cult recovery 101

Uniting The Continents: Support For The Pacific Rim”

"Uniting The Continents: Support For The Pacific Rim'' -- An Online Event for Families, Former Members and Friends Affected by Cultic Groups and Relationships.

About: This event will offer an opportunity for organizations to share their collective knowledge and experience — across many continents.
The conference includes fourteen plus, fifty-minute sessions and a three-hour Former Member Workshop.

Where: Online Event – Zoom


Pacific Rim/Europe: September 12/13, 2020, Saturday/Sunday

  • Sydney (9 am – 3 pm)  
  • Beijing (7 am – 1 pm)
  • Hong Kong (7 am – 1 pm)
  • New Zealand (11 am – 5 pm)
  • Singapore (7 am – 1 pm)
  • Tokyo (8 am – 2 pm)
  • UK (1 am – 6 am)

North America: September 11/12, 2020, Friday/Saturday

  • US-East Coast (7 pm – 1 am)
  • Central Time (6 pm – midnight)
  • Mountain Time (5 pm – 11 pm)
  • West Coast (4 pm – 10 pm)
  • Hawaii (1 pm – 7 pm)


Jill Aebi-Mytton, BSc, MSc, CPsychol, AFBPsS DPsych

That’s not me”: An Exploration of Multi-Generation Adult leavers
: In the language in the cultic studies arena we hear the categories ‘First Generation Adult’ (SGA) and ‘Second Generation Adult’ (SGA). These categories do not always fit our experiences. Where do I belong if actually I am third or fourth generation. This can be a confusing situation and can leave a former member feeling left out, as I experienced when I first began to explore this area. 
This talk will focus on the development of the concept of ‘Multi Generation Adults’ (MGA) and why it is important to consider this group as different from yet similar to SGAs. The talk will explore this idea and will be illustrated by case studies.
Biography: Jill Mytton, M.Sc., C.Psychol., DPsych
is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist.  In 2017 she completed a Professional Doctorate in Psychotherapy through Middlesex University. Her research interest is the mental health of Multi-Generational (a new category coined by Jill) and Second Generation Adults, i.e., those born or raised in cultic groups. She is listed on the British Psychological Society media list for Cults and Thought Reform and has been involved in several TV and Radio broadcasts. She has presented at several conferences, including: INFORM London, April 2008; Division of Counselling Psychology Annual conferences; ICSA Annual Conferences in Geneva 2009, Montreal 2012, Stockholm 2015, Bordeaux 2017 and Manchester 2019. She was born and raised in the Exclusive Brethren, leaving at the age of 16. Apart from a small private practice, she also runs an email support group for former Exclusive Brethren and has become a point of contact for leavers of several groups.

Rachel Bernstein, MSed, LMFT

Unique Ways to Help your Loved One in a Cult or Manipulative Relationship
Abstract: Unique situations sometimes require unique approaches. When faced with a loved one in a cult or a controlling relationship, there are many ways people intervene that feel instinctively right but cause the person to move farther away from you,  more deeply connected to those who are harming them, and less trusting of you and others who are trying to help. It often requires a different approach to make the impact you want to make here.After many years of working with families and friends of those in cults and highly controlling relationships, I have learned what techniques work better than others, and I want to share them with you.
Sometimes when people consult with me, they feel  they have already “blown it”, so to speak, by saying or doing the wrong thing and they are either losing touch or have lost touched with their loved one as a result and become the enemy. I will also cover how to mend those fractures and rebuild trust so there is greater communication with them and then a higher chance of being able to truly intervene.

Rachel Bernstein, MSed, LMFT

From Surviving to Thriving After Leaving – Steps to Take on the Road to Recovery
Abstract: People who have left highly toxic environments deal with a lot of confusion, anger, sadness, fear, loss, isolation, and at times post trauma reactions. These factors make it difficult to know where to start and what to address first when you need to rebuild your life while also needing to get support for your emotions. Taking all that on while you need to tend to the practical issues of re-entering the world and working to regain the confidence you need to make decisions and move forward can cause  people to give up because it is all too much.It becomes easier when it is broken down into steps that you can take (and steps that you can guide loved ones to take who are in these situations too). We will go over a step-by-step plan for your healing and managing the practical issues of everyday life, but it’s important to not stop there. Once you feel your feet more firmly planted, it’s important to try to move towards feeling good, feeling joy, having a real sense of accomplishment and a strengthened self-concept that comes from knowing you have survived something that could have destroyed you but you were just too determined not to let it!

