Cult Recovery

Editors: Lorna Goldberg, William Goldberg, Rosanne Henry, Michael Langone. 

This landmark, 500-page book, with chapters from leading clinicians and researchers, describes the current state of the art in helping people adversely affected by a cultic dynamic, whether in a cult, mainstream religious denomination, psychotherapy, family, or other interpersonal relationship. The regular price is $79 plus postage. Discounts are available - see options below.

Available in ICSA Bookstore

Look for the Special Offer Available in ICSA Bookstore: Book and ICSA membership. 

About the Book

People are different, and different people will respond to the same environment in different ways. That is why the first clinical rule in working with former cult members and families is to remain flexible and not rigidly adhere to a clinical ideology. The chapters in this book reflect this attitude of openness, while describing how different experts approach the kinds of problems that might confront therapists working with former cult members and those with affected loved ones. 

Though primarily aimed at helpers, the clearly written chapters of this 500-page book can help family members and former members of cultic situations, including those born or raised in such environments. 

The chapter contents and contributors are listed below. Abstracts of chapters.


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Book Only - Without ICSA Membership (includes postage and handling)

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Contents (Abstracts)

Introduction: ICSA’s Recovery Focus - Michael D. Langone PhD 

Helping Families and Loved Ones 

Overview: Helping Families and Loved Ones - William Goldberg LCSW, PsyA 

Working With Families - William Goldberg LCSW, PsyA

Conflict Resolution for Families in Distress - Patricia Millar PhD, PCC and Cristina Caparesi

Exit Counseling - Carol Giambalvo

Helping Former Members: Individual Psychotherapy 

Overview: Helping Former Members: Individual Psychotherapy - Lorna Goldberg LCSW, PsyA

Cults: A Natural Disaster—Looking at Cult Involvement Through a Trauma Lens - Shelly Rosen LCSW

Counseling Former Cultists: The Brief Intermittent Developmental Therapy (BIDT) Approach - Steve K. D. Eichel PhD, ABPP, CST

Mentalization Attachment Approach to Cult Recovery - Rosanne Henry MA, LPC

EMDR—Overview and Application With First- and Second-Generation Former Group Members - Leona Furnari MSW, LCSW

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for Former Members of High-Demand Groups - Madeleine Tobias MS, RN, CS

A Modern Psychodynamic Approach With First-Generation Former Cult Members - Doni Whitsett PhD, LCSW

The Role of Self-Care in Cult Recovery: Issues for Practitioners, Members, and Former Members of Cultic Groups and Their Families - Linda Dubrow-Marshall PhD, Reg. MBACP (Accred.) and Rod Dubrow-Marshall PhD, MBPsS

Helping First-Generation Parents and Second-Generation Children Heal the Impact of Cult Harm - Lorna Goldberg LCSW, PsyA

Support Groups 

Overview: Support Groups - William Goldberg LCSW, PsyA

Support Group for Former Cult Members - William Goldberg LCSW, PsyA and Lorna Goldberg LCSW, PsyA

An Independent Faith-Based Approach to Support and Recovery Groups for Those Affected by Harmful Religious Environments - Patrick J. Knapp MA, PhD candidate

Recovery Workshops, Intensive Programs, and Residential Treatment 

Overview: Recovery Workshops, Intensive Programs, and Residential Treatment - Rosanne Henry MA, LPC

The Colorado Model Recovery Workshop - Carol Giambalvo and Nancy Miquelon LPCC

The Wellspring Program - Donna Adams-Weiss PhD, LPC, Ron Burks MA, MDiv, PhD,LMHC, Greg Sammons MEd, LPC, and Lois Svoboda MD, LMFT

Relational Psychoeducational Intensive—Time Away for Postcult Counselling - Gillie Jenkinson PhD, MA, UKCP-accredited

Residential Treatment Modality for Cult Trauma Survivors - Robert Pardon MDiv, ThM and Judy Pardon MEd

Special Issues and Research 

Overview: Special Issues and Research - Michael D. Langone PhD

The Relational System of the Traumatizing Narcissist - Daniel Shaw LCSW

How to Approach Cultic Studies Research - Lois Kendall PhD

What the Research Tells Clinicians About Current and Former Cultic Group Members - Lois Kendall PhD

ICSA Bibliography: Papers Related to Clinical Work With Families and Former Group Members - Kristine Langone BSW


“Decades of valuable and useful research and treatment experience are contained in these essays. Nothing comparable exists in current mental health literature. It will be the standard reference for treating cult victims for years to come.” 

Stephen Kent, PhD, University of Alberta 

“Never before has there been so instructive a collection of information on cult-relevant treatment issues. This book should be in easy reach on the shelf of any clinician who provides such treatment.” 

Robert Cialdini, PhD, Author of Influence and Pre-Suasion 

“There was once a dispute about cultic groups and whether they are often pernicious. This wise and humane book puts to rest that question. A wealth of clinical material detailed in these pages should help those counseling anyone coming out of totalistic communities. The stories are sometimes sad, the models for healing individual and families inspiring. As a close colleague of Robert Jay Lifton for 45 years, I was impressed with the range of approaches described in this book. There is nothing dogmatic in these pages.” 

