As a service to the ICSA network, ICSA offers a variety of webinars and other online events. Coming events are listed below. Some are free and available to the public. Others are free but available only to ICSA members. Some events may provide CE hours to mental health professionals.
Most events occur only on the Internet. Others may be remote, electronic viewings of live events, You may participate in these events through a computer (sometimes smart phones will work).
Most events permit members to interact with speakers without having to travel. When feasible, we try to record events. Recordings of events are available free to ICSA members or available to the public on ICSA's Youtube Channel.
See below for information on upcoming online events. Sign up for online events, and we will notify you about upcoming events and instructions on accessing them.
Upcoming Online Events:
Meet the Author!
Interviews by Joseph Szimhart
About the interviewer: Joseph Szimhart left a New Age sect and has assisted in over five-hundred cult interventions in America and abroad. He currently works as a mental health professional at a psychiatric emergency hospital. His latest memoir, Santa Fe, Bill Tate, and me, appeared in 2020.
*Interviews will be available on the ICSA Youtube Channel. Q&A is only available for LIVE attendees.
Ongoing Online Series
Former Jehovah’s Witness Recovery Series
The objectives for this series: (1) Help former members identify psychological challenges that may arise when they leave the faith. (2) Provide relevant background information for therapists working with former Jehovah’s Witnesses. (3) Provide information that will help former Jehovah’s Witnesses in therapy better understand the issues with which they are dealing.
You can view recordings of past webinars on the ICSA Youtube Channel by clicking HERE
This is an open-ended series. Email Ashlen at email@example.com if you would like to participate in this series.
ICSA is organizing a series of free webinars entitled Cult Stories. In this series former members of cultic groups or relationships will be interviewed by ICSA. After the interview, attendees may have an opportunity to ask questions via chat or voice. These events are expected to last 60 - 90 minutes.
Interviewees will be asked to describe: (1) What life factors may have made them vulnerable to recruitment (if they joined as adults or young adults). (2) How they became involved. (3) What their life was like in the cultic situation. (4) The factors that caused them to leave. (5) Adjustment and recovery issues they confronted after departure. (6) How they have integrated their cultic situation into their current life. The first batch of cult stories will be with former members who have dedicated themselves to helping cult survivors. Our goal in these stories is to give listeners hope that they too can heal and that they too can help others. Six recorded cult stories are available to ICSA members.
Here is a schedule of upcoming webinars (names link to the person's biographical sketch):
Past Online Series/Events
Conversation: Psycho-Social Aspects of Belief in Conspiracy Theories by Bill Goldberg, LCSW, PsyA
12:00-2:00pm (EST), February 21st, 2021
Click HERE to Register
Free Webinar if not obtaining CE Credits!
$30 Fee if you would like 2 CE Credits!
More than any other time in recent history, conspiracy theories have contaminated political thinking in this country. Bizarre theories and explanations for current events, both real and imagined, have become an acceptable part of our public dialogue; and some political leaders have given credence to speculations about the motivations of opponents that would once have been viewed as embarrassingly ludicrous. In this lecture and conversation, we will explore this phenomenon from a psychoanalytic viewpoint. We will discuss the historical antecedents of today's conspiracy theories and the factors in the Information Age that make it unique. We will also discuss developmental and defensive factors that render otherwise intelligent individuals susceptible to conspiracy theories.
1. Participants will be able to identify the similarities and differences between today’s conspiracy theories and their historical antecedents.
2. Participants will be able to identify the developmental factors that render people vulnerable to the appeal of conspiracy theories.
3. Participants will learn intervention techniques that can help clients who believe in bizarre conspiracy theories.
To Receive CE Credits:
You will be asked to complete a short survey after the event to receive your certification. Thank you!
A recording will be available on the ICSA Youtube Channel following the event. You must attend the live session if you would like CE Credit.
You must be logged in the entire live session to receive CE credit.
Please check with your licensing board to see if you are eligible for CE credit. International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6893. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. ICSA is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
About the Speaker:
William Goldberg, LCSW, PsyA, is a clinical social worker and psychoanalyst with over forty years’ experience working with former cult members. He and his wife, Lorna, co-lead a support group for former cult members, which has been meeting for over forty years. It is the oldest group of its kind in the world. In 2007, Bill retired from the Rockland County, NY Department of Mental Health, where he directed several programs and clinics. He is presently an adjunct professor in the social work and social science departments of Dominican College and he is on the faculty of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies. Bill has published numerous articles. Bill is a frequent speaker at ICSA conferences, and he and Lorna have been the recipients of the Authentic CAN Hall of Fame Award and the Leo J. Ryan Award. In 2010, Bill was the recipient of ICSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also co-editor of ICSA's Cult Recovery: A Clinician's Guide to Working With Former Members and Their Families, which is due to be published in 2017. (201) 894-8515 Website: blgoldberg.com Email:firstname.lastname@example.org New Jersey (Englewood) Phone/Electronic Consultation Possible
'A Loving Provision'? How Former Jehovah's Witnesses Experience Shunning Practices
CE Webinar: Mentalization and Attachment Presented by Rosanne Henry, MA, LPC
The recording will be available to ICSA Members in the future!
