Therapy for Religious Trauma & Cult Recovery

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Hi, my name is Hannah, and I’m a religious trauma therapist and specialize in cult recovery.

You may be feeling like you are struggling with religion, experiencing purity culture trauma, or navigating controlling religious parents. Cults and high demand religious groups are environments full of manipulation and social control. When you are a member of a cult group, you may not recognize that the religion is toxic. The high control religious environment makes the religious manipulation seem normal.  After leaving a cult or high demand religion, it is common to experience: inappropriate religious guilt, feel like no one understands you, and need to overcome an unhealthy obsession with religion. 

I get it, and I’m here to help. I provide religious trauma therapy and cult recovery in Boston, MA for people who are recovering from toxic religion by supporting them when healing from religious trauma. 

This is not an easy journey, but it can be made easier with a religious trauma therapist who has been through it, supporting you every step of the way.

If you’re ready to discover yourself apart from religious control, schedule a complimentary consultation with me today.

My approach to Religious Trauma & Cult Recovery

ABOUT

Religious trauma is different from other forms of trauma because there’s an aspect of divine approval, like God has sanctioned or okay-ed the trauma you’ve experienced. This is NOT true! One of the places we begin in therapy for religious trauma is by untangling God and trauma. We analyze together what is God-ordained and what is perpetrated by humans. After traumatic events, our sense of guilt and responsibility goes haywire and we often accept guilt and blame that isn’t ours. Another side effect of religious guilt is religious anxiety. 

 

Anxiety may develop after you’ve been in a toxic religious environment. High demand religious environments make you doubt yourself, struggle to make decisions on your own, or fear the consequences of failing. It can feel so isolating because it is not something you are even allowed to talk about to others in the group. 

 

You will learn about religious trauma symptoms and the effects of spiritual trauma. We will address the impact of overly religious parents, the psychological effects of purity culture, and the tendency to compartmentalize trauma after a traumatic event. 

 

We will walk through the stages of healing from trauma. High demand religions think in black and white terms, so it is easy to think that after deconstructing faith, the only option is leaving the faith. The good news is that is not true! During this process you are given the opportunity of choosing your religion or the abandonment of one’s religion. We will package a “spiritual suitcase” to bring with you what you need and leave behind what doesn’t serve you anymore.

 

You might be surprised to see the combination of religion and therapy together. They are a natural combination in my mind and can be very supportive of the other. Therapy can provide a neutral space for you to sort out the religious messaging you’ve received. You will determine for yourself what you believe and walk through the world without hiding any longer. I provide religious trauma therapy and cult recovery for people like you in Boston, MA. 

 

If you’d like support in this process, schedule a no-strings-attached consultation today to see if we are a good fit.

The Book of Mormon

FAQs for Therapy for Religious Trauma & Cult Survivors

Do I have to leave my religious group/religion?

The short answer is, it depends. Long answer: you are never going to be forced to do anything in therapy that you don’t want to do. This is the time for you to decide if this religious community is uplifting or whether it makes more sense to think about finding community without church, for example. You will not be forced to be an atheist if you are a person of faith nor will you be forced to be religious if you are agnostic/atheist. 

How long is religious trauma therapy?

This varies from person to person. The average client participates in therapy for 6 months - 2 years. You are never forced to stay for any reason. Therapy is a relationship and, while you may experience initial relief after meeting with a therapist, lasting change is a process and happens over time.

You said we’ll determine what is God-ordained or human. How can we tell what that is?

First, we will use your sacred text to build an understanding of who God is. From that, we will take the traumatic event and determine if it aligns with who/what you know God to be.

Resources for Religious trauma

If you are curious whether you have religious trauma and are interested in religious trauma therapy, check out our Religious Trauma Syndrome Quiz:

 

If you are looking for non religious therapy, check out: 

https://www.seculartherapy.org/

If you are struggling with religion, check out:

https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/#rfr-welcome

How do I know if I was in a cult?

Cults have some shared characteristics. They have strictly defined codes of conduct and belief systems. They are centered around one authoritarian religious leader.

 

If you are interested in learning more about the characteristics of cults, check out my YouTube videos:

“PTSD from Cult Recovery and Spiritual Trauma” https://youtu.be/LDDaBqveU8E

“Isolation or Discrimination due to Religion” https://youtu.be/IJHo76RODNw

“What is Religious Trauma Syndrome” https://youtu.be/RyJUB1o3yx8

Get help from a Religious Trauma Therapist

When I was deconstructing faith, I didn’t have a religious trauma therapist near me or a place to turn to guide me through this process and it was so isolating. This is the reason why I am so passionate about supporting others through their deconstruction process. Finding a religious trauma therapist is a scary step, but know that you will not be alone. I’ve been through it before and I will walk alongside you on your journey.