Former Cult-Member Support Group – Encino, CA

In December, 2012, I will be starting my next Former Cult-Member Support Group. This group is for those who have been in a cult, or cult-like group. Family and friends of those in cults are welcome, as well.
I am a therapist who has worked for over 20 years with people affected by cults. I have helped those who have left a wide variety of cultic situations. This support group is intended to:

  • Help you develop a greater understanding of manipulation, control, influence, and fear-inducement,
  • Help you address, in a safe environment, the confusion, hurt, loss, sadness, anger, or worry you may be feeling because of your experiences,
  • Help you connect with others who understand.

The Details:

The group will be 90 minutes long, and the cost for each group is just $40.

It will meet every other Saturday. The first group will be held at noon. We will determine as a group if that is a good time for a majority of the group attendees.

  • The first group is scheduled for Saturday, December 1st, at 12 noon.
  • It will meet in my office (6255 Ventura Blvd, Suite 806, Encino, CA 91436)
  • Please let me know if you will be attending.
  • Feel free to pass my phone/email along to others who you feel would benefit from this resource, and I’ll be happy to speak with them about it.
Rachel Bernstein, LMFT, MSEd
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
16255 Ventura Blvd, Suite 806
Encino, CA 91436

Rachel Bernstein is an educator and therapist. She is a credentialed teacher in regular and special education, has a Masters Degree in Education, and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

Starting in 1990, Rachel Bernstein began providing therapy for those hurt by cults, and hurt by those who are abusively manipulative and dominant. She came onto the scene unexpectedly, as one of her relatives became ensnared in a cult, and she felt the shock waves that coursed through the entire family system. Seeing how little cult information was out there at the time, how people didn’t understand what cults were and how they operated, and that therapists were not equipped with the information they needed in order to help those hurt by cults and cultic systems, she felt compelled to be a resource to others. Her late father, Maynard Bernstein, took this issue on as human rights issue, and became a leader in cult education and prevention.

Rachel’s work with former cult members and their families, and those who were stuck in one-on-one cultic and controlling connections, began in Los Angeles at the former Commission on Cults, at the Cult Resource Center started in her father’s memory, and as a clinician at the former Cult Clinic where she provided counseling and ran a former cult-member support group.

When Rachel moved to New York in 1994, she worked at the Cult Hotline and Clinic in Manhattan, offered a support group for the family and friends of those in cults, and developed a Speakers Bureau for those who had been affected by cults who wanted to take their message out to the community.

Upon returning to Los Angeles in 2001, Rachel set up a private practice where she works with general clients as a Marriage, Family and Child Therapist. She also works with cult-affected clients and families, and provides a support group for former cult members.

Rachel has made many TV appearances – on Larry King, on The National Geographic Channel, on CNN, MSNBC and FOX, to name a few – has been interviewed by the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Jerusalem Report, and has had articles published in on-line websites and LA Parent Magazine that teach about parenting and about how to preserve and heal relationships. She has also worked with directors and writers who created cult-related shows, movies and projects.

Rachel is very knowledgeable about human nature and individual psychology as well as group psychology, systems, and the nature of relationships, both healthy and unhealthy. She is someone who puts people at ease. She comes to this work with a desire to help, to provide information, practical guidance and counseling, and with a great respect for the difficulties people face when trying to regain their own freedom, or the freedom of their loved one.

What Others Are Saying:

“Dear Ms. Bernstein:  As a therapist working with former members of the Branch Davidians, you know only too well of the tragic abuse suffered by Koresh’s victims. Helping others to recover from such traumatic experiences is admirable and I wish you all the best with your career.”  Ronald K. Noble, Under Secretary, Department of the Treasury, Washington D.C.