Understanding the Trauma of having been a member of a High Demand Group with Online Events CPD


Monday 28 June 2021 13.00-15.00 BST


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Dr Gillie Jenkinson (PhD) will discuss why our normal counselling modalities, including trauma therapy, are not enough when it comes to working with former members of High Demand Groups including cults, survivors of spiritual abuse and religious trauma.


She will explore how to identify these clients in the consulting room and the tell tale signs and particular traumas that therapists may not be aware of. Gillie will highlight the differences between multi, second and first generation former members of high demand groups. She will apply Gestalt psychotherapy theory to explain the formation of a 'cult pseudo-identity' and present some tips and ways to help with recovery.


There will be an opportunity to interact with other participants in break out rooms and time for Q&A.


This workshop will be hosted on the Zoom meeting platform where we will use our camera and microphones to interact with each other as a group.


To support practitioners in this time of extraordinary circumstances we are offering access to this group for a self-select fee.


The self-select fee is a radical inclusion policy to open learning for all colleagues. The guide price for this event is £20.00, however, we appreciate that income varies greatly in different locations and circumstances. Please contribute what you can to help us maintain inclusive professional training.


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Counsellor Training

Recognising Spiritual Abuse: What is it, what should you look out for, what helps with recovery?


Gillie delivered this training for another organisation (CMCS) over 2019-2020 and the training went really well and was very well received. See feedback below.


If you are interested in attending this training please check out this page in the new year for further dates.


Purpose & Rationale

This training event will provide an introduction to the issue of spiritual abuse and cults, a broad overview and understanding of the field, and resources for investigating the subject more fully.

  • We will explore the continuum from healthy to unhealthy spirituality; discuss what spiritual abuse is; and define spiritual abuse and cult.
  • We will explore the harm caused and how to recognise, in the consulting room, clients affected by spiritual abuse and cults.
  • We will explore what helps survivors of spiritual abuse to recover.  Strategies that have been shown to help survivors, in research and clinical practice, will be discussed.



What did you find most useful:

'Being given psychoeducational information and a phase model for how to work with clients. Sharing ideas and reflections with other participants. Hearing the personal experience of the presenter and other participants. Appreciating the passion of the presenter for the work'


'A really good insight into the effects of being in a cult and how to help those who have had those experiences. Gillie is an excellent trainer - so knowledgeable and compassionate. It was heartwarming to see so many therapists wanting to learn more about this area in order to help clients who have been spiritually abused.'


'I valued the clear explanations and definitions, the use of breakout rooms...there is nothing I think should be changed, it worked really well for me.'


'A clear and informative presentation on spiritual abuse - really developed my understading of SA and cults. Hearing (Gillie's) personal experience was really helpful.'


'Definitions and lively discussions , personal experience of presenter and examples from her work.'


Did the workshop fulfil your expectations? 

'Yes it exceeding my expectations and made me realise how little of this subject I was aware of. '


'The workshop was very well held with participants feeling enabled to fully contribute.'


'It helped to process my own experience of spritual abuse. It was both healing and enlightening. Many thanks.'


'It was excellent, delivered by a person who had first-hand experience, plus had researched the subject in great depth.'


'Yes, it fulfilled my expectations, actually it surpassed my expectations.'





Certificate in Post-Cult Counselling 2019 - completed


10 days over 3 weekends - September 2019, March & June 2020

The Hope Valley Counselling Certificate in Post-Cult Counselling (C-PCC) is designed to train former members who are accredited therapists to work with other survivors of coercive and radical cultic groups and to use a psychoeducational Recovery Workbook developed by Dr Gillie Jenkinson. The Recovery Workbook is at the heart of Post-Cult Counselling (PCC).


The first ever C-PCC was delivered in Derbyshire, England and on Zoom by two highly experienced therapist trainers Dr Gillie Jenkinson and Sue Parker Hall, international speaker and author of 'Anger, Rage, and Relationship'.


Report on the completed C-PCC

It was quite an adventure delivering the C-PCC which started face to face in the lovely Hope Valley in the form of a Recovery Workshop for the therapist trainees in September 2019. The second weekend was planned for 23 March 2020 (that memorable date when we all went into lockdown 1!). Gillie had to postpone the weekend, rethink, and take the C-PCC online and the March weekend finally happened in June on Zoom (our new best friend!). We had the final weekend in September 2020.


After writing a number of assignments, delivering presentations on these assignments, and attending the three weekend trainings (10 days), I am proud to anounce that there are 8 graduates of the C-PCC who plan to take their training forward to work with Post-Cult Counselling and the Recovery Workbook with former cult members and survivors of spiritual abuse in 2021. The graduates are continuing together, with Gillie, in a support and supervision group for at least a year.


Feedback in relation to the C-PCC 2019-2020

'I found (the training) covered a number of very practical aspects that will enable me to get going and help set expectations. I also thoroughly enjoyed the presentations. I found the group or partner work always helpful in bringing more self awareness as well as giving another opportunity to practice the Recovery Workbook. I found it very well paced and a wonderful mixture of theory and practice. Thank you both!'


'I absolutely loved this training and it certainly has been life transforming and will continue to impact me as I move forward personally and professionally.'


'I think by far this is the most difficult course I have completed emotionally, but it was done in such a safe and respectful way and I have developed as a result both personally and professionally. I would definitely recommend.'


It was: Interesting, Enjoyable, Motivating, Informative, Tiring, Comprehensive, Exciting


'It has given me an insight on significant issues around working with the PCC model and incorporating it into my own practice. We also explored important ethical and legal issues that may arise which was comforting.'


'The course content  was really helpful and included how to practically start practising and things to consider and put into place.'


Was it facilitated in a safe and appropriate way?

'Yes definitely. It was done in a sensitive, respectful and ethical way.'


'Gillie and Sue are exceptional at constantly inviting participants to check in with everyone and to check out their feelings and how (difficult) element of the course can impact. They gave an appropriate amount of time to it and kept the course content at the right level to prevent feeling overwhelmed.'


Certificate in Post-Cult Counselling - 2022

If you wish to express an interest in attending the next Certificate in Post-Cult Counselling which is likely to take place in 2022, please contact Gillie Jenkinson.





Hope Valley Therapist Training


We have developed 1-day and 2-day trainings suitable for therapists wishing to attend CPD and gain an introduction to working with former cult members and survivors of spiritual abuse - please contact Gillie if you are interested in receiving further information.


We have also developed a 10 day training for those wishing to be equipped to work with the Post-Cult Counselling model - Certificate in Post-Cult Counselling (see above).
Supervision or consultancy is also available for therapists requiring support.


Register your interest by emailing us below, and we’ll keep you up to date regarding the training.


Register your interest