Religious Recovery

Religious recovery therapy is geared towards providing specialized support for ex-members of high control religious groups such as Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormonism, among others.

 

While the doctrines of high control religions (often referred to as "cults") may vary, the underlying dynamics of these groups are often very similar. They usually demand absolute obedience, exerting high levels of control over the thoughts and actions of their members, penalizing doubt or independent thought, and often employ harsh excommunication tactics towards those who decide to leave. 

As a former Jehovah's Witness, I have first-hand experience of the impact these organizations can have on one's well-being, and the challenges of those who are courageous enough to walk away. In addition to grieving the loss of community and family, former members face questions related to purpose and reintegration with the outside, and are often flooded with feelings of anger, sadness, regret and confusion.

Recovery therapy provides an opportunity to address these issues directly. Everyone starts and works at different places and paces, but often it begins with an initial period of grieving losses and expressing/processing difficult emotions, and inevitably transitions to the work of rebuilding your life, finding a new community and reconnecting with who you are when unencumbered by dogmatic restraints. In the process, you will take time to re-examine your values, embracing those which empower you and rewriting those which do not.

This process not only provides the space for tackling these challenges head on, but also offers the emotional and social support which is so often lacking when leaving groups. It can be immensely helpful for navigating the transition to the world beyond, learning how to survive and eventually thrive on your own.

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