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Continuing Education

Destructive Cults and Clinical Work with Former Members (1st & 2nd Generations)

Date: 9:00am - 4:00pm PDT April 20, 2019 Location: Lewis & Clark Graduate School, South Chapel

Lewis & Clark Graduate School, South Chapel

Active cults and “high demand” groups are prolific throughout current cultures, and have a long historical global presence. There are many organized systems that victimize people and negatively alter one’s identity in an abusive and destructive manner. Extreme belief groups can lead to the death of members -both children and adults.

Whether talking about destructive cults, extreme beliefs, or New Age-type groups, the structures for coercive manipulation and abuse are what defines a system as a destructive cult or group. “Member” experiences can be conceived as a betrayal trauma that alters the very core of one’s identity and worldview beliefs.

Sexual abuse, starvation and violence are often utilized to secure subjugation. Symptomology might include depression, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, mental confusion, low self-esteem, and restricted functionality.

Even more profound dissociative experiences may impact post-cult member. Many children are born into and raised in these groups without a choice (2nd generation), where their identity is formulated by exterior demands and states of fear. Rarely are tactics of mind control, manipulation, coercive subjugation and negative identity alteration studied within programs for mental health professions.

This experiential workshop will bring awareness and knowledge to the prevalence and structure of destructive cults which informs clinical work with individuals and families. Time will be focused on an in-depth exploration of structures and definitions of how a coercive system operates and can be identified as abusive and manipulative.

Workshop attendees will share their professional experiences and clinical work with clients who have exited cults. Models of clinical work and models of supervision will be presented and explored with engagement in experiential applications. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Bring Awareness to the existence and prevalence of Destructive Cults
  • Gain knowledge and understanding of the structure and functionality of destructive groups
  • To consider and explore the role of the clinician and clinical treatments for individuals, relationships and families impacted by systems of manipulation and extreme beliefs.

Workshop Details & Registration

Date: Saturday, April 20, 2019, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Instructor: Margaret Eichler, PhD, LPC, NCC, ACS

Noncredit: $125 before 3/27, $150 after. Includes 6 CEUs. Lewis & Clark Alumni save 20%.
Student rate: $50

Register now

  • We are committed to making our events accessible to all needs and abilities. When registering, let us know your access needs. To discuss your access needs before registering, please contact us at 503-768-6040 or cce@lclark.edu.

 

About the Instructor

Margaret Eichler, PhD, LPC, NCC, ACS, has been teaching in Lewis and Clark’s Counseling Psychology Department as adjunct faculty for over 20 years. Her current teaching focus is trauma informed treatment including complex trauma, dissociative disorders and recovery from abusive cults. She maintains a private practice in Portland, which includes individuals, couples and families as well as clinical supervision and professional consultations. Integrated in her work are creative and expressive arts as a modality for creating a “safe space” and pathways to healing.

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