therapy abuse?
Posted by: lilsis ()
Date: February 24, 2004 05:40AM

Please help me understand this. Any honest input is appreciated!

My brother, who was a very successful member of the medical community, recently lost everything due to a drug addiction. He is now in a rehab center. His counselor at the rehab center got him involved in her "church". The conselor told my brother, who is at probably the most vulnerable time in his life righ now, that God "speaks to her" and that he can be "healed" only if he goes to her church. My brother is married and has 2 beautiful, severely disabled children. The counselor told my brother that his children are actually forms of Satan. She told him they must be "healed" at a ceremony in her church. His wife drove with her children to a church service at the request of my brother. She stayed for 15 minutes and left. She said there were bean bag chairs all over the floor because of people passing out when they are "healed." My brother claims to have passed out himself at one of these services, due to the healing powers of the clergy. His drug rehab counselor told him she was sent to earth from God to heal people.

His wife told him that she would not tolerate her family being a member of that church. My brother said he would stop going, but then he changed his mind after talking again with the drug counselor. His wife even told him that they could find a church to attend after he was out of rehab, but right now was not the time to make such a huge decision. My brother is convinced that he is doing the right thing.

My first question is, could this be a cult? Second question is, and this may be unrelated to this forum, does the rehab center, which claims no ties with ANY religious group, have a responsibility in this? Doesn't seem right that a counselor can go after people like this at such a vulnerable time.

Your insights are appreciated!

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therapy abuse?
Posted by: Dante ()
Date: February 26, 2004 01:26AM


A few notes on counselers if I may;

First off, counselers are supposed to bring stability to their patients. They have access to any number of tools to do this with, one strong one being religion. That being said, I think that the counseler sounds like a recruiter; one who is either set up well in her plan of busines, but it sounds more like their was someone who recruited her first (maybe with promises to find an easy way to help people she didnt have the tools to help) and she is a believing member of the church (because these people stripped down the doubt of the patients she couldnt help and filled it with their doctrine filling the gap with a sense of belonging and acceptance, while the rest of the world looks at these people like second rate human beings because of the drug usage. ) who helps recruit those without stability in their lives. The drugs where the only thing that was keeping them stable, and now that is gone.

Is the church a cult?
Well, one of the methods of control is refferd to as unfreezing and freezing. All the while, the person is pulled away from the people the where previously familiar with, so as to remove outside stimuli, and to make it easier to intigrate that person into the cult. Then, the people abidding over the cult can apply social interactions as neccessary to make the person think a certain way. A few questions I would have is your brother starting to talk differently? I do not mean does he seem changed, I am reffering to his vocabulary. Does it ever slip that you are too unenlightened to understand, or something to that effect? Is he picking up buzzwords from them? Some cults will do this in order to make it more difficult to communicate with people from outside the cult. As for the bean bad chairs, this strikes me as an odd occurance. But, if you look at it as a way to build comraderie, then it makes sense. One person sitting in a church wouldnt sit in a bean bag chair. If 20 people where sitting in them, then you would feel ackward from standing, wouldnt you? You would want to sit, and if you where seeking acceptance, then that coupled with mass (hysteria? is that the word?) then you have a lot of people who would refuse to believe that this wasnt real, and would give anything to help propogate it. Mind you, that comes later, after the inital unfreezing is done.
I dont know if the church is a cult. It would require some carefull observation on your behalf, but you have to be carefull not to see things because you want them to be there. I hope I was a help,


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therapy abuse?
Posted by: infiltrator ()
Date: March 10, 2004 05:36AM

Could the counselor be involved with a cult? Quite possibly. Is the rehab center responsible for the counselor's actions? Absolutely. No legitimate rehab center would knowingly allow such things to go on. Even those that have a connection to religious organizations do not inject their beliefs.

Fellowships designed to help addicts deal with their problems specifically state in their literature that religion or lack of is not necessary for membership. Most rehab centers work closely with these fellowships and most will require the recovering addict to attend a minimum number of meetings when they a released from therapy.

The scenario you describe is not only unnaceptable in the rehab community but would also be unnaceptable to insurance companies that may be footing the bill. It will also be actionable in a court.

If the facility has a director, report the abuse immediately. This sounds like an isolated case and should not cast an unwanted shadow on the rehab community. Thousands of addicts recover every year with the help of such facilities and fellowships and religion has no bearing on their progress.

Fellowships such as Narcotics Anonomous encourage their members to find their own "higher power", but it is one of the addicts own choosing and has nothing to do with religion.

Good luck to your brother.

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therapy abuse?
Posted by: sustainedbygrace ()
Date: December 18, 2004 05:26PM

I was involved recently with a person at a church who ran my life for me for two years. I had to finally get away from this relationship after I had a nervous breakdown.
I went to a real counselor who told me that I was a grown-up and I could make my own choices... That was so freeing....
There was absolutely no reason for this person to counsel me the way she did, everything I shared with her, she told the entire church staff, and they told someone else and so on and so on...
to the point I felt very uncomforatble going to church....
my husband and I were having a hard time in our relationship and everyone knew about it, and they shunned my family because were labeled dysfunctional...
we served at this church every chance we had, my husband worked over 60 hpurs a week and still served, but we were not worthy of any kind of respect there....
now we go to a different church and well.... it's so cool to walk in and not be judged!!!!!
if someone is in need of counseling GO TO A PROFESSIONAL!!!!!

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