[Past Event] Surviving and Moving On After a High Demand Group Experience

A Workshop for Second-Generation Former Members

Nore: This is a workshop for second-generation former members: intented only for those born and raised in high-demand groups.

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.

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:

• critical thinking

• socialization, culture shock, and acculturation

• psychological development, child abuse and neglect, parenting styles, boundaries, and trust

• long-term psychological, educational, and emotional effects of growing up in a culture of abuse and neglect

• relationships with families and others

This workshop has been made possible by a private grant 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 grant covers 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.


Friday 3:00 p.m. April 21, 2006 to Sunday 2:00 p.m. April 23, 2006


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

The conference center (http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/center/index.html) 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.

Registration / Fees

See the official website

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This post was last updated: Jan. 27, 2007    
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