Lalich, expect a lively, interactive, and in-depth exploration of issues raised by participants, such as trust; relationships and communication; healthy group functioning; magical thinking; disconfirming inaccurate, self-limiting beliefs internalized from cult ideologies; boundaries and saying "no"; loss and grief; anger and other emotions; critical-thinking skills; connecting to society-at-large; self-acceptance; post-traumatic stress; family of origin issues; personal accomplishments and goals.

Colleen Russell, L.M.F.T., is an experienced psychotherapist and a Certified Group Psychotherapist. In the 1970s she was a "higher initiate" and area representative of an Eastern/New Age cult. Ms. Russell facilitates an on-going group for former members, now in its eighth year, and she endeavors to support healthy as opposed to cultic group functioning and dynamics. In addition to her general therapy practice with individuals, couples, and families, she specializes in cult education and recovery.

Janja Lalich, Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology at California State, University, Chico. In the 1970s and '80s she was a high-ranking member of a San Francisco-based political cult. Since leaving the cult in 1986, Dr. Lalich has become one of the nation's leading experts on cult phenomena, including cult indoctrination and its effects and recovery from such experiences. In addition to her own works, she coauthored two books with the late Dr. Margaret Singer. Dr. Lalich facilitated former member support groups for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area and has worked with many individuals and families affected by cults.

Location of Workshop: The setting for the workshop is in the apartment above Ms. Russell's Mill Valley office, a comfortable environment with expansive views of the Redwood-covered ridge. Refreshments will be provided.

Call with any questions and to register: Colleen Russell, 415.383.7721. If you are planning to attend, registration fee must be received by March 6th, 2010.

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