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Workshop for SGAs (CT)

2017 Facilitators of SGA Workshop (back row): Bill Goldberg, Elizabeth Blackwell, Rosanne Henry, Eva Mackey, (front row) Leona Furnari
Lorna Goldberg, Ann Stamler

Surviving and Moving On After a High-Demand Group Experience: A Workshop for Second-Generation Former Members

When: Friday 4:00 pm April 27, 2018 to Sunday 2:00 pm April 29, 2018 (Check-in time is 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm.)

Where: Guest House Retreat & Conference Center, 318 West Main Street, Chester, CT 06412 (860–322–5770).  

As increasing numbers of people born or raised in cultic movements have reached adulthood, the International Cultic Studies Association has developed a program that addresses their special needs. Two articles describe this program: (1) Lessons Learned from SGAs About Resiliency and Recovery (Leona Furnari and Rosanne Henry) and (2) My Perspective of Rosanne Henry and Leona Furnari’s Presentation to the Annual SGA Workshop (Patrick Rardin) describe this program.  There is also a video on ICSA's YouTube channel:  "Born or Raised in Cultic Groups" with Lorna Goldberg and Leona Furnari. SGA Dr. Lois Kendall has published a book on the subject: Born and Raised in a Sect: You are Not Alone. 

People born or raised in cultic movements do not have a “pre-cult identity” to which they can return. Raised in fringe subcultures, second-generation adults (SGAs) frequently have educational and other skill deficits that interfere with adjustment to mainstream culture. Growing up in groups based on irrational belief systems, SGAs struggle with issues of dependency, self-esteem, and social conflict. They often have to deal with the trauma of physical and/or sexual abuse. SGAs also have difficulty getting help because they tend to lack finances and be wary of other people, including helpers.

Meeting annually since 2006, this workshop addresses the unique needs of SGAs. In sessions conducted by specialists and former members, attendees may participate according to their comfort levels. Special attention is paid to participants’ privacy, reflection, and working at their own pace.

This workshop is made possible by special donations which cover a substantial portion of the total cost, and by the willingness of facilitators to volunteer their time. Financial assistance is available. Please contact us at 239–514–3081 or All contacts will be kept strictly confidential.

Guest House is a delightful retreat and conference center in the scenic Connecticut River Valley. It offers spacious guest rooms with private bathrooms, superb cuisine, and amenities that range from a grand piano in the lobby to wireless Internet in every room. Travel directions by car, train, and air, along with other convenient links, are available at

Contact ICSA for possible help with ground transportation from Amtrak or Metro-North, or from nearby airports. Also contact us if your travel plans include a night before or after the workshop. It may be possible to extend your stay at Guest House.

We cannot accept onsite registrations, and we cannot guarantee acceptance of registrations received within 14 days of the workshop start date.