Biography: Rachel Bernstein, MSed, LMFT, has been working with former cult members for nearly 30 years. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and Educator, who lives in Los Angeles, CA. She has been a member of ICSA for many years and has presented talks and moderated panels at ICSA conferences. She was the Clinician at both the former Cult Clinic in Los Angeles and the Cult Hotline and Clinic in Manhattan. She now treats former cult members and their families and friends  in her private practice. Rachel facilitates support groups for former cult members and the former partners of narcissists. Rachel has published articles, made media appearances, consulted on shows and movies about cults, and has been interviewed for podcasts and YouTube videos. Rachel is the host of her weekly Podcast, “IndoctriNation,” about breaking free from systems of control.Website: Email: Phone (818) 907-0036

Linda Dubrow-Marshall, PhD, Reg. MBACP (Accred.), Rod Dubrow-Marshall, PhD, MBPsS

The Spectrum of Coercive Control in Cults, Extremist Groups and Abusive Relationships
Abstract: This talk will examine contemporary understandings of coercive control in relationships and groups and will explain how the psychology of coercion and abuse operates across the contexts of cults, extremist groups, domestic violence, trafficking and gangs. It will also outline how changes to the law across a range of jurisdictions reflects increased understanding of how coercion and undue influence works psychologically across these contexts. An analysis will be provided of how a heightened dialogue between practitioners and researchers across the fields of intimate partner violence, trafficking, cults and extremist groups is leading to enhanced appreciation of commonalities in the process of psychological indoctrination and practice responses. Positive implications for prevention, exit, recovery and rehabilitation will also be discussed, including how to properly safeguard those who are vulnerable, and recommendations for policy and practice will additionally be outlined.

Biography: Linda Dubrow-Marshall, PhD, MBACP (Accred.), Counselling and Clinical Psychologist, is the Chair of the Mental Health Committee for ICSA. She is a co-founder of RETIRN, a private practice that provides services to individuals and families who have been affected by cultic and abusive groups and relationships. Along with Dr Rod Dubrow-Marshall, Linda developed and co-leads the MSc Psychology of Coercive Control programme at the University of Salford, and offers private consultations through the Re-entry Therapy, Information and Referral Network (RETIRN/UK). She is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, United Kingdom, as both a clinical and counselling psychologist, and she is an accredited counsellor/psychotherapist with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. She is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania and a registered psychologist with the National Register of Health Service Psychologists in the USA. She has specialist certifications in Addictions, Clinical Hypnosis, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Website: Email:  or

Biography: Rod Dubrow-Marshall, PhD, MBPsS, is a Professor of Psychology who developed and is Co-Programme Leader, MSc Psychology of Coercive Control, and a Visiting Fellow in the Criminal Justice Hub at the University of Salford, UK.  Rod has been researching the psychology of coercion and undue influence including in cults or extremist groups for over twenty years and developed the evidence based Totalistic Identity Theory to explain and tackle ideological and violent extremism. Rod is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Cultic Studies Association and is Chair of the ICSA Research Committee and Network and co-Editor of the International Journal of Coercion, Abuse and Manipulation (IJCAM). In 2006, he was awarded The Herbert L. Rosedale Award, jointly with Dr. Paul Martin, for their psychological research on undue influence. He offers private consultations and is an exit worker with the Re-entry Therapy, Information and Referral Network (RETIRN) UK.Website: or

Lorna Goldberg, LCSW, PsyA

Cult Recovery: Gaining Trust After Cult Exploitation
Abstract: After cult involvement, former members may wonder if they can trust others not to betray or shame them. They may wonder if they can trust themselves. For first generation former cult members, cult trauma was an “assault of the unimaginable” (Ringstrom) upon their character, interests, and goals. Many have experienced shaming and deception. For recruits, these assaults may have led to their acceptance of an altered view of their ability to perceive truth. Former members who were born and raised in cults may have accepted their cult’s characterization of them as “bad” or “evil.” Helping ex-cult members gain trust in others includes reminding them of their right to be treated with dignity, which is the opposite of cult shaming. By contrasting dignity with shame, former cult members can both objectify their shaming experience and create a language for understanding that they did not merit the treatment they received. This understanding can serve as a bridge to and a model for future relationships.

