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Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: Zexto ()
Date: February 11, 2015 03:24AM

I'm glad to lnow others have escaped and it's nice to know I'm not alone

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Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: Sancho ()
Date: February 24, 2015 01:10AM

As you probably know, Beth's up to some of the same tricks. From your accounts, the present state of Choices doesn't seem nearly as bad as it was under Maureen, but it's still bad.

I'm glad that the posters here have made some progress after leaving Choices. Congratulations!

But I wonder if you feel like you should/have a duty to deter other innocent people from going there in the future. I can tell you that Beth seems less abusive than Maureen, but she's abusive, and also the methods don't even seem effective...they actually seem destructive.

So, considering how many folks I've met that need actual help, I think it's very important to warn potentially vulnerable folks ( and their loved ones ) to keep away from Choices.

For one, because I firmly believe that Choices does more damage, and for two because there are plenty of ethical, kind and effective alternatives out there.

So, if you agree, why not post on Yelp about CHoices? Why not do what you can publicly to keep people away from that terrible place?

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Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: Zexto ()
Date: June 01, 2015 10:32AM

I wish I knew how to find Noah

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Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: JTAB ()
Date: June 26, 2015 03:15AM

Look for the Noah with the Ark, Zexto, that 6:30 am meeting is like a ghost town and the left be hinders are all in food addiction they are all huge or skinny as rails, its sad.

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Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: June 26, 2015 06:30AM

See[www.amazon.com]

There is a chapter in this new book "Cults Inside Out" about LGATs (large group awareness training) and another detailing an actual intervention to get someone out of an LGAT through an intervention.

There is a chapter specifically devoted to the coercive persuasion and influence techniques often used by LGATs.

This book can be helpful in sorting out and better understanding how to help people caught up in LGATs.

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Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: Zexto ()
Date: December 16, 2016 12:33PM

Bronwen. I loved with you my very first day in treatment. I was only fifteen and I was terrified. You guys painted my nails with some
Polish that changed colors in the sun. I could hear the train from your bedroom and would often times dream of riding away on it.

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Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: Englx ()
Date: June 22, 2018 09:22AM

Morgan here. Choices 02-07. I’m finally unpacking that time of my life over a decade later. It’s validating to read everyone’s words.

I grieve the people I shunned when they left because I bought into the lie at the time that associating with them would cause my own downfall, and I grieve the genuine love and friendship I lost when I finally bolted too. Something very fight-or-flight kicked in when I went to college and realized the world could be so much bigger and freer than Ann Taylor blouses and a beige walled backroom.

The love was real, but conditional. Both were true for me. The support was well intentioned, but abusive. And I’m guilty of perpetuating it, of thinking public humiliation was “helping” someone. Of thinking iron-fisted control was love. I had so much trouble trusting another therapist again. I finally found a specialist who helps people leave “high control and coercion” groups — it was a helpful term because I always feared “cult” was hyperbolic. (Yet I always relate to stories about cults and I still have nightmares, as others have said here.)

Anyway I’m finally posting here to further the validation of anyone’s stress or anxiety or anger or grief post-Choices, especially the era of Maureen and her shiny red Pope shoes... I know they genuinely think/thought these hyper-controlled methods were in everyone’s best interest. But a community with conditional love and an aggressive fee structure is not stable or sustainable.

We deserve autonomy in our friendships, and the ability to voice grievances without suppression or rejection. Leaving was my most painful option. After years of not being heard, not really, about what I envisioned for my own life, I finally took the scariest path and risked (in my mind) death for something different. I’m grateful I did.

Thanks to everyone for being here.

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Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 22, 2018 09:31PM

Congratulations on getting free. Thank you so much for coming here and writing this.

No one intentionally chooses entrapment.

When we are in crisis, we are in
a situation where we have to trust someone.

That is why genuine therapists do not exploit this.

Conditional love feels real, even gives immense feelings of ecstasy. But conditional love is by its nature, insecure.

Secure relationships are emancipatory. Secure relationships are what free us.

A human being who feels secure, feels safe enough to explore, is not afraid to entertain doubts, is not terrorized by the threat of other people's disapproval.

(We may well feel afraid, but not feel terrorized. There's a difference).

Insecure relationships breed fear and keep us trapped.

A secure therapist not only tolerates anger and disagreement by clients - a secure therapist *welcomes* anger and disagreement from clients - just as a gardener rejoices in seeing the plants bloom in season.

The sign of a good therapist is that his or her clients routinely outgrow needing therapy and move on of their own accord.

An insecure therapist is like an insane shoe salesman who berates you for being
a size 10 and browbeats you to continue wearing size 9s.

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Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 22, 2018 09:56PM

CUlts Inside Out by Rick A. Ross is the most up to date book available on what defines cults and distinguishes cults from other situations.

[www.google.com]

No matter what the type of cult, the same techniques and lies are used. Cults are distinctive on account of specific behavior patterns not found in other situations.

In all cases, cult leaders intentionally target and recruit among persons who
are vulnerable because they are in crisis.

Corboy dares to suggest (as a non professional) that some day we may understand that most cult leaders may be process addicts, except that they use people to soothe their emotions and boost self esteem.

That cult leaders need and use disciples for the same reason that junkies shoot heroin, meth addicts use speed and gamblers lurk in casinos.

That perhaps cult leaders even be found in many cases to be no different from
relationship addicts or shopaholics.

One is too many and too many is never enough.

This is just a guess, though.

There is also a book entitled Addiction as an Attachment Disorder by Philip J Flores, Ph.D.

Reading this may put the pretensions of Choices Counseling into proper perspective.

[www.google.com]

Flores pulls together all the current science and clinical psychology findings and
in accessible language, demonstrates how human beings cannot regulate and establish physical and psychological well being unless we are part of a network of secure relationships. Addiction is a disease of isolation.

Insecure relationships make us vulnerable to addictions and to relapse.

Secure relationships ground us and set us free. Insecure relationships (such as those provided by ailing families and incompatible therapists, keep us from reaching developmental milestones and leave us unable to explore and grow.

By contrast, controlling therapists, cults and abusive partners can give us intense emotions but are incapable of giving us secure relationships, because the people themselves are so desperately needy and controlling.

Often this is disguised by charisma and long practice (behind closed doors) in mastering surface charm and communications skills.

Persons incapable of secure relationships are the ones who want to monopolize us. Cults and abusive partners are control freaks. They seek to isolate us from all outside
influences. They excel at tricking us to believe we are weak, when they themselves are the ones who are weak.

Types like this are skilled at playing people against each other. It is common for cults to shun any member who leaves or is ejected.

Leaders need to control all relationships and do not want you to trust each other. At any sign that disciples are forming friendships or a trainee counselor
is becoming trusted will be ruthlessly nipped in the bud.

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