The Role of Critical Thinking in Recovery for Former Members of Destructive Groups


The Role of Critical Thinking in Recovery for Former Members of Destructive Groups

December 2006
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

end quote

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



About ExEB

I'm a agnostic/atheist . Interested in learning more about science. I also am an "ex-member" of a group most publicly known within modern times, as the Exclusive Brethren. Whom are an off-shoot of the original Plymouth Brethren group. I'd say it likely my personality could possibly be described as quirky.You know ,as in being , unconventional , unorthodox , unusual, off-centre, strange, bizarre, weird, peculiar, odd, freakish, outlandish, offbeat, out of the ordinary, bohemian, alternative, zany I'm sure iv'e been classed as "crazy" . Many times But then, being born into a group like the exclusive brethren. Doesn't lend itself ? to tend to produce things considered as being "very normal" .Does it I escaped the Exclusive Brethren cult as a 15 year old teenager. Even since that time iv'e been trying to adjust to living life outside the cult. With much of my life being lived within the genre of "wild colonial boy" style. In the general sense of a church-rebel picking and choosing from role models who appeared within-life along the way. But as the exclusive brethren cult had traditionally maintained a general church-rule , of need to shun and totally excommunicate any ex member of their group.Treating such people as if they were dead. Thus this situation developed more to do with my need of following traditionally enforced church-rule , as apposed to it being so much about "life-choices". Certain emotional experiences, and parts of life in general, have led to me adopting a sense of low self esteem. Which is a situation i still deal with from time to time. Through my ongoing interest in science. I find i am able to gather more information to help me better understand my situation. Much about life for me, has often seemed like a massive puzzle.With many missing pieces.
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