Events‎ > ‎

Middle Tennessee Conference

Understanding Abusive Spiritual Systems and Relationships 

Where: Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU)
1768 MTSU Blvd, Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Student Union Building, Ballroom [Directions/Campus Map]
When: October 14, 2017 | 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
6 CE Hours

This event will explore various aspects of what some term “spiritual abuse.” Spiritual abuse may be viewed as being situated within the broader umbrella of psychological abuse but is a unique and often unrecognized aspect of this broader phenomenon. The societal value placed on religion can sometimes hinder critical evaluation of harmful dynamics and coercive control within religious frameworks. However, ideally religion seeks to bring deeper meaning to one's life, a sense of connection and community, provides a general guide of how to lead healthy, meaningful lives, and connects one to a higher being. This workshop will explore spiritual abuse and explore counseling interventions for clinicians working with those who have experienced abusive spiritual systems and relationships, and their loved ones. 

  • Opening and Introduction to Spiritual Abuse (Ashley Allen, MSW, LMSW and Maureen Griffo, MEd) 
  • Clinical Panel: Models of Treatment (Lona Bailey, MA, LPC-MHSP (Temp) and Pike Williams, LMFT) 
  • Born and/or Raised in Spiritually Abusive Groups (Debby Schriver, MS) 
  • The Degrees of Spiritual Abuse and Effective Treatment Modalities (Dylesia Barner, LCSW) 
  • The Importance of Addressing Coercive Control in Former Members (Matthew Quinn)
  • Round Table Discussions (Lona Bailey, MA, LPC-MHSP (Temp), Pike Williams, LMFT, Debby Schriver, MS, Dylesia Barner, LCSW, Maureen Griffo, MEd, Abbie Michaels, Rod Shrader, Matthew Quinn, and Ashley Allen, MSW, LMSW) 
  • Closing: Final Thoughts on Spiritual Abuse and Coercive Control (Ashley Allen, MSW, LMSW) 
Learning Objectives:
  1. Attendees will be able to identify clinically relevant effects of spiritual abuse. 
  2. Attendees will be able to describe three models of clinical intervention with this population. 
  3. Attendees will be able to utilize effective skills for assessing spiritual abuse through guided table discussions. 
  4. Attendees will be able to identify the unique clinical needs of children raised in spiritually abusive groups.  

Non-ICSA Members: $65.00
ICSA Members including Institutional Members: $55.00
6 CE credits are available with registration 
(Please check with your individual board to be sure NBCC CE hours are accepted)

Financial Assistance 

Scholarships are available for those with financial need, e.g., unemployment, disability. Contact ICSA at Event Webpage: Nashville Conference. Information on spiritual abuse: