Rachel Bernstein support group

Discussion in 'Life After Scientology' started by Chris Shelton, Jan 22, 2016.

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  1. Chris Shelton

    Chris Shelton Patron with Honors

    Hey everyone. I thought it would be appropriate to post this here.

    Rachel Bernstein ((http://rachelbernsteintherapy.COM) is one of the few trained therapists who has taken the time to find out what destructive cults are all about and has spent the last 20+ years working as not only a family therapist but a cult recovery specialist as well. She is based in Los Angeles, CA and is starting a support group for ex-Scientologists and former members of other destructive cults.

    I have interviewed Rachel on my channel (part 1 of our video is below) and she is the real deal. She was also stalked by Scientology herself shortly after she started getting going back in the early 1990s so she understands this group particularly. Her next support group is starting soon but there will likely be ones in the future if people cannot sign up for this one. I highly encourage anyone who is recovering from Scientology to be part of this. I know from personal experience that talking about our time in this destructive group with others who understand the experience is invaluable to our recovery.
    Rachel is not paying me to endorse her. I have met her in person and know she is a good person who wants to help and that is why I support her. For anyone who lives outside of Los Angeles, she also does online consulting and can be contacted via her website or at rbpsychology@gmail.com.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2016
  2. Ogsonofgroo

    Ogsonofgroo Crusader

    I would haz her babys :blush:

  3. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

  4. Chris Shelton

    Chris Shelton Patron with Honors

  5. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Los Angeles counselor Rachel Bernstein wants to help.

    Los Angeles counselor Rachel Bernstein wants to help.

    Tony Ortega: Los Angeles counselor Rachel Bernstein wants to help (2nd item)


    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *


    Los Angeles counselor Rachel Bernstein wants to help

    We asked Chris Shelton, who interviewed Rachel Bernstein at his video channel, to tell us about the services she’s offering in the Los Angeles area…

    There are many victims of cults out there, especially Scientology, who don’t know what to do or where to go for help. Scientology paints anything having to do with psychiatry or psychology as inherently evil but these are exactly the kinds of services many people