The Role of Critical Thinking in Recovery for Former Members of Destructive Groups
Hal Mansfield, M.A.
Director, Rocky Mountain Resource Center on Violent, Destructive, and Hate Groups
Introduction: Dr. Margaret T. Singer, one of the most well-known psychologists who specialized in the cultic studies arena and the recovery process, stated that the most important aspect of recovery is psycho-education — the ability of the former member to understand what happened to them and how it affects them throughout the recovery process. Key to that understanding is the role of critical thinking. We need to be able to learn the techniques and coercive influence practices that were used to gain commitment and compliance, shut down critical thought processes, manipulate experiences and emotions and isolate members psychologically from gaining information and feedback from the world outside the group. We need to understand these in order to begin to break them down and unravel them. (Carol Giambalvo)
In this article, I want to explore the nature of critical thinking in the role of recovery for ex-members of destructive groups. Former members face many difficult changes in the recovery process including anger, intimacy, and how to just get along in life, to mention just a few. I want to focus on critical thinking for the purpose of clarifying the role it plays in recovery and try to clear up misunderstandings of what we mean by critical thinking
It’s an interesting piece of reading. Ex cult members struggle with critical thinking. I’d say many do . I know that its been a problem for myself. Even to the extent that i’d be quick to trust family, or other ex ebs, and mainly i guess, because i’d also really like to believe i should be able to? (= 7. Emotional reasoning)
Even when there was warning signals, available, as to why it might be better to be cautious.
At the end of the day, the best anyone can do, is to try and learn something from mistakes