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Upcoming Events

Open Group Studio: High Demand Groups –
Colleen Russell, LMFT, CGP

Open Group Studio: High Demand Groups –
Colleen Russell, LMFT, CGP

“Behave, Believe, Become – Or Not!”: Coercive Influence in High Demand Groups or Cults, and Partner/Spousal Abusive Relationships.

Former members of High Demand Groups or Cults (including those born and raised in them) often talk about therapists’ lack of understanding about recruitment/seduction, indoctrination, psychological manipulation and, in some cases, physical, sexual, financial abuse that they have experienced. I will present definitions of cults and processes of coercive influence in systems — cults, partner abuse, and families.”

We will review recovery issues in post-cult life. What makes any of us vulnerable to cult recruitment? With education and understanding, we can spot these harmful dynamics and take action.

Colleen Russell, LMFT, CGP has maintained a general private practice in Marin with an area of emphasis on High Demand Group or Cult Recovery. For the past 14 years she has facilitated an on-going group for former members every other Saturday.Since January, she has facilitated an online workshop for former members, including those born and raised, and survivors of partner/spousal abuse. Colleen works with individuals and families affected by cults and has presented on this population at various professional organizations. As a young adult, Colleen was involved in a High Demand Group for seven years.

Contact Information: 415-847-4103 (cell)

Location: Lagunitas-Forest Knolls, West Marin. Plenty of parking, 5 miles West of Fairfax on an easy drive through beautiful country. Indoor, outdoor seating, depending on weather.

Please note that fees for Open Studios are considered a donation to NCGPS and not payment to the presenters for services. As a result, there will be no credits or refunds if you are unable to attend the event.

Sat, September 9, 2017

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM PDT

Fee: $20 per person, per event. (Space is limited; sign up early!)

For additional information, please contact:

Laura Kasper, PhD or Lois Friedlander, MFT 


The Group Therapy Salon

The Group Therapy Salon

How long has it been since you’ve read a paper about group therapy? How well are you acquainted with new papers about groups? When was the last time that you’ve had a theoretical discussion about some issue in the group psychotherapy field?

NCGPS offers a unique experience in The Group Therapy Salon. The idea is to establish small groups (10-12 members each) that meet monthly to read papers in group therapy and discuss theoretical issues about groups.

There are two Salons working right now: One in the South Bay, facilitated by Alice Sklar and one in Sacramento/Davis, facilitated by Haim Weinberg.

Palo Alto Salon
Meets at 8:00 PM on the first Monday of every month, and includes 9 members. There is a volunteer discussant for each reading followed by a leaderless discussion.

Contact Alice Sklar at
or call (650) 961-3482, to get the address and directions.

Sacramento/Davis Salon
currently includes 10 members and meets on the third Monday every month, 7:30-9:00Pm, alternating between Davis and Sacramento. If you are coming from this area please contact Haim Weinberg at or call 916-212-6424.

If you, as a member, are interested in hosting a Group Therapy Salon in your city, please contact NCGPS President, Phyllis Jenkins: 408-265-9200,