About Ron Burks

I graduated from Florida State University and after 16 years in a high demand church, got a Masters of Divinity (the degree most Christian mainstream pastors have) and a Masters in Counseling at Asbury Theological Seminary in Central Kentucky. I have written several professional journal articles, chapters in medical and counseling textbooks and the book, coauthored with my wife, Vicki, Damaged Disciples, Casualties of Authoritarian Churches and the Shepherding Movement, was published by Zondervan. I completed the Ph. D. in Counselor Education at Ohio University and did my dissertation on the connection between exposure to a high demand environment and cognitive impairment. I worked as clinical coordinator and counselor at Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center, a residential facility for former members of high demand groups, and relationships from 1993 to 2005. Since then, I have continued to do telehealth consults for individuals who have left high demand groups or relationships.

I now live in the Tallahassee area and recently retired as a mental health and addictions counselor at the Behavioral Health Center at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Current areas of research include:

The similarities between operation of the brain's mechanism of addiction to drugs and alcohol and holding extremist beliefs.

The similarities between the effects on the brain of hostile work environments, subtle or overt, and life in a group environment that might be called a cult.

To set up an appointment:

Email: ron@ronburksphd.com