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8 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Hi Hottshott, sorry to hear about all that going on over there but I'm not surprised. Maureen was a master manipulator and controller and that's how she got people to "change." That kind of controlling she did most with her own kids. I think they were all impaired counselors and sounds like they still are. Try to get to as many non-choices meetings as you can.
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
8 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Welcome JST and Congrats on being 169 days sober! There are a lot of good meetings and therapists out here in the real world :) In fact, finding a higher power of my own understanding and a program of recovery that worked for me has given me a lot of strength. I am really sorry to hear about the young woman who is still there and, especially your friend. The young woman who "took pa
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
8 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Hi Figlady, I lost a lot of childbearing years. But I also got married post-cult in 2004 and had my son naturally at age 44, in 2006. Some of my friends were telling me I should freeze my eggs or think about my fertility. I came of age in the late 80s and 90s - I am woman hear me roar! - so there were no limits on what a woman could do! (that's meant to be a little sarcastic b/c of co
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
8 years ago
Lady Pleiades
I have found that I can be "suggestible" in terms of personality. I can be hypnotized pretty easily. And, yes, I also assume people have the best intentions at heart. And, no it isn't true, is it? There are people who are evil or sociopathic. And then there are people who feel that they have to "get theirs" at every turn because no one's going to just give it to
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
8 years ago
Lady Pleiades
I don't know much about how people are doing there, who is still involved in Choices and who is not. I did want to post some articles that a recovering Choices member sent to me a while ago. If you have any kind of academic interest in bad therapy experiences or the recovery therewith, these articles are extremely helpful. Pepper, Robert S. The omnipotent clinician: A potential source o
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
8 years ago
Lady Pleiades
I just want to chime in and reiterate that we can with hold some information without it being completely lying. I just went back to grad school with women who had been stay at home moms for 18 - 20 years. They felt the same way. I don't have any job skills or credibility or anything. But they had a lot of skills, mostly in organizing but all kinds of things. And you do have skills, as y
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
8 years ago
Lady Pleiades
I don't think it's right to post the lines from the Wizard of Oz that keep running through my head :) but I was going to just let anyone know that my name was Beth O'Rourke while I was at Choices in the 80s and 90s and I would love to connect on FB or even through email (although you wont' find me with that name). PM me here and we can share emails. I have been meaning t
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
10 years ago
Lady Pleiades
I was in a psychotherapy group in Florida in the 80s and 90s. EST-like encounter groups and 12 step philosophy. A megalomaniacal leader who claimed all kinds of things about being a pioneer and demanded homage paid to her greatness and on and on. My ex is still there. I am still in the 12 step group I was in when I started there, and believe me, there's a difference. I know many people
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
10 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Hi Mary Glad you're here. :) I was definitely there when you were ... My ex-husband is still there and I haven't spoken to him in a decade. But I am re-married and was blessed with a son and am still sober myself -- happy, joyous and free. :) I'm sure that just irritated the heck out of Maureen because she gloated when people left and relapsed. And, conversely, she hate
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
10 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Yea, that is still a huge ethical issue. They are not certified as an inpatient facility and we all know they function as one. No it's not inpatient but send us a rent check. And the other inmates are the babysitters? Maureen exploited some of the most abused people I have ever met with implementing those foundations. MRT thought she was an entrepeneur but so did Bernie Madoff! They are
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
10 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Welcome mepste, I am so glad to hear you are staying clean and sober. WTG!!!! There is a life of recovery and being "happy joyous and free" outside of Choices and I'm so glad you found it. I agree with the above poster that they do thrive on humiliation and an addict's shame and guilt in the first place. In addition to the Catholicism mentioned, there's the northern
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
11 years ago
Lady Pleiades
If anyone is interested, I would be happy to share my experience in filing the complaint with the state of Florida and with the American Counseling Association. As was told to me, these agencies are eager to hear legitimate complaints because those who flaunt ethics in their profession really cast a bad light on the whole field. I heard that from several different people: from psychologists to
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
11 years ago
Lady Pleiades
I have thought a lot about this over the past couple of months because I cavalierly made the statement that I might, under some extreme circumstances, send my child to Choices. I have to say that, after thinking about it pretty carefully, I would never send my child to Choices. I just know there are so many other good treatment facilities and professionals out there.
