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Graduate Study

Individuals interested in cultic studies sometimes ask about degree programs or other graduate school options. This page will first briefly describe two degree programs that began in 2017.  The page will then list professors and universities that have been open to graduate students pursuing topics pertinent to cultic studies in the disciplines of mental health (counseling, social work, pastoral psychology, clinical psychology), psychology, sociology, religious studies, and law. If you know of study opportunities not listed here, please tell us about them (mail@icsamail.com).

Here are two websites providing general information on graduate programs in psychology and counseling:  http://www.psychologydegrees.org/         http://www.counselingdegreesonline.org/

Degree/Certificate Programs

MSc/PGDip/PgCert 
University of Salford
Manchester, UK

[From the program's website]

"This course provides advanced insights and knowledge of cutting edge practice and research about coercive control and behaviour and its development and effects on individuals, families and organisations. You will develop a deep understanding of the psychological processes involved in coercive and controlling behaviour across a variety of settings including in domestic relationships, human trafficking and groups and organisations more widely.

On this course you will receive tailored support from a highly experienced and qualified team of psychology and professional staff who are involved in advancing practice and research regarding the prevention, effects and recovery from coercive and controlling behaviour.

You will be very well placed to advance your career in a variety of professions where the government is seeking to develop provision for the prevention of and recovery from coercive control and abuse and you will also be very well prepared to apply for a professional doctorate and research career paths in psychology and other relevant disciplines...

Psychology graduates and graduates in other relevant disciplines e.g. counselling, health sciences, nursing, criminal justice, law and police science. The course will also attract professionals working in a variety of organisations and settings where survivors of abuse are assisted. The course is also a route towards a career in organisations and settings which help survivors of abuse and is also a route to a professional doctorate or an academic / research career."

The program is related to a law that went into effect in the UK in 2015: "The Serious Crime Act 2015 (the 2015 Act) received royal assent on 3 March 2015. The Act creates a new offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in intimate or familial relationships (section 76). The new offence closes a gap in the law around patterns of controlling or coercive behaviour in an ongoing relationship between intimate partners or family members. The offence carries a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment, a fine or both."  More information on this law.

For further information contact:

Dr. Linda Dubrow-Marshall - l.dubrow-marshall@salford.ac.uk

Professor Rod Dubrow-Marshall - r.dubrow-marshall@salford.ac.uk

Diplôme Universitaire
Psychopathologie et Droit des dérives sectaires 
Université Catholique de Lille – Début des enseignements janvier 2018

Responsables : Dominique RENIERS - Serge LESOURD – Monique LAURET 

Maître Daniel PICOTIN pour le Droit appliqué aux dérives sectaires.

L’enseignement dispensé dans ce Diplôme d’Université se propose d’analyser sur un mode pluridisciplinaire les thématiques essentielles « de la montée et de l’expression du péril sectaire », la défense de l’intégrité psychique et éthique des sujets concernés, et la sauvegarde des valeurs humanistes, dans le cadre du respect des droits de l’homme et de l’implication des réponses sociétales. L’enseignement recrutera à cet égard des expertises complémentaires indispensables et regroupe différents champs disciplinaires : Psychopathologie, Droit et Criminologie.

Liste des intervenants :

1. Marc-Antoine Crocq, Psychiatre, Service Universitaire de Médecine préventive et de Promotion de la Santé.

2. Antoine Fleyfel, Professeur titulaire, théologien et philosophe, directeur de l'Institut de théologie pratique et du fait religieux, faculté de théologie, Université catholique de Lille.

3. Claire Gillie, Psychanalyste, membre d’Espace analytique.

4. Pr Roland Gori, Psychanalyste, Professeur émérite de Psychopathologie clinique, Université Aix-Marseille, membre d’Espace analytique.

5. Elisabeth Kaluaratchige-Amarasekara, Maître de Conférences, UFR Etudes Psychanalytiques, Université Paris Diderot, Paris7.

6. Monique Lauret, Psychiatre-psychanalyste, membre d’Espace analytique, membre de la Fondation Européenne de la Psychanalyse.

7. Serge Lesourd, Pr de Psychologie clinique et de Psychopathologie, Université de Nice.

8. Arthur Mary, Psychologue clinicien, Docteur en psychologie.

9. Lygia Négrier-Dormont, Docteur en Droit et Philosophie, Criminologue, Expert International Formateur.

10. Pr Ronald Nossintchouk, Professeur(h) en Odontologie Médico- Légale, habilité à diriger des recherches, Université Paris Descartes, Paris 5. Professeur adjoint de Victimologie à l’Université de Washington, Lauréat de l’institut criminologique de Paris.

11. Maître Daniel Picotin, Avocat à la cour d’Appel de Bordeaux et ancien Député.

12. Maître Eliane Perasso, Psychanalyste, membre d'Espace analytique, Avocat.

13. Dominique Reniers, Professeur à l’Institut catholique de Lille.

14. Amos Squvever, Psychanalyste, maître de conférences en clinique psychanalytique du sujet à l'Université Jean Jaurès Toulouse II

15. François Trichet, Officier de liaison Gendarmerie spécialisé et Conseiller sécurité à la Miviludes.

Contact Administratif : Peggy Duclos - peggy.duclos@univ-catholille.fr (03.59.31.50.86).