Biography: Lorna Goldberg, LCSW, PsyA, Board member and past president of ICSA, is a clinical social worker/psychoanalyst and Director, Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies. In 1976, Lorna and Bill Goldberg began a support group in Englewood, New Jersey, which continues online at this time. Some of her recent articles include Goldberg, L. (2012). “Influence of a Charismatic Antisocial Cult Leader: Psychotherapy with an Ex-Cultist Prosecuted for Criminal Behavior,” International Journal of Cultic StudiesVol.215-24. Goldberg, L. (2011). “Diana, Leaving the Cult: Play Therapy in Childhood and Talk Therapy in Adolescence,” International Journal of Cultic StudiesVol.233-44. Lorna has co-written with Bill Goldberg, “Psychotherapy with Targeted Parents,” in Working with Alienated Children and Families (2012). She co-edited ICSA’s Cult Recovery: A Clinician’s Guide to Working with Former Members and Their Families. (2017). She has written “Therapy with Former Members of Destructive Cults” in New Religious Movements and Counselling (2018). Website: Email:

Ashlen Hilliard

Can cults be leaderless? How a high-control environment can occur in the absence of a de facto leader
Abstract: It is routine for abusive churches to justify their cult-like treatment of members based on adherence to historic Christian beliefs, or to claimed affinity with well-known, trusted denominations and religious organizations.
This talk will focus on how unhealthy Christian churches can become de facto cults, the role controlling theology can play in creating a high-pressure environment in which people adopt group prejudices, and conclude with questions you can raise about a group to help evaluate spiritual abuse, the potential for it, or if high-control scenarios already exist. 
The context for this discussion will pull from reflections of being a born and raised former member of a fundamentalist Christian sect.

Biography: Ashlen Hilliard is the Assistant to the Executive Director for the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA). Before ICSA, she worked as a case manager that helped individuals leaving polygamy out west. ICSA has provider her with a greater appreciation of the spectrum of coercive control and its international dimension, and her current focuses are event organization and former member outreach.
She was born and raised in the fundamentalist churches of Christ (Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement), and attended the sect’s choice of higher education at Florida College, where she received her BA in Communication with a minor in Biblical Studies.
Ashlen relocated to Portland, Oregon earlier this year where she is involved in local Spiritual Abuse Forum for Education (SAFE) Meetups for survivors of cultic and spiritual abuse. Ashlen facilitates support groups and meetings online for former members of cultic groups, and organized a webinar series during COVID-19 to help provide cult recovery and family support in an online format.
She has been interviewed on cults on NPR One Podcast Series with FGCU and The Tennessee Holler. She has published an article in ICSA Today 10.2 / 2019 on, The Genesis, Text, and Implications of Utah House Bill 214: Office for Victims of Crime Amendments.  In addition to event organization, she has also presented at multiple ICSA conferences.Email: Phone: (801) 678-7030

Ros Hodgkins

Dr Gillie Jenkinson, PhD

Cult Recovery: What helps former members recover?
Abstract: Many former cult members struggle to recover, and some take years before they are able to move on from their experiences. Gillie Jenkinson has spent over 20 years working with former members and studying what helps them recover. In this session she will share some key insights for former members and their therapists, and practical issues for facing the recovery process. This is informed by her practice and by her doctoral research in which she interviewed 29 former members in depth and mapped out the four Phases of Recovery and Growth.

