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Workshop for Those Born/Raised in Cults (CT)

2017 Facilitators of SGA Workshop (back row): Bill Goldberg, Elizabeth Blackwell, Rosanne Henry, Eva Mackey, (front row) Leona Furnari
Lorna Goldberg, Ann Stamler

Surviving and Moving On After a High-Demand Group Experience: A Workshop for Those Born/Raised in Cults

When: Friday 4:00 pm April 26, 2019 to Sunday 2:00 pm April 28, 2019 (Check-in time is 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm.)

Where: Guest House Retreat & Conference Center, 318 West Main Street, Chester, CT 06412 (860–322–5770).  

As increasing numbers of people born or raised in cultic groups or relationships have reached adulthood, the International Cultic Studies Association has developed a program* that addresses their special needs. If you think this program may be helpful to you, please complete the application form.  We will contact you about registration and other details after you complete that form.

The registration fee includes Friday night and Saturday night lodging and six meals. Fees: Single occupancy $430 ($475 after Feb. 1, 2019); Double occupancy $360 ($400 after Feb. 1, 2019). If your application is accepted, we will send you instructions on registering.  Limited financial aid is available and addressed on the application form.

People born or raised in cultic environments cannot look back to a “pre-cult” identity. Raised in fringe subcultures, they often have educational and other skill deficits that interfere with adjustment to mainstream culture. Having grown up under the influence of irrational belief systems, they struggle with issues of dependency, self-esteem, and social conflict, and often have to deal with the trauma of physical and/or sexual abuse. They have difficulty getting help because they tend to lack finances and be wary of other people, including helpers.

Meeting annually since 2006, this workshop addresses the needs of people born or raised in cultic environments through presentations by specialists and former members, including discussions in which attendees may participate according to their comfort levels. Special attention is paid to attendees’ needs for privacy, reflection, and working at their own pace.

Workshop subjects include
  • Critical Thinking: What Is It and Why Does It Matter? 
  • Is There Such a Thing As a Healthy Family? 
  • Stages of Development: What Did We Miss and How Can We Catch Up? 
  • Now We Are Parents: What Have We Learned? 
  • You Mean I Have a Right to Boundaries? 
  • What Are Our Strengths and Challenges Building a New Life? 
  • Perfectionism, or The Inner Critic: Can We Accept Success? 
  • Moving On: What Does It Mean and Is It Possible? 
  • Postcult, How Should We Feel Toward People Who Harmed Us? 
  • Relationships: Why Are They So Difficult? 
This workshop has been made possible by special donations and the willingness of facilitators to volunteer their time. Without the dedication of these people, registration fees would be much higher than they are. Donations cover a substantial portion of the total cost. Because many people born or raised in cultic environments struggle financially, we urge those in need to apply for additional assistance. Please contact us at 239–514–3081 or All contacts will be kept strictly confidential.

Guest House Practical Information

Contact ICSA about possible transportation sharing with other attendees or if your travel plans include a night before or after the workshop. It may be possible to extend your stay at Guest House.

We cannot accept onsite applications or registrations, and we cannot guarantee acceptance of applications received within 14 days of the workshop start date.


*Two articles describe this program: (1) Lessons Learned from SGAs About Resiliency and Recovery (Leona Furnari and Rosanne Henry) and (2) My Perspective of Rosanne Henry and Leona Furnari’s Presentation to the Annual SGA Workshop (Patrick Rardin) describe this program.  There is also a video on ICSA's YouTube channel:  "Born or Raised in Cultic Groups" with Lorna Goldberg and Leona Furnari. SGA Dr. Lois Kendall has published a book on the subject: Born and Raised in a Sect: You are Not Alone.