The Challenge to Heal: A Recovery Guide to help you reclaim your life after leaving any high-control group, by Bonnie Zieman has been out for only a few weeks, yet I am confident that it is helpful tool for healing.
I wish this was available when I left the group I was born into, because anyone newly exiting a controlling group will benefit form its tips on dealing with developmental deficits and the aftermath of exiting. It is intended to "serve an entire spectrum of victims," and help them deal with "manipulation, exploitation, mind-control, ostracism, coersion, and abuse." It it presents helpful ideas for dealing with being cut off and shut out. It will also benefit those of us who left many years ago or who work with victims of controlling groups.
What I enjoyed is how the book explains what happens in high-control groups, why people join and stay, and what is gained by leaving. The hands on tips will help a person to document their story and feelings, to stop identifying with the group and its teachings, and to build a life of of their own. It is particularly helpful in presenting ways to cope with suicidal feelings and the losses associated with leaving.
The book offers many quick relief ideas, and longer term activities that build skills and help forge a new, confident identity. It is not a substitute for therapy or counseling, but will be useful for work in between sessions or as a self help tool. Chapter 20 offers 25 tips for healing from the negative effects of a high control group.
The author pulls from her 20 years experience as a therapist, as well as her experience growing up in a high control group. It is written with compassion and understanding. It is available through Amazon. I highly recommend this book for survivors and for anyone who wishes to help them.
This is my first book review blog. I will be doing more.
My blogs take on all topics related to recovery, including commentary on the intersection of spiritual abuse and current events.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1(800) 273-8255