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ICSA E-Newsletter

Current ICSA E-Newsletters are posted below, with the most recent newsletter on top.

November 17, 2017

The ICSA Santa Fe conference (Nov. 3 – 5, 2017) went very well.  Approximately 100 people attended this conference, which focuses on assistance, mental health training, and general-interest sessions.  Among the many topics covered were:

  • Beyond Cults: Religious Child Maltreatment in ‘Mainstream' Religious Environments (Janet Heimlich; Jaime Romo)
  • Post-Cult Sexuality: Clinical Issues (Steve Eichel)
  • Why People Leave Cults (Facilitator Michael Langone; Discussants: David Clark; Joseph Kelly; Patrick Ryan)
  • Building Relationships and Communicating with the Cult Involved   –   Parts I & II (Facilitators: Michael Langone, Steve Eichel; David Clark; Joseph Kelly; Patrick Ryan)
  • Panel: SGA Personal Accounts from the Alamo Group (Debby Schriver, Moderator)
  • Boundaries (Rosanne Henry; Elizabeth Blackwell)
  • Varieties of Post-Cult Spirituality I & II (Ashley Allen, Moderator; Elizabeth Blackwell; Wendy Duncan; Steven Gelberg; Pat Knapp; Madeleine Tobias)
  • Transitioning to a Better Life After Mormonism (Luna Lindsey; Cyndi Matthews)
  • Families, Conflict Resolution, and Exit Strategies (Joseph Kelly; Patrick Ryan)
  • Cult Recovery: What ICSA’s Landmark Book Can Teach Professionals, Families, and Former Members (Lorna Goldberg)

Lorna Goldberg’s panel on cult recovery featured chapter authors from ICSA’s new book, Cult Recovery: A Clinician’s Guide, which many view as the definitive text on treatment.  For more information on this important book, go here (URL:

Thanks to the hard work of Ashley Allen, who obtained provider status with the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) for ICSA, we were able to offer continuing education credits to mental health professionals for selected sessions.  ICSA plans to offer more CE sessions at future conferences.

Some of the speakers have made their Power Points available in a special conference folder, which you can access here (URL:

The deadline has passed for submitting proposals for ICSA’s 2018 Annual Conference in Philadelphia (July 5-7, 2018).  We received more than 130 submissions, the quality of which on the whole seems to be even higher than in past annual conferences.  Between now and the end of the year, the conference committee will evaluate submissions, work out a draft agenda, and notify submitters of the committee’s decision regarding their proposal(s).  In late December or early January we should be ready to disseminate flyers and registration and other information on the annual conference.

ICSA’s weekend workshop for those born or raised in cultic groups will take place in Connecticut the weekend of April 27, 2018.  For more information, go here (URL:

On October 27, 2017 ICSA began a new kind of event, ICSA Conversations.  Dr. Benjamin Zablocki of Rutgers University spoke on “Brainwashing: Scientific Concept or Mere Label” at the NY monthly meeting.  Dr. Zablocki’s talk was streamed through Facebook.  On December 15th Sara Waters will give a talk entitled, “Sexual/Romantic Intimacy: Challenges for People Raised in a Cult.”  This event will also be streamed.  If you wish to participate either live or via streaming, please register (ICSA Conversations are free).  For more information, including a registration link, go here (URL:

The holiday season will be upon us soon.  Please remember ICSA in your holiday giving!