Hope Valley Counselling is named after the area in which it operates – the Hope Valley, in the Derbyshire Peak District – an area of outstanding natural beauty and the perfect place for people to have ‘time away’ to recover. 

Hope Valley Counselling

Hope Valley Counselling Limited was founded in 2006 and has provided Post-Cult Counselling, counselling and psychotherapy to numerous clients coping with:

  •  Mental health issues
  • Trauma & Post Traumatic Stress (PTS)
  • Dissociation
  • Cult pseudo-Identity
  • Developmental issues
  • Family conflict
  • Bereavement
  • Depression

Hope Valley Counselling also specialises in providing Post-Cult Counselling (PCC) which is informed by Gillie Jenkinson’s doctoral research and the four Phases of Recovery and Growth. PCC is specifically for the therapeutic treatment of former cult members and survivors of undue influence - including thought-reform (brainwashing), emotional and spiritual abuse, and rape and sexual abuse, in cults. She works with those who joined and those who were born and/or raised in a cult including multi-generational members.
Given the growing need for professionals equipped to provide therapeutic support for these clients, Hope Valley Counselling provides consultation, supervision and training to other therapists, pastoral workers, and mental health professionals interested in, or working with these client groups. We have also delivered two Certificate in Post Cult Counselling trainings - see more on the events page.

Hope Valley Counselling is the first Approved Service Provider (ASP) for EnCourage Survivors of Cults and Abuse (a UK based Charity) which supports the recovery of former members. 


Dr Gillie Jenkinson


Gillie is a qualified psychotherapist and counsellor with more than 25 years’ experience and specialises in working with survivors of trauma, thought-reform (brainwashing), and undue influence - including rape, sexual abuse, spiritual abuse and cults (first, second and multi-generation).


Gillie’s diverse experience has seen her run her own private practice, provide counselling at Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Service (SRASACS), support clients with mental health issues at MIND, and bereavement at CRUSE. Gillie was also the school counsellor at Hope Valley College, Derbyshire for three years.


Gillie set up Hope Valley Counselling in 2006 after achieving her Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy. This is where she fine tuned the Hope Valley Counselling model for treating former cult members and survivors of spiritual abuse and undue influence - Post-Cult Counselling. Her Masters Research was published in Chapter 17 of 'Spirituality and Psychiatry' (now a Second Edition) co-authored with Dr Nicola Crowley and published by Cambridge University Press in Autumn 2022. 


Gillie was awarded her PhD in 2016 for her doctoral research dissertation/thesis entitled: 'Freeing the Authentic Self: Phases of Recovery and Growth from an Abusive Cult Experience'.


Gillie's book 'Walking Free from the Trauma of Coercive, Cultic and Spiritual Abuse: A Workbook for Recovery and Growth' was published by Routledge in May 2023 (also see below).


She is a trained supervisor (Diploma) and provides supervision, consultation and training to other therapists, including those working within the cultic studies field with undue influence, emotional and spiritual abuse.


Gillie brings her personal experience as a former member of an abusive cult in UK in the 1970s, and later a spiritually abusive Church. She also brings her formal psychotherapy and counselling training, and two internships at Wellspring Retreat and Rehabilitation centre (a recovery programme for former cult members) to offer her unique perspective for working with former members.


Gillie was an Executive member of BACP Spirituality for 7 years, and has been a Member of, and regular presenter at, The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) conferences for many years. She is mental health editor of ICSA Today Magazine and on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Abuse Resources (SAR) website, a division of ICSA. She is the Coordinator, and first ASP therapist, for EnCourage, a UK based charity for survivors of cults and abuse (Charity Number 1104694). Gillie regularly presents her research in cultic studies and is a contributor to several publications. Prior to being a therapist Gillie was a Secretary and a Legal Executive, before becoming a full-time mother to two beautiful daughters. She was born in Uganda, East Africa and went to boarding school in the UK, growing up as a Third Culture Kid (TCK).


Gillie loves her work and wouldn’t do anything else – even if she won the lottery - but she also has a life! She enjoys hiking in beautiful Hope Valley (many of the photos on the website are ones she has taken), and in other parts of the world, such as Yosemite National Park, USA.  She loves watching movies and always has a novel on the go - and has very eclectic taste from the more meaningful to Lord of the Rings and escapism such as Game of Thrones and Science Fiction! She recently attended an art class with a view to doing more when she can find the time – which isn’t very often! Gillie recently rehomed an adorable 7 year old Puggle (Pug/Beagle Cross) called Alby and loves his company and having walks in the beautiful Hope Valley.

Walking Free from the Trauma of Coercive, Cultic and Spiritual Abuse


This book provides a comprehensive guide to recovery, based on a tested model of post-cult counselling, and years of research and clinical experience. It is designed to help survivors of diverse abusive settings, including religious and spiritual, political, gangs, business, therapy and wellness and one-on-one relationships. The reader follows a beautifully illustrated journey through four Phases of recovery and growth, one Milestone at a time, to make sense of what has happened to them, learn how to walk free from psychological control and find resources for healing. Gillie includes stories from her own experience, detailing her path towards recovery and how she learned to come to terms with and overcome what happened to her.





PhD awarded by the University of Nottingham (December 2016)


MA in Educational Research Methods, the University of Nottingham (2013)


Diploma in Supervision from The Sherwood Institute (2009)


MA in Gestalt Psychotherapy, The Sherwood Institute & University of Birmingham (2005) 


Advanced Diploma in Pastoral Counselling, St John’s Theological College, Nottingham  (1999) 


Internship at Wellspring Retreat and Resource Centre, Ohio - a recovery programme for ex-cult members (1999 & 2008)


Numerous training and CPD courses including group facilitation, cultic studies, working with trauma, abuse and attachment, and neuroscience.

Memberships, Accreditation & Ethics Code 


Gillie receives supervision for her therapeutic work in accordance with BACP and UKCP requirements. Her supervisor/s are experienced therapists and understand the cultic studies and spiritual abuse fields, as well as more general mental health issues.        



Member of The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA)


Accredited Member United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and adheres to the UKCP Code of Ethics.


Registered Member of British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (Reg. MBACP) and adheres to the BACP Ethical Framework.