Surviving and Moving On After a High Demand Group Experience

Sunday February 18, 2007


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

The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) has run workshops for former members of high-demand, “cultic” groups for many years.

In recent years increasing numbers of people born or raised in such groups (i.e., “second generation adults” – SGAs) have attended these workshops. These ex-members have special needs, which can be most effectively addressed through a workshop that focuses on them. SGAs do not have a “pre-cult identity” to which they can return. SGAs raised in fringe subcultures have to learn the implicit rules and expectations of mainstream culture.

SGAs frequently have educational and other skill deficits that interfere with adjustment to mainstream culture. Having grown up in high-control groups that are often based on irrational belief systems, SGAs tend to struggle with issues of dependency, self-esteem, and social conflict. Because many SGAs were physically or sexually abused, they often have to deal with anger, resentment, and other emotions related to trauma. SGAs have difficulty getting help because they tend to lack finances and be wary of other people, including helpers.

This workshop will address the needs of SGAs through a series of brief didactic presentations (supplemented by written handouts) followed by discussions, to which attendees may contribute according to their comfort levels. Specifically, the workshop will address:


Friday 3:00 p.m. April 13, 2007 to Sunday 2:00 p.m. April 15, 2007


Trinity Conference Center, 79 Lower River Road, West Cornwall, CT 06796 (860-672-1000)

The conference center is located on a bend in the Housatonic River, just a half-mile from the covered bridge in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, on 500 forested acres. The Center is two hours from New York, an hour-and-a-half from Albany, three hours from Boston, and an hour from Hartford and Bradley International Airport (BDL). Contact us if you plan to fly (Hartford’s Bradley Airport would be the closest airport) and will need ground transportation to the conference center.

Book a Flight Save up to 60% off published airfares on major Airlines.


This workshop has been made possible by special donations and the willingness of facilitators to volunteer large amounts of their time. Without the dedication of these people, registration fees would be much higher than what is listed below.

The donations cover a substantial portion of the total cost. Therefore, the fees listed below reflect a significant discount. Because many SGAs struggle economically, additional financial assistance is available for those in need. If you would like to apply for financial assistance, please contact us.

Fees include sleeping accommodations (Friday and Saturday) and meals (Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Sunday breakfast and lunch). Double occupancy (please tell us your roommate’s name or request that we assign a roommate): $140 per person. Single occupancy: $240 per person.


Register online.

Contact ICSA if you would like to apply for financial assistance:


The Facilitators


The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is an interdisciplinary network of academicians, professionals, former group members, and families who study and educate the public about social-psychological influence and control, authoritarianism, and zealotry in cultic groups, alternative movements, and other environments. Founded in 1979 as AFF (American Family Foundation), ICSA took on its current name in late 2004 to better reflect the organization’s focus and increasingly international and scholarly dimensions. ICSA is guided by a distinguished Board of Directors and Executive Advisory Board
– Source: About ICSA and Overview of Issues

ICSA is among the organizations, ministries and individual cult experts/counselors recommended by Apologetics Index (publisher of Religion News Blog).

See also our Guidelines for Selecting a Cult Expert/Counselor

More about this subject:

Topic(s): Conferences / Seminars
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