Finding a Therapist
International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA). ICSA offers resources such as local meetings, workshops, and reading materials. You can request a phone appointment with an ICSA expert and, once they know more about your situation, they can advise you of resources that may be helpful.
ICSA also provides profiles on people who have published in its periodicals or spoken at conferences or workshops. Many of these persons are therapists, and you can review their backgrounds by selecting profiles by “profession” or by “location.”
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). NCADV's Information and Referral program provides information, resources, and referrals. Some of these resources may be helpful to a cult survivor.
Psychology Today offers access to a database of licensed professionals that can be searched by zip code.
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) also provides access to a database of licensed professionals.
WebMD has a useful article on finding a therapist.
The Department of Veterans Affairs also has a useful article that lists resources, especially PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) for the general population, as well as for Vets.
Some state psychological, psychiatric, counseling, or social work associations also provide referral assistance.
Therapists from many orientations (e.g., psychodynamic, systems, cognitive) have worked successfully with former members of cultic groups. If you do not have access to a cult specialist, you might find it helpful to talk to therapists who have experience working with traumatized populations, e.g., battered women, for the psychological, physical, and sexual abuse often observed among former members has much in common with other trauma situations.
These resources are starting points for a process that takes patience, intuition, and research. While all therapists provide mental health services, each brings different training, experience, insights, and character to the process. Ultimately, the therapist-client interaction determines success. Feel free to talk to several therapists before deciding with whom you will work.