Biography: Dr Gillie Jenkinson, PhD, is a Reg MBACP and UKCP accredited psychotherapist in the UK. She is experienced in delivering counselling face-to-face as well as on the telephone and online. She served two internships at Wellspring Retreat Center, Ohio, and has many years’ experience working with trauma, including survivors of religious, spiritual, cultic, and sexual abuse. Her approach to counselling former members is described in ‘Cult Recovery: A clinician’s guide to working with former members and families’ and entitled ‘Relational Psychoeducational Intensive: Time Away for Post-Cult Counselling’. Gillie was a member of an abusive Bible-based cult in the 1970’s. She is currently delivering an online training for former member therapists in UK – ‘Certificate in Post Cult Counselling’. She is the Mental Health Editor for ICSA Today. Gillie’s doctoral research dissertation is entitled: ‘Freeing the authentic-self: Phases of Recovery and Growth from an Abusive Cult Experience’.Website: Email: Phone: +44 1433 639032.

Nitai Joseph, MSc

The Restoration of Individual Ideological Power: Making Sense of the Cultic Abuse Experience
Abstract: Central to the long-term abuse experienced in cultic settings is the co-opting of a person’s ability to make sense of their own experience – what has been called their ideological power. These distorted systems of meaning redefine and conceal harm, first from the one experiencing it and, secondarily, from others. In this presentation, Nitai Joseph will use the non-stigmatizing Power Threat Meaning Framework to analyze cultic involvement; focusing on the role of ideological power. Former members and those concerned for them can benefit from understanding how leaders and groups hijack individual reasoning, how that co-opted sense-making allows harm to perpetuate, and the role reclaiming meaning-making plays when recovering or supporting someone’s recovery from cultic experiences.

Biography: Nitai Joseph, MSc., is a researcher, advocate, and consultant focused on interpersonal influence and complex trauma. In 2020 he received a master’s degree in Psychology of Coercive Control from the University of Salford, where his dissertation explored the first-hand views on diagnosis and treatment among those harmed in coercive relationships and environments.
In addition to being a co-creator of the Coercive Control Collective, Nitai’s current work includes research on adverse meditation experiences, as well as his day job promoting awareness and prevention of child sexual abuse through a nonprofit in his home state of Maryland. Nitai was raised on the fringes of a cultic sect and had been a devout member in early adulthood.Website: Email:

Joseph Kelly

Building Bridges: Improving Communication Across Worldviews, How to Stay Connected with A Cult Involved Loved One
Abstract: This talk will explain how the information gathered by cultic research organizations can be useful to parents. I will also explain why parents also need other information, particularly information relating to their child’s personal history, psychological issues, family relationships, and specific ways of relating to group members and the leader. Information that is both broad and deep can enable parents to understand how their group-involved child sees the world. This understanding permits parents to formulate an ethical and informed strategy for improving their relationship with their child possibly helping him/her reevaluate a group involvement.

Biography: Joseph F. Kelly, a graduate of Temple University (focus in comparative religion), has been a cult intervention specialist (thought reform consultant/exit counselor, mediator) since 1989.  He spent 14 years in two different eastern meditation groups (TM, International Society of Divine Love). He is a co-author of “Ethical Standards for Thought Reform Consultants,” published in ICSA’s Cultic Studies Journal, contributed a chapter to Captive Hearts, Captive Minds. He was (2010-2014) the News Desk Editor of ICSA Today. He has lectured internationally (University of Southern California, University of Pennsylvania, University of Barcelona, London School of Economics, Beijing Union University) on cult-related topics including: “Inner Experience and Conversion”, “Coping with Trance States; Hypnosis and Trance”, “Mental-Health Issues in Cult-Related Interventions”, “Leaving and Recovering from Cultic Groups and Relationships”, “Communicating with Cult Members” and “A Mediation Approach to Exit Counseling”.Websites:; Email:  Phone: (215) 467-4939.

Yuval Laor, PhD

The Neurobiology of ‘Awe’ in Cult Recruitment
Abstract: Awe is an unusual emotion. When a strong awe experience is combined with the right expectations, assumptions and context, the consequences can be a sudden religious conversion. This is why understanding this emotion is critical to understanding the process of cult recruitment.
This lecture will focus on insights about awe that can be drawn from examining temporal lobe epilepsy, a neurological condition that causes frequent awe experiences. Looking at the functions of the brain’s temporal lobes may explain why awe feels the way it does, as well as the connection between awe and perceptual vastness, the auditory and vestibular senses, and the feelings of relevance and importance. We will then see how this can shed light on the triggers of awe which are anything that is judged as being sufficiently anomalous — these include: celebrities, trauma, hypomanic symptoms caused by love bombing, hallucinations, vast things, and perceived “miracles.”

