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CHD615 Research Paper - Cult Counseling

CHD615 Research Paper - Cult Counseling

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Published by jlkinney

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Published by: jlkinney on Jul 16, 2007
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Counseling and the Cult Member 1Counseling and the Cult Member:Issues for the Practicing Counselor Jeremie Lee KinneyCHD 615University of North AlabamaPaul Baird, Ph. D.
Counseling and the Cult Member 2AbstractThe purpose of this paper is to provide information on the topic of cults in the counselingfield. Presented is information on the terminology used in the cult studies area, a description of the process by which a person enters into a cult, strategies for counselors to use in the exitcounseling process, and ethical concerns when dealing with ex-cult members. It is the authorsintent to provide a broad overview of the concerns in the cult counseling field. Others areencouraged to read further into the particular topics covered in this paper.
Counseling and the Cult Member 3Counseling and the Cult Member:Issues for the Practicing Counselor Where does society find its boundaries between religions and cults? At what point doesreligious activity take on the aspects of control and manipulation? When does ones belief  become harmful? How does the counselor address the needs of an exiting cult member without blurring the lines even further? The answers to these question are gray at best and only recentlyhave seen extensive study and research.DefinitionsThe term “cult” is defined by the Merriam-Webster OnLine Dictionary (2006) as1. a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also its body of adherents;2. a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator;3. great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book);
such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad; a usually smallgroup of people characterized by such devotionAccording to Rosedale and Langone(2006) the definition of “cult” as it applies tocounseling and society has evolved into additional meanings to include religions regarded asunconventional or a blind following to a person, idea, object, movement, or work.Recently the acronym NRM has been applied to “new religious movements” . Thesegroups distinguish themselves from cults in that they take on qualities of standard mainstreamreligions and are not met with much if any social resistance.In past years the term that was used to describe the counseling process as it applied to an

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