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Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: Lady Pleiades ()
Date: April 02, 2003 03:42AM

I was in a 12-step/psychotherapy "community" in Winter Park, FL that shares many characteristics with cults.

The leader, Maureen Traynor, was very narcissistic and controlling. Her daughter was Therapist #2. Being in the "inner circle" meant we spent all holidays with them. She used to say she had some special way of recovery which made us better than the other sick people, particularly in AA. Any criticism of Maureen would merit punishment which included having your car taken away, being forced to move residences and stay with different people, being forced to go to more therapy and more meetings, 24 hour surveillance really.

As I began to question what they were doing more and more, I was told that I had borderline personality disorder and I was in serious crisis. Thank god, I left. Several therapists and psychiatrists since have told me that isn't true.

When I finally left, she told me I would not survive. All people who leave are ostracized. She told everyone in the community I was leaving in "sex addiction" and would be on the streets shortly. That never happened thankfully.

Thanks for letting me share.

My input into this topic is that there are good therapists and then there are very, very bad ones.

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Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: richardmgreen ()
Date: April 03, 2003 06:16AM

Quote
Lady Pleiades
I was in a 12-step/psychotherapy "community" in Winter Park, FL that shares many characteristics with cults.

The leader, Maureen Traynor, was very narcissistic and controlling. Her daughter was Therapist #2. Being in the "inner circle" meant we spent all holidays with them. She used to say she had some special way of recovery which made us better than the other sick people, particularly in AA. Any criticism of Maureen would merit punishment which included having your car taken away, being forced to move residences and stay with different people, being forced to go to more therapy and more meetings, 24 hour surveillance really.

As I began to question what they were doing more and more, I was told that I had borderline personality disorder and I was in serious crisis. Thank god, I left. Several therapists and psychiatrists since have told me that isn't true.

When I finally left, she told me I would not survive. All people who leave are ostracized. She told everyone in the community I was leaving in "sex addiction" and would be on the streets shortly. That never happened thankfully.

Thanks for letting me share.

My input into this topic is that there are good therapists and then there are very, very bad ones.

Does Maureen Traynor have any credentials as a therapist? Sounds like she answers to no one.

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Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: Lady Pleiades ()
Date: April 05, 2003 04:23AM

actually, she does. A lot of people who got sober in AA in the 80s became therapists and then got the credentials. She fits into that category. But she has been reprimanded by all those agencies because of ethical complaints. But apparently that doesn't stop the practitioners from practicing ... I suppose there have to be more complaints.

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Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: richardmgreen ()
Date: April 06, 2003 02:37AM

If Traynor is really bad news then the certifying boards should be notified. There should be recourse, legal and otherwise.

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Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: Lady Pleiades ()
Date: April 08, 2003 03:33AM

Thank you very much. You are right. I am drafting letters to ACA and the American Pscyhotherapy Assoc. now. Thanks again.

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Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: Lady Pleiades ()
Date: September 01, 2005 02:07AM

[www.geocities.com]

The final order has been handed down. Maureen Traynor was disciplined by the state of Florida for her unethical practices.

The fact that the state recognized that what she did was punishable is definitely helpful to my personal recovery process.

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Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Date: September 21, 2006 07:28AM

I feel you. I am a choices escapee myself. I got some good things from them but the side effects were not worth it. The hardest thing I ever did in my life was to leave that place and not look back. I had been there for 5 years and all of my friends were there. I had alienated my family, who thought I had joined a cult and had to have other clients come with me to visit them. I went in primarily for food addiction and got sucked into the whole sex addiction thing as well. I tried to help someone of the opposite gender who was in big trouble but trying to make it right. It was an innocent friendship. They pulled me out of work and put me up in group where I was ridiculed in front of everyone and they tried to make the friendship dirty and hang the persons issue on me as an accomplice. I was kicked out of where I was staying and had to beg people to sleep on their couches and at each house tell them the shameful thing that I had done. I survived it, actually believing that they were right. After that, everytime I mentioned dating in a session, they would bring it up. I knew that I could never have a relationship without them picking it apart. The only thing that gave me courage to leave was a friend who went before me. I got to the point where my inner sense of self had to override my fear of relapse and ostracization. I've been out a year now, am happily married with a baby on the way. I still cant drive through Winter Park without looking in people's cars expecting to see a client. I avoid it whereever possible. I hate going by that hotel we all stayed at for 8-days and I still wonder if my friends will ever get out. One of my best friends has been there for 15 years. I will always care for her but I know that she will only see me as "in relapse" because that is what she has been conditioned to see.

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Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: Lady Pleiades ()
Date: September 22, 2006 11:49PM

Congratulations! I see not much has changed there. I left in 2000 after 12 or 13 years myself, I'm embarrassed to say. But I also have been happily married for two years with a baby on the way. And 21 years sober. So, although I did learn some good lessons and miss many people who I presume are still there, the bad information outweighs the good.

The most reprehensible thing, I find, is the way they corrupted the 12 step programs, stating that Choices was the only way to "true recovery" or "good recovery". That and telling me I would be on the street or in a mental hospital was so unethical and wrong. I had one therapist tell me that he and most mental health professionals in the Orlando area think they are losers.

I had OCD-like symptoms that virtually disappeared overnight after leaving there. And my ex-husband married someone in his group! Of course they told me I was crazy that I was jealous of their relationaship. It's just too weird for words. Well, I could go on and on as you know.

But again, Congratulations on your new marriage and baby! There definitely is life after Choices!

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Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: ssetgurl ()
Date: October 16, 2006 02:13AM

I was also at CCC...i wanted to see who posted this bc i agree it is a cult

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Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: ssetgurl ()
Date: October 23, 2006 01:19AM

I was wondering who this was...this is Adrienne Clark...maybe we dont know each other..i left ebout a year ago and was told as well that I wouldnt make it,....I did and i am happier than ever...:)

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