Marlene Winell, Ph.D. author and Psychologist coined the term Religious Trauma Syndrome to describe the traumatic effects of being a high control religion and of escaping that religion. References: Winell, M. (2016, July 13) Religious Trauma Syndrome. Journey Free. Retrieved from http://journeyfree.org/rts/ Winell, M. (2019) Understanding religious trauma syndrome. British association for Behavioral and CognitiveContinue reading “Religious Trauma Syndrome”
With the growing community of ExJWs online, we need to support each other through some of the most challenging personal situations. One way that we can support each other is by being active listeners. Your job as a listener is to build rapport, understanding, and trust. As JWs, we were accustomed to telling others whatContinue reading “Support ExJWs with Active Listening”
The feelings of members of Jehovah’s Witnesses are often rejected, ignored, or judged. This is emotional invalidation. Especially if born into the religion these people may experience a very profound level of personal invalidation. Not only are they told what to believe but they are also told what they feel. Any personal feelings or experiencesContinue reading “Emotional Validation”
Many XJW’s are working on building better healthier relationships. With effort and support we can overcome the social and relationship trauma we have experienced. Letting Positive Psychology influence the way we speak and respond to others can help.
There are many valid criticisms of the modern day mental health field. As a mental health counselor I can attest that we have the tendency to focus on the negative. We focus on the symptoms. We focus on the problems. We pathologize and label people. Is there any alternative? Yes. It’s called positive Psychology. PositiveContinue reading “What is Positive Psychology?”
The 5 areas of recovery for survivors of high control religion are Self-Discovery, Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, and Meaning. 4 of these 5 topics are the core areas of positive psychology.
Jehovah’s Witnesses taught us that “being kind to yourself” was wrong. They taught that it was a worldly concept. They teach that good people “pummel” their bodies and that they should treat themselves like “a slave”. They say that our hearts are treacherous and that we should not listen to our metaphorical heart.
As we grow we develop ideas about who we are, who others are, and what the world is like. The collection of values and beliefs that we have about life called our world view. Our world view affects how we treat others and how we live our lives. Waking up from Jehovah’s Witnesses typically meansContinue reading “Love Yourself and Others”
In her book “EXiting the JW Cult”, Bonnie Zieman mentiones that a lot of XJW enjoy eastern philosophy and Buddhism. At the time I read her book vehemently opposed to all religion including Buddhism. I was very hurt and not willing to explore anything even remotely religious. But in time that changed…