Plus d'information

Professors and Mental Health Professionals Interested in Graduate Student Mentoring and/or Supervision

Robin Boyle Laisure, JD,
Professor of Legal Writing, St. John’s University School of Law, is on the editorial board of ICSA’s International Journal of Cultic Studies. She lectures on topics concerning cults and the law. Her recent article, Employing Trafficking Laws to Capture Elusive Leaders of Destructive Cults, is published by the Oregon Review of International Law(2016). She also wrote Current Status of Federal Law Concerning Violent Crimes Against Women and Children: Implications for Cult Victims, published in the Cultic Studies Review (2002). Two articles have appeared in the Cultic Studies Journal: How Children in Cults May Use Emancipation Laws to Free Themselves (1999) and Women, the Law, and Cults: Three Avenues of Legal Recourse - New Rape Laws, Violence Against Women Act, and Antistalking Laws (1998). In 2005, she received the Faculty Outstanding Achievement award from the President of St. John’s University. Email: boyler@stjohns.edu.   University Listing
New York (Queens)

Catherine de Boer, PhD, RSW
is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada. She has a Bachelor of Social Work, Master of Social Work and PhD in Social Work, as well as a Master of Theology and a Master of Arts in Religious Studies. She has over 12 years of direct social practice experience. Most recently, she initiated a partnership between the School of Social Work at Memorial and the St. John’s Status of Women Council, which led to the founding of the first walk-in counselling clinic in Canada that is specifically designed to meet the mental health needs of women. Her primary research interests are in the areas of identity development and transformation, the nature and quality of helping relationships, women’s mental health, and narrative studies. Her doctoral research was a study of the impact of social group disengagement (for example, leaving a religious, cultural, professional, or gender group, or “coming out” experiences) on one’s sense of self and the associated identity transition processes. Dr. de Boer continues to conduct identity research with a focus on forced identity transitions, such as those predicated by unemployment, injury, and illness. She is also conducting research on single session counselling modalities and trauma-informed practice. Her teaching interests are in the areas of clinical practice, social work theory, the intersection of identity and belief, and qualitative analysis. She has taught at all three levels of social work education and over the years, has supervised over 20 graduate students and 16 field internships. She would be delighted to supervise graduate students in the areas of cultic studies, coercive control, trauma, identity implications of membership in and/or leaving high demand groups, and counselling practice. cdeboer@mun.ca 

Linda J. Demaine, JD, PhD
(social psychology), is Professor of Law and Affiliate Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University. She is founder and director of ASU's Law and Psychology Graduate Program. Before arriving at ASU, Dr. Demaine was a behavioral scientist and policy analyst at RAND, where she led and participated in diverse projects, including an analysis of biotechnology patents and the strategic use of deception and other psychological principles in defense of critical computer networks. Dr. Demaine has held an American Psychological Association Congressional Fellowship, through which she worked with the Senate Judiciary Committee on FBI and DOJ oversight, judicial nominations, and legislation. She has also held an American Psychological Association Science Policy Fellowship, working with the Central Intelligence Agency's Behavioral Sciences Unit on issues involving cross-cultural persuasion. Dr. Demaine's research interests include the empirical analysis of law, legal procedure, and legal decision making; the application of legal and psychological perspectives to social issues; ethical, legal, and social issues deriving from advances in technology; and information campaigns and persuasion. University Listing. 

Cyndi Matthews, PhD, LPC-S, NCC
is an experienced counseling clinician working in private practice and a counseling professor at the University of North Texas-Dallas. Her passion for social justice and advocacy is exemplified in her counseling practice and current research, both of which focus on effective counseling interventions for marginalized populations, such as cult survivors, domestic violence survivors, and LGBT populations. Based on her scholarship and clinical expertise she has researched and developed theory for counseling with former second generation adult (SGA) cult recovery survivors. Website: www.drcyndimatthews.com Email: cyndersm@verizon.net Phone: (469) 316-7290

Doni Whitsett, PhD, LCSW,
is a Clinical Professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work where she teaches various courses in practice, behavior, mental health, and human sexuality. She has been working with cult-involved clients and their families for over 20 years and gives lectures to students and professionals on this topic. She has presented at national and international conferences in Madrid, Poland, Canada, and in 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 publications include The Psychobiology of Trauma and Child Maltreatment (Cultic Studies Review, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2006), A Self Psychological Approach to the Cult Phenomenon (Journal of Social Work, 1992), Cults and Families (Families in Society, Vol. 84, No. 4, 2003), which she coauthored with Dr. Stephen Kent, and Why cults are harmful: Neurobiological speculations on inter-personal trauma. ICSA Today, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2014. Dr. Whitsett also has a specialty in Sexuality and was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Scholarship in 2016 to study, teach, and do research on this topic in China. Email: whitsett@usc.edu Phone: (323) 907-2400
California, Southern (Los Angeles)