Biography: Yuval Laor received his PhD in culture studies from Tel Aviv University, where he was supervised by leading evolutionary biologist Eva Jablonka. His dissertation explored the evolution of religious psychology, with an emphasis on evolutionary accounts of the human capacity for fervor and sudden conversion, and his subsequent, highly original work has focused on the nature of fervor. Yuval has published articles in the Journals of Religion Brain and Behavior and History and Theory. He is currently working on a book entitled Fervor: What cults can teach us about the evolution of religion.Email:  Phone: (720) 227-3549

Patrick Ryan

Why People Join, Stay and Leave Groups, A Cult Model
Abstract: Parents are likely to benefit from information about the beliefs, practices, and history of the group their loved one has joined. Research suggests that, in the West, hundreds of thousands of individuals join and leave cultic groups each year. Research studies also suggest that at least a sizable minority of those who join cultic groups are adversely affected. The families of these group members, tend to become concerned about their loved one‘s group involvement.  This session will help family members concerned about a loved one‘s cult involvement or its aftereffects, learn how to assess their situations more effectively. Among the topics to be discussed are: Why people join and leave high-control, abusive groups.

Biography: Patrick Ryan is the founder and former head of TM-EX, the organization of ex-members of Transcendental Meditation.  He established ICSA’s online resource (1995-2013), was the editor of AFF News, a news publication for former cult members (1995-1998), has contributed to the Cult Observer,  AFF’s book, Recovery From Cults, is co-author of “Ethical Standards for Thought Reform Consultants,” and has presented 50 programs about hypnosis, inner-experience, trance-induction techniques, communicating with cult members, conversion, cult intervention, exit counseling, intervention assessment, mediation, religious conflict resolution, thought reform consultation, eastern groups, transcendental meditation and workshops for educators, families, former members and mental health professionals at ICSA workshops/conferences. Mr. Ryan received the AFF Achievement Award (1997) from AFF, the Leo J. Ryan “Distinguished Service Award” (1999) from the Leo J. Ryan Foundation, and a Lifetime Achievement Award (2011) from ICSA.  Websites:; Email:  Phone: (215) 467-4939.

Joseph Szimhart

CULTS and DEATH: A new look at Ernest Becker’s 1973 book, The Denial of Death
Abstract: The authors of The Worm at the Core (2015) proved through decades of experiments Becker’s breakthrough insights into the essential impact that human awareness of death has on human cultures. Becker won a Pulitzer Prize for Denial of Death in 1974. Using the keen psychoanalytic corrections that Otto Rank provided to advance Freudian theory coupled with the existential philosophy of Kierkegaard, Becker argued that to sustain self-esteem, we need heroes and the symbolic world provided by religion, science, and the arts to stay sane and flourish. Using Becker’s analysis, I will discuss how our reality as humans requires that we not only survive as natural creatures, but also are driven to create symbolic worlds with “immortality projects.” As I wrote in my memoir (Santa Fe, Bill Tate, and me), “cult activity has driven human social evolution,” for better and for worse.

Biography: Joseph Szimhart defected from a Theosophy cult in 1980 before his career as a cult interventionist and research specialist. He was chairman of a cult information organization in New Mexico for seven years. He is a crisis caseworker at a psychiatric emergency hospital and has an art career. He maintains a website, lectures, consults for the media, and has published articles, book reviews, and papers related to the cult problem. His novel, Mushroom Satori: The Cult Diary, was released in 2013. Memoir released in 2020: Santa Fe, Bill Tate, and me. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from ICSA in 2016. Website: Email:  Phone: (484) 529-1936.

Doni Whitsett, PhD, LCSW

Neurobiology of sexual abuse: stress, trauma, and resilience
Abstract: This presentation will provide neurobiological understanding of sexual abuse, from traumatic sexualization to suggestions for healing. Included is a discussion of abuse as “coerced consent,” a common sexual experience within the context of controlling and intimidating relationships and “cults.”

