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Counseling & Support

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About This Entry

About this page            Color Key
 Blue border = Quoted material

Research resources
Counseling & Support

While the publishers of Apologetics Index operate from an orthodox, evangelical Christian point of view, the intent of this site is to provide research resources from a variety of perspectives.

Therefore, unlike many other websites that deal with the issues we address, many topics on this site include links to Christian, non-Christian and secular research resources, presented from neutral, pro, and contra viewpoints.

Note: A simple color-coding system is used to help you identify the general background of sites, articles and other listings.

How to use Apologetics Index
Suggest additional listings

• Counseling & Support
In this section you'll find the following resources:
Guidelines for selecting a counselor
Organizations and ministries recommended by Apologetics Index
What you should know about fees
About Countercult organizations and ministries

A Word About Professional Fees

Professional intervention and counseling services do not come cheap. Discuss fees as soon as possible and get everything in writing. Do not make hasty decisions, but compare rates and check your options.

If you can not afford the fees, here are some options:
  • See if the individual or organization is willing to work on a sliding scale (i.e. adjust their fees according to your ability to pay).
  • Contact an organization that provides ex-cult counseling services free of charge (or that will put you in touch with trusted counselors who can do so).
  • See if friends, family members or others are willing to 'sponsor' you.
  • Consider obtaining help from countercult organizations and ministries

About Countercult organizations and ministries

The vast majority of ex-cult counselors are associated with - for the most part - Christian countercult organizations and ministries (of which there are over 700 in the U.S. alone). This includes many trained professionals, but also many lay people who may or may not be skilled in counseling techniques. Some charge a fee, some ask for a free-will donation, and some do not expect and/or accept payments at all.

That said, many ex-cult members feel uncomfortable with organizations, ministries and individuals of any religious background - because they do not want to be converted from one belief system into another. That is an understandable, legitimate concern.

Here's how Janet and I (the publishers of Apologetics Index) work: We are Christians and we operate from a mainstream Christian point of view. In part this means we believe that ultimately a person's desire for spiritual fulfillment can only be met by making peace with God through his son, Jesus Christ.

However, we support freedom of religion in thought and expression. We both strongly believe that people who need help should be helped regardless of who or what they are, what their lifestyle is, what they believe, what they can or can not afford, and whether or not they would be open for the message of the Christian Gospel. While we let people know up-front who and what we are, we also let them know that our help comes with absolutely no strings attached.

There are many Christians who work from a similar perspective. Finding them is another thing. You can start by contacting the organizations listed here (the Christian ones are color-coded 'blue,' while the secular ones are 'purple').

Mainstream churches also can be good resources. Many will have skilled counselors available within their congregations. Others may work with professional (Christian or non-Christian) counselors, or will be able to refer you to an organization or ministry.

When talking with Christians counselors or organizations, simply ask questions like this:
  • Will you help me even if I am not willing to become a Christian?
  • What is your experience in dealing with ex-cult members?
  • Do you deal only with the theological aspects of a cult, or also with the sociological ones? (See why this matters)
Note: If the cult you were in could be considered a cult of Christianity (theologically and/or sociologically), a Christian counselor with a good knowledge of Christian theology is preferred over cult experts from a different theological background. In this case, a Christian counselor can be expected to have the Biblical spiritual discernment and insight non-Christians lack.

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About This Page:

• Subject: Ex-cult counseling and support resources
• First posted: Dec. 9, 1996
• Last Updated: Aug. 28, 2004
• Editors: Anton and Janet Hein-Hudson
• Copyright: Apologetics Index

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