Friday, April 20, 2012

Conference – Montreal, 2012: Abstract of Pre-conference event: Overview and preparation for the conference: former members

Overview and preparation for the conference: former members

The opening session of the conference for former members is an opportunity for former members to meet and be able to identify with other former members, orienting them for the conference and informing them of the special sessions “for former members only,” preparing them for possible triggers that may occur, and discussing the importance of critical thinking to recovery and attendance at the conference. We briefly discuss triggers, and the possibility of triggers occurring when we are learning about and discussing cultic experience. Triggers are not something to be afraid of. They actually can be helpful, pointing out areas of our vulnerability—this is a safe place for them to occur. A special session on triggers is offered as the first session during the conference.

After introducing the presenters, we inform the attendees about what can be expected when the conference begins. The following information is presented:

ICSA conferences are open to all.

There may be speakers and sessions where information is presented that you disagree with or are in direct opposition to; please use your critical-thinking skills. Also remember that ICSA has provided a safe place where you can disagree and you can be heard.
We have a team of people you can talk to—feel free to pull them aside and tell them you need to talk. They are identified as “Assistance Team” on their name tag.

Attendees are asked to share their names, the groups they were in, how long they were out of the group, and their expectations for the conference. Anyone who does not wish to introduce themselves can just “pass.”
An overview of the recovery process is presented, with an open invitation for comment or questions.
The following conference sessions are open to former members only:

· Coping with Triggers
· After the Cult: Who Am I?
· Session for Those Born/Raised in Groups (Second-Generation Adults)
· Critical Thinking
· Boundaries
· Wrap Up

All other conference sessions are open to former members except where noted on the schedule.


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