Biography: Doni Whitsett, PhD, LCSW, is a Clinical Professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work where she teaches courses in clinical practice, psychopathology, and human sexuality. She has been working with cult-involved clients and their families for over 25 years and gives lectures to students and professionals on this topic. She has presented both nationally and internationally at conferences in Canada, France, Poland, Spain, , and Australia, where she helped organize two conferences in Brisbane. Her talks have included The Psychobiology of Trauma and Child Maltreatment (2005, Madrid) and Why Cults Are Harmful: A Neurobiological View of Interpersonal Trauma (2012, Montreal). Her presentations and publications focus on neurobiological and psychological understanding of coercive control, manipulation, and intimidation including — trauma, sexual abuse, and recovery. Additionally, as a certified sex therapist, Dr. Whitsett was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Scholarship in 2016 to study, teach, and do research in China.Email: Phone: (323) 907-2400.

Sponsoring and Supporting Organizations

About Sponsoring and Supporting Organizations
CIFS Australia (Cult Information and Family Support)

Cult Mediation/Intervention101 Cult Mediation/Intervention101 offer resources designed to help thoughtful families and friends understand and respond to the complexity of a loved one’s cult involvement.
CultRecovery101 assists group members and their families make the sometimes difficult transition from coercion to renewed individual choice.


ICSA (International Cultic Studies Association)Founded in 1979, the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is a global network of people concerned about psychological manipulation and abuse in cultic and other high-control environments. ICSA is tax-exempt, supports civil liberties, and is not affiliated with any religious or commercial organizations. ICSA is unique in how it brings together former group members, families, helping professionals and researchers.
ICSA’s mission is to provide information, education, and help to those adversely affected by or interested in cultic and other high-control groups and relationships.
ICSA fulfills its mission by applying research and professional perspectives to:

  • Help former members of cultic and other high-control environments
  • Provide guidance and support to families of people involved in high-control environments
  • Educate the public about psychological manipulation and the harmful effects of high-control environments
  • Encourage, support, and conduct research to advance understanding of psychological manipulation and high-control environments
  • Support helping professionals interested in this area
  • ICSA’s main event is its annual international conference, which takes place alternating years in Europe or North America. ICSA’s annual conference is the conference to attend if you are interested in cultic studies. In recent years about 125 persons have volunteered to speak at the annual conference.
  • With the help of volunteers, ICSA conducts a variety of regional conferences and webinars and local meetings.Website:

MSc Psychology of Coercive Control program at the University of SalfordThe unique MSc Psychology of Coercive Control programme (at the University of Salford, UK) is entering its fourth year in September and for the first time as a fully online programme with students joining from around the world. The programme will be of interest to those who are working in professions and organisations that focus on supporting survivors of domestic abuse, trafficking or gangs, and extremist groups or cults, and those who support refugees or others who have survived coercive environments. The programme will be useful to those who are taking a lead in safeguarding in educational and other settings working with young people who may be vulnerable to abuse.
The programme will give students an understanding of the psychological processes involved in coercive and controlling behaviour, which may be embedded within a family or peer group, or within a wider community setting. Throughout the programme, you will also gain techniques and understanding regarding the prevention, effects and recovery from coercive and controlling behaviour.
You will receive tailored support from a highly experienced and qualified team of psychology experts and professional staff who are involved in advancing practice and research regarding the prevention, effects and recovery from coercive and controlling behaviour.
The master’s programme is being offered fully online and all lectures are delivered live and are recorded so that they can be listened to and watched at the student’s convenience and online tutorials will also be offered. You have the opportunity to study this course full-time over one year, or part-time over three years. Additionally, you can apply for the Postgraduate Diploma (4 modules/courses  without a dissertation) or the Postgraduate Certificate (2 modules/courses).Website: Email: or

IndoctriNation A weekly podcast covering cults, manipulators, and protecting yourself from systems of control.
Rachel Bernstein, LMFT has been working with victims of cults and emotional abusers for 27 years. Given the right set of circumstances, it’s all too easy for anyone to fall prey to sociopaths and manipulators.
Rachel wanted to start a show that gives survivors a chance to tell their stories and for experts to teach us what they know. My goal for IndoctriNation is to empower our listeners to protect themselves and those they love from predators, toxic personalities, and destructive organizations.Website:

RETIRN UK The Re-Entry Therapy Information and Referral Network (RETIRN) UK is a group practice specializing in working with individuals and families adversely affected by undue influence and coercion in extremist groups, cults and other manipulative social movements and in coercive, controlling and abusive relationships. RETIRN offers individual, family and group psychotherapy, psycho-education, exit consultations, forensic services and clinical supervision. RETIRN is a correspondent member of FECRIS (European network on sects/cults), and Linda and Rod are Specialist Consultants with the Countering Violent Extremist Unit, Commonwealth Secretariat and also attend and contribute to meetings of the European Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN).
Website:  Email: or

FEES for two-day event:  $195/US

Registration: $195/US

Australia Registration:  $195/AU

UK Registration: details to be announced  £150/UK

Scholarships should be available for anyone that has financial limitations.  Please contact CIFS if you live in Australia, ICSA if you live in the US or RETIRN if you live in the UK.

The event will be available to view online for thirty-days (until October 13, 2020).

Saturday, 9/12, Sydney
9:00 am – 9:05 amConference Opening Session
9:10 am – 9:50 amWhy People Join, Stay and Leave Groups, A Cult ModelPatrick Ryan
10:00 am – 10:50 amBuilding Bridges: Improving Communication Across Worldviews, How to Stay Connected with A Cult Involved Loved One Joseph Kelly
11:00 am – 11:50 amCults and Death: A new look at Ernest Becker’s Denial of DeathJoseph Szimhart
12:00 pm  – 12:50 pmUnique Ways to Help your Loved One in a Cult or Manipulative RelationshipRachel Bernstein LMFT, MSEd
1:00 pm – 1:50 pmThe Neurobiology of ‘Awe’ in Cult RecruitmentYuval Laor, PhD
2:00 pm – 2:55 pmThe Spectrum of Coercive Control in Cults, Extremist Groups and Abusive RelationshipsLinda Dubrow-Marshall, PhD, MBACP (Accred.), Rod Dubrow-Marshall, PhD, MBPsS
2:55 pm – 3:00 pmDay One Closing
Sunday, 9/13, SydneyTrack One
9:00 am – 9:05 amConference Opening Day-Two
9:05 am – 9:50 amCult Recovery: Gaining Trust After Cult ExploitationLorna Goldberg, L.C.S.W., Psy.A.
10:00 am – 10:50 amCult Recovery: What helps former members recover?Gillie Jenkinson, PhD
11:00 am – 11:50 amCan cults be leaderless? How a high-control environment can occur in the absence of a de facto leader. Ashlen Hilliard
12:00 pm – 12:50 pmRecovering from Sexual Abuse in Cults, what we can learn from NeurobiologyDoni Whitsett, PhD, LCSW
1:00 pm – 1:50 pmFrom Surviving to Thriving After Leaving – Steps to Take on the Road to Recovery Rachel Bernstein LMFT, MSEd
2:00 pm – 2:55 pmResourcesPresentation by each organization on Programs and Resources
2:55 pm – 3:00 pmDay Two Closing
Sunday, 9/13, SydneyTrack Two
9:05 am – 9:50 amThe Restoration of Individual Ideological Power: Making Sense of the Cultic Abuse ExperienceNitai Joseph, MSc
Sunday10:00 am – 12:50 pmFormer Member WorkshopCo-presenters: Rachel Bernstein LMFT, MSEd, Ashlen Hilliard, Doni Whitsett, PhD, LCSW, Nitai Joseph, MSc
1:00 pm – 1:50 pm“That’s not me”: An Exploration of Multi-Generation Adult leavers”Jill Aebi-Mytton, BSc, MSc, CPsychol, AFBPsS DPsych

FEES for two-day event:  $195/US

Registration: $195/US

Australia Registration:  $195/AU

UK Registration: details to be announced  £150/UK

Scholarships should be available for anyone that has financial limitations.  Please contact CIFS if you live in Australia, ICSA if you live in the US or RETIRN if you live in the UK.

The event will be available to view online for thirty-days (until October 13, 2020).