Charles B. Strozier, author and coeditor, The Fundamentalist Mindset;

author, Until the Fires Stopped Burning: 9/11 and New York City in the Words and 

Experiences of Survivors and Witnesses; and author, Heinz Kohut: The Making of a Psychoanalys

“Cult Recovery… is a sound, solid, information-packed yet compassionate guide to working with survivors of cults and other types of organized abuse. Never sensational or dramatic, it is filled with rich clinical and didactic information that therapists need to help patients who have been through cult experiences and still suffer the consequences of them. 

Janina Fisher, PhD, author of Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors 

and coauthor of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment

“I have been looking forward to this book becoming a reality. At last, a comprehensive guide to recommend to students and professionals wishing to learn more about how to help those affected by abusive groups. Through the contributions of leading experts dedicated over the years to helping those harmed by a cult experience, the editors have done an outstanding job of bringing together accumulated knowledge and new insights on cult recovery. A must-read for students and mental health professionals interested in setting a high bar for further work with those who suffer.” 

Carmen Almendros, PhD, Associate Professor 

in Clinical and Health Psychology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain


Biographical sketches of authors can be found on the people profiles page.


Lorna Goldberg, LCSW, PsyA, Director, Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies, Teaneck, NJ. 

William Goldberg, LCSW, PsyA, adjunct professor, Dominican College; faculty member, Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies. 

Rosanne Henry, MA, LPC, psychotherapist, Littleton, Colorado. 

Michael D. Langone, PhD, Executive Director, International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA). 


Donna Adams-Weiss, PhD, LPC, Executive Director, Miriam’s Villa, Montgomery, Alabama; former Clinical Director, Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center, Albany, Ohio. 

Ron Burks, MA, MDiv, PhD, LMHC, substance-abuse and mental health counselor, Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, Florida; counselor in private practice helping former members of cults; former Board chairman and Clinical Director, Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center, Albany, Ohio. 

Cristina Caparesi, family mediation; doctor in Psychology and Psychodiagnostic/Psychological evaluation; editor, SOS Abusi Psicologici; cocorrespondent, ICSA Today. 

Linda Dubrow-Marshall, PhD, Reg. MBACP (Accred.), Research coeditor, ICSA Today; cofounder, RETIRN; Programme Leader, MSc Applied Psychology (Therapies) Programme; and codeveloper, MSc Psychology of Coercive Control, University of Salford, UK. 

Rod Dubrow-Marshall, PhD, MBPsS, Professor of Psychology, Visiting Fellow, Criminal Justice Hub, and codeveloper MSc Psychology of Coercive Control, University of Salford, UK; cofounder of RETIRN, UK; and coeditor of the International Journal of Cultic Studies. 

Steve K. D. Eichel, PhD, ABPP, CST, ICSA President; Past President, American Academy of Counseling Psychology; Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Delaware. 

Leona Furnari, MSW, LCSW, psychotherapist, Boulder, CO; Approved Consultant, EMDR International Association. 

Carol Giambalvo, thought-reform consultant (retired); cofounder, reFOCUS; member, ICSA Board of Directors; Director, ICSA’s Recovery Programs, Project Outreach. 

Lorna Goldberg, LCSW, PsyA. 

William Goldberg, LCSW, PsyA. 

Rosanne Henry, MA, LPC. 

Gillie Jenkinson, PhD, MA, UKCP-accredited, psychotherapist; mental health editor, ICSA Today. 

Lois Kendall, PhD, researcher, speaker, and author, cultic studies and sects. 

Patrick J. Knapp, MA, PhD candidate, founder and cofacilitator, Becoming Free, Denver, Colorado; mentor, Denver Seminary. 

Kristine Langone, BSW, California State University, Fresno; Christian former cult member. 

Michael D. Langone, PhD. 

Nancy Miquelon, LPCC, clinical mental health counselor, Dulce, New Mexico. cofounder, reFOCUS; facilitator, ICSA’s Recovery Workshop. 

Patricia Millar, PhD, PCC, doctor of Human Development, professional certified coach; certified conflict coach; research in life transitions and identity development; Adjunct Professor, Saybrook University. 

Judy Pardon, MEd, Associate Director, New England Institute of Religious Research (NEIRR) and of MeadowHaven, Lakeville, Massachusetts. 

Robert Pardon, MDiv, ThM, Executive Director, New England Institute of Religious Research (NEIRR) and of MeadowHaven, Lakeville, Massachusetts. 

Shelly Rosen, LCSW, psychotherapist in private practice, New York; Clinical Supervisor and instructor, National Institute for the Psychotherapies’ Integrative Trauma Program; instructor, The Training Institute for Mental Health. 

Gregory Sammons, MEd, LPC, Director, Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center, Albany, Ohio. 

Daniel Shaw, LCSW, psychoanalyst in private practice, New York; faculty and clinical supervisor, National Institute for the Psychotherapies, and Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis, New York. 

Lois Svoboda, MD, LMFT, private counselling practice; former family medicine physician and medical family therapist, Wichita, Kansas (retired). 

Madeleine L. Tobias, MS, RN, CS, clinical coordinator and Military Sexual Trauma Specialist, Veterans Administration (VA) Vet Center, White River Junction, Vermont (retired); Approved Consultant, EMDR International Association. 

Doni Whitsett, PhD, LCSW, Clinical Professor, University of Southern California, Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.