Cult and High Control Organization Recovery

Cult and High Control Organization Recovery

A cult is a group or a movement is an excessive devotion or dedication to a person, idea or thing. When you are in this type of movement, manipulation tactics or coercive techniques of persuasion are used in order to gain control. These cults are often designed to advance the goals of the leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community.

Often in these cases of cults or high control organizations, any beliefs, practices, and perspectives that don’t align with the beliefs of the group or organization are rejected. Instead, many individuals will be punished for having thoughts or feelings that do not originate from the information they have been given by the cult. People who have experienced cults or high control organizations may have internalized these beliefs and values, which can deeply compromise and threaten their sense of self, how they think about and interact with others, the purpose of life, or even what is morally right or wrong. As a result, the nervous system is always under perceived threats. 

Getting out of this type of traumatic experience can be difficult, especially when it comes to mental health; this is where we step in. Insight Psychological offers services that can help you. 

Signs and Symptoms of Cult trauma:

If you’ve experienced cult or high control organizational trauma, it’s probable that an individual may experience multiple different types of emotions that are conflicting. You may feel an overwhelming sense of relief to have removed yourself from the group, but may also experience the grief over the loss of some elements presented in the cult (ie. friendships, the sense of belonging, personal worth). Often, this emotional cycle is presented as something called “post-cult trauma syndrome”.

  • spontaneous crying
  • sense of loss
  • depression & suicidal thoughts
  • fear that not obeying the cult’s wishes will result in God’s wrath or loss of salvation
  • alienation from family, friends
  • sense of isolation, loneliness due to being surrounded by people who have no basis for understanding cult life
  • fear of evil spirits taking over one’s life outside the cult
  • scrupulosity, excessive rigidity about rules of minor importance
  • panic disproportionate to one’s circumstances
  • fear of going insane
  • confusion about right and wrong
  • sexual conflicts
  • unwarranted guilt

When is it time to get help? 

After leaving a cult or high control organization, it is best to seek help after recognizing the signs and symptoms. It may be time to get help from a religious and cult trauma informed therapist if you’re experiencing depression, anxiety, or symptoms of other psychological disorders. Working with a mental health professional is always recommended after these events take place. 

Treatment Methods: 

There are several treatment methods that are effective in dealing with religious and spiritual trauma. Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all therapy – so your therapist will talk with you to determine the best treatment method for you and your situation. These may include:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behavior and how they perceive themselves.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) is defined by EMDR Canada as an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma and many other mental health problems.
  • Mindfulness Therapy is an approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behavior and how they perceive themselves, others, and the world. The ability to be in the moment, to acknowledge and regulate your emotions helps you to break free from negative thought patterns.
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a treatment method that is similar to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) but emphasizes building skills to manage stress, mental health issues, and the psycho-social aspects of relationship building.
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy is based on observations and experience. It looks at emotions and emotional intelligence, which helps support stronger and more secure relationships by helping better understand how our actions impact others, and how our emotions drive our interaction.
  • Sex Therapy is the treatment of sexual dysfunction and also includes working with concerns about sexual feelings and intimacy, less common alternative sexual practices, kink, gender issues, sexual offending issues, or work on optimizing or exploring new experiences. Sex therapy can also include distressing sexual behaviour, sexual abuse and trauma.
  • Family Systems Therapy looks at the family as one emotional unit. This therapeutic approach looks at the relationships within the family and the structure as a whole.
  • Grief Work Therapy refers to the methods used in counseling that help people to grieve loss and understand their emotions associated with the loss in a healthy way with the ultimate goal of moving forward.
  • BITE model is used to target the methods used to recruit and maintain control over their individuals

What will I get out of Treatment with Insight Psychological?

Know that you can get help if you’re experiencing the symptoms of cult-related trauma. If you want to deconstruct your beliefs, your relationships are suffering, you feel out of touch with yourself, or you want to explore your spirituality outside of certain religious confines, we have therapists with experience in this area who can help you to move forward from this trauma. Please contact one of our offices to learn more to book an appointment.

Brooke Hendricks

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Assessments

Loriann Quinlan

Edmonton South, Edmonton West, Online

Adults, Seniors

Brandi Enns

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Families, LGBTQ community, Sexuality, Assessments

Sabrina Brady

Edmonton Central, Edmonton North, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality, Assessments

Karla Buchholz

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Families, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality

Terri Mulveney

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Children (3-5), Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), LGBTQ community

Nikesha Deenoo

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Sexuality

Nicole Donovan

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17)

Kathryn Maier

Edmonton North, Online

Adults, Children (3-5), Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Families, Assessments

Cody Cobler

Edmonton North, Online

Adults, Children (3-5), Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Families, LGBTQ community

Chantelle Owen

Edmonton South, Edmonton Central, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Families, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality

Luke Suelzle

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Children (3-5), Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Families, Couples, Sexuality

Dr. Hendriatta Wong

Corporate Services

Bob Stenhouse

Corporate Services

Shirley Leonard

Corporate Services

Shaheel Hooda

Corporate Services

Lisa Standeven

Corporate Services

Tara-Lee Goerlitz

Corporate Services

Jaci Freeman

Edmonton South

Adults, Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Seniors

At this time, Insight Psychological does not have therapists who specialize in this specific area, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help you! Please contact us to talk with our Intake Personnel to find a therapist that is a good fit for you and your unique circumstances.