12:00-1:30pm (EST), November 20th, 2020
$25 Fee, 1.5 CE Credits available! *This session is for mental health professionals/students only.
Those harmed by destructive cults need a comprehensive approach that addresses the intentional, interpersonal and often emotionally overwhelming aspects of cult trauma. This seminar will define attachment and mentalization, and how these developmental capacities are systematically undermined in cult environments. It will explain cult trauma through the lens of attachment and offer six therapeutic tasks that improve cult recovery. In addition to the well-established psychosocial approach to cult recovery this developmental and relational one adds important avenues to healing. It focuses on resuming derailed psychosocial development, evaluating the intention of cult survivors and cult leaders, improving one’s ability to create and maintain relationships and enhancing cognitive and affective skills. Understanding this framework enables therapists to help survivors move more quickly to a mentalizing mode of experience where they more clearly understand the relationship between their internal and external reality. Along with this new perspective comes the possibility of helping cult survivors mentalize cult trauma, develop more secure attachments, and reclaim their resilience.
1. Why an attachment framework is especially helpful for clinicians working with those born/raised in destructive groups
2. What attachment strategies are, how to diagnose your clients’ dominant style, and why that is useful in navigating their relationships
3. The concept of mentalization, the developmental route to this cognitive and affective process, and how this is interrupted in cult environments
4. How to help clients learn how to mentalize their cult trauma and increase their cognitive and affective skills
5. How to understand cult trauma through the lens of attachment using Bowlby’s five therapeutic tasks that improve survivors’ ability to recover from destructive cults.
About Rosanne Henry
Rosanne Henry, MA, LPC, emeritus director of ICSA, is a psychotherapist practicing in Littleton, Colorado. For more than twenty-five years she has been active in the cult-education movement, working closely with the former Cult Awareness Network and ICSA. She served on the Board of Directors of ICSA from 2004 to 2018 and was Chair of ICSA’s Mental Health Committee. She cofacilitated ICSA’s recovery workshops for 25 years. In her private practice, Rosanne specializes in the treatment of cult survivors and their families. She is a former member of Kashi Ranch. In 2010, Ms. Henry received ICSA’s Margaret T. Singer Award (shared with the other Colorado workshop facilitators). She is also coauthor (with Carol Giambalvo) of “The Colorado Model” (ICSA Today, 1, 2010); coauthor (with Leona Furnari) of “Lessons Learned From SGAs About Recovery and Resiliency” (ICSA Today, 2, 2011); and coeditor (with Lorna Goldberg, William Goldberg, and Michael Langone) of ICSA’s Cult Recovery: A Clinician's Guide to Working With Former Members and Their Families, published in 2017. Website: www.CultRecover.com Phone: (303) 797-0629.
To obtain CE Credits:
You must be logged in the entire live session to receive CE credit. Please check with your licensing board to see if you are eligible for CE credit.
International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6893. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified.
ICSA is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
Webinar: Let's Talk About Cults and the Law
You can view the recording HERE
November 7th, 12PM US EST - Free ICSA Online Zoom Webinar
Hour 1: Stimulus Presentation by Phil Elberg, Esq. "Cults and the Law: A Practical Guide"
Hour 2: Interactive Roundtable Discussion with Phil Elberg, Esq., William Goldberg, LCSW, PsyA, Patrick Ryan, and Joseph Kelly. Moderated by Ashlen Hilliard, ICSA
A year ago Phil Elberg, former president of ICSA and winner of the first Margaret Singer Award for Advancing the Understanding of Coercive Influence spoke at a meeting of ICSA’s New York Chapter. For the first time in a public forum Phil told the story of how while looking into a case in his law office against the leader of a drug rehabilitation program led by Miller Newton, he made the cultic connection to his sister’s involvement with an abusive cult leader, Fred Newman, and how making that connection led to his success in exposing the cultic nature of Kids and Straight, Inc. Phil’s fascinating and moving talk included a discussion of his advocacy work in the troubled teen industry and other cultic groups including NXIVM and focused from the perspective of a practicing lawyer what “cult law” is and is not. It concluded with a discussion of the legal issues that people concerned about cults focus on.
"Keeping a family member from joining a toxic group;
Getting them out if they are in;
Once they are in preventing a loved one from turning over financial assets
Attempting to speak out about a cultic group (particularly on the internet) after leaving as part of the healing process and with the goal of helping others;
Suing the group or its leaders for economic and emotional damages arising from cult involvement;
Dealing with family court issues of custody and visitation when one parent remains and one leaves;
Using proof of brainwashing to excuse criminal conduct, mitigate a criminal penalty or convince prosecutors to pursue a prosecution of a group or its leader."
ICSA has decided to make Phil’s talk available on the internet as a stimulus presentation and to then provide an interactive discussion with Phil Elberg, Bill Goldberg. Pat Ryan, and Joseph Kelly moderated by Ashlen Hilliard in which legal and related issues associated with these topics can be discussed.
Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing, Preventing and Healing: Presented by Mental Health Professionals, Clergy, and Spiritual Abuse Survivors
This event has passed and no longer selling tickets. Recordings for this event are only available to those who purchased a ticket. If you purchased a ticket, and lost the link to access recordings please email email@example.com . Recordings only available for 30 days after the event to view.
Sponsored by SMU School of Education & Human Development, SMU Perkins School of Theology, & ICSA.
October 3, 2020, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. CST
Uniting the Continents: Support for the Pacific Rim -- For Families and Former Members Affected by Cultic Groups
This event has passed and no longer selling tickets. Recordings for this event are only available to those who purchased a ticket. If you purchased a ticket, and lost the link to access recordings please email firstname.lastname@example.org . Recordings only available for 30 days after the event to view.
Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:00 am - Sun Sep 13, 2020 3:00 pm AEDT
This event will offer an opportunity for organizations to share their collective knowledge and experience -- across many continents.
The conference includes fourteen fifty-minute sessions and one three-hour Former Member Workshop.
Online Event - Zoom
A Two-Day Virtual Summer Conference:
July 11-12, 2020
The full recordings for attendees who purchased a ticket for this event has expired. Selected recordings from Day 1 only will eventually be made available to ICSA Members. You can become a member by clicking HERE.
This two-day event will include a variety of presentations, panels, and workshops for former members of cultic groups, families and friends, professionals, and researchers.
Day 1 -- Saturday Conference Sessions, July 11, 2020 (11 am - 4 pm US Eastern Time)
Day 2 -- Sunday Workshops, July 12, 2020
Interactive Workshops. Participants will have the option of turning their videos on/off and turning on their audio to ask questions.
Mental Health Workshop (11 am - 2 pm)
Research Workshop (11 am - 1 pm)
Former Member Workshop (1 pm - 4 pm)
Family Workshop (2 pm - 4 pm)
Thank you so much to all the volunteers, speakers, and ICSA staff members that helped make this event possible!
Cult Recovery and Family Support NOT Cancelled Virtual Event Series
This series has now ended. You can view all the recordings on the ICSA Youtube Channel by clicking HERE
Webinars for Families and Former Members During COVID - 19
During this difficult time, ICSA is continuing to offer services for former cult members and resources designed to help thoughtful families and friends understand and respond to the complexity of a loved one’s cult involvement. We understand that recovery for former cult members is ongoing, and the stress of a global pandemic may be contributing to very high levels of anxiety right now. We are provided a recent virtual events series that highlighted a selection of services/topics that ICSA has in an effort to help. This series was streamed over Zoom. Many sessions have Q&A included.
Cults, Coercive Control, and Community -- Nashville Conference 2020 Co-sponsored by the University of Tennessee School of Social Work
This event has concluded. You can view all the talks from this past event on the ICSA Youtube Channel by clicking HERE
You can also check out the Facebook group set up for this event for further details: facebook.com/cultsandcommunity/
We are so happy that you are participating in our conference, “Coercive Control, Cults and Community.” We hope this day will be motivating, thought-provoking and enlightening. The variety of experience and perspective you all bring will provide an opportunity to consider theme topics through different lenses. I believe our day will bring us new insight and an even greater commitment to serving survivors of coercive abuse and building healthy communities. This is the first time the International Cultic Studies Association and The University of Tennessee College of Social Work have come together to offer an educational program for the community. While concerns about the well-being of our children, families and communities perhaps have never been greater, education is the first step toward eliminating coercive abuse in our own neighborhoods. As a participant in this conference, you have indicated a strong commitment to making a positive difference and for that we thank you! Please consider signing up for my newsletter which will keep you apprised of our progress as we make strides in education and service on matters involving coercive control, cults and our communities.
Philadelphia Recovery Workshops for Survivors of Cultic and High Control Groups - February 8-9, 2020
Workshop Day 1 -- Saturday, February 8th -- Recovery Issues After Leaving an Abusive Church Workshops aimed towards addressing the specific needs of former Jehovah's Witnesses and others recovering from spiritual abuse. A variety of topics will be covered to help former members identify psychological challenges that may arise when they leave the faith.
Workshop Day 2 -- Sunday, February 9th -- Helpers That Abuse An educational and recovery workshop focused on serving the needs of those who have experienced abusive therapies, drug rehabs, large group awareness trainings, and abusive bootcamps.