THE 5-UNIT CURRICULUM

 

We developed these 5 units as a stepping stone for former members of destructive groups. The complete course should help you jump start your education, find words for your experience, and give you more confidence to pursue recovery on your own. Hopefully you will feel comfortable reaching out for additional help after talking to us. And your experience and the world at large won't be quite so overwhelming.

UNIT 1: COMMON CHALLENGES AFTER LEAVING

 

  • Not knowing who you are

  • Anxiety, dissociation, anger and depression

  • Loss of community and friends, loneliness

  • Leaving people behind and mourning

  • Feelings of betrayal and loss

  • Shame and self-blame

  • Repressed emotions

  • Unwanted thoughts

  • All-or-nothing and black-or-white thinking

  • New social rules and a new world

  • Finding housing and work

  • Issues with relationships and intimacy

UNIT 2: WHAT IS A DESTRUCTIVE GROUP?

 

  • Promises exclusivity and the “only truth”

  • Recruitment, love-bombing and a change in identity

  • The toll of daily demands, unquestioning loyalty and devotion

  • Strict rules and threats of punishment (sometimes eternal)

  • Pressure and lack of privacy, always being “on”

  • How those that leave are treated, shunning and defamation

  • Fear, isolation, and coercion as a tool to bind members

  • Strong walls between the group and outsiders

  • Leaders, narcissists, psychopaths, and “gods”

  • Your group experience in the context of society and family

 

  

UNIT 3: BOUNDARIES AND IDENTITY

 

  • Why individuality and strong boundaries were discouraged 

  • Not being allowed to say “no” – a gateway to psychological, physical and sexual abuse

  • Anger as a good indicator for when boundaries are crossed

  • Learning to say "no” and accept "no" – growing new boundaries

  • The group’s belief system and deciding for oneself

  • Developing one’s own identity and goals

  • Finding one’s inner space and refuge again

 

  

 

UNIT 4: REDUCING ANXIETY AND DEVELOPING CONFIDENCE

 

  • Perfectionism and having to save the world

  • The effects of adrenaline and heightened stress levels

  • Failure, rejection and resilience – how to keep going

  • Learning from mistakes and living with uncertainty

  • Developing confidence and standing up for yourself 

  • Learning to trust your instincts and your own perception

  • Making decisions and taking responsibility

 

 

 

UNIT 5: MOVING ON AND GETTING HELP

 

  • Forgiving yourself, allowing moments of weakness

  • Assessing whom to trust, when to tell your story

  • How to connect with people in a healthy way

  • Relationship 101

  • Developing self-protection skills

  • Voicing your opinions at work and in relationships

  • Identifying and communicating your needs 

  • How to find a therapist or reach out for help

  • Enjoying life, developing hobbies and being content