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
11 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Hi Scooter, I just saw this but wanted to respond that I completely understand. I also have moments of extreme anger at most of what happened. I was sent to a general practitioner for my meds so at least they figured out as much to send clients to a real psychiatrist. After they were reprimanded by the state for that very thing! But the manipulation and lack of ethics has always been a
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
11 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Therein is the problem: they are not accredited as an inpatient facility and they are charging rent. An age-old problem, but the end really cannot justify the means. That is Maureen's primary problem, she sees herself as outside the boundaries and rules of what the rest of us have to live by. Textbook pathological narcissist. Plus, there are just too many excellent and ethical profes
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
11 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Dear DRBKAS I appreciate your wanting to defend Choices. I often say as much when I tell people about it: those boot camp methods can work with really difficult addicts... I guess if you have tried several other methods of treatment that may just be the last resort. My experience is that I went to Choices already sober. My husband and I went for "codependency" therapy. I wo
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
11 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Hi Lauren I am so glad you left. I went through a lot of the same situations that you did: being labeled in crisis, made to move, have "plans" with people, the horrendous groups, given psychiatric diagnoses, etc, etc. They know who to pick on that's for sure. And then no apology when she admitted she lied? I hope it makes you feel better that I was part of a legal complaint
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
11 years ago
Lady Pleiades
I, too, wish I knew who is still there and how they manage. I try not to judge. :) And there are people who left that I wish I could make amends to as well. people who I wished I had stood up for sooner... But I am so glad that the handful of us here left and we all prove that there is continued recovery and sobriety and life after Choices. I was also very rigid about lots of things in re
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
11 years ago
Lady Pleiades
so glad to reconnect with you all. It was going back to the basics in AA that really helped me, I think. I was so goofed up in my head about what real sobriety meant, real recovery, real mental health. How many addictions I had. you know the list :) so plain and simple AA and some really excellent professional help since then too. I even went to a psychiatrist who weaned me off of the med
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
11 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Tough question but I'd have to agree with the idea of not thinking about what others think. I like to just trust my instincts. What I found out is that I take a long time to make a decision. I weigh options, ask friends opinions, gather as much evidence as possible to be able to make a fool-proof decision. Easy to let a strong personality just make the darn decision for me. so, I t
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
11 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Just wanted to say I did read it and relate to some of the ambivalent feelings. Some of what they do is good. No one forced me to stay there. But, those warning signs you write about are tell-tale signs. I have recently taken a class on how groups are supposed to be run and everything you describe, and everything I experienced, are completely counter to how real groups should function: from
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
11 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Hi there, I left in 1999 so I must know you but doesn't matter... I feel so much happier now but it does take a while too. I was definitely relieved to leave and that's how I knew it was the right choice but it takes a while to recover fully. I have had some professionals tell me it sounds like PTSD. Either way, I am still sober, will have 24 years next month, am happily married
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
12 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Blaze - I was also in a group that professed the 12 steps and used the 12 steps but were a therapy community/cult. They overtook an AA meeting in town and so if any of their people sponsored your son, I could see the same thing happening. I don't know the circumstances which are not really important but THAT IS NOT AA. Are you sure it's not a therapy group or a treatment facility? T
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
12 years ago
Lady Pleiades
The previous link that I posted is dead, but this is current in terms of the judgement made against Traynor
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
13 years ago
Lady Pleiades
To Jupiter and Starry too I just want to say that you both are able to describe the experience and the recovery so well. I remember the few books I was able to find on the topic (Insane Therapy by Marybeth Ayella and Margaret Singer of course) were such a relief to read and think "yes, that's what they're doing and this is how I feel!" Those were really the cataly
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
13 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Your name is not familiar, but I'd be happy to chat if you want to pm or email me.
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
13 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Just want to offer support and encouragement. Life has gotten 100% better for me, just in leaving, but there are residual effects like you describe. I have it too and I like what others have said about finding people who care and will just let you talk it all out. Not easy to find, but they're out there. My husband didn't have any personal experience but he had a friend whose pa
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
14 years ago
Lady Pleiades
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
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
14 years ago
Lady Pleiades
Recently I have been reading about Brief Therapy and Solution-Centered Therapy. I liked a book called Single Session Solutions by Moshe Talmon. I am wary of therapy, in general, but I appreciate the idea that if we need some kind of therapy, that short-term solutions exist. I don't need to subscribe to a whole philosophy of life. And stay there for life. Finally, the other book th
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
14 years ago
Lady Pleiades
I think I felt a lot of shame for a long time (it's been 5 years) that I could be duped by the cult. Yes, I have a higher degree and a fairly high IQ. I was a skeptic at first and then tried doing it all and became one of the zombies (as they are called in Winter Park FL where the group exists). I wanted to save my marriage and was willing to do anything. I left and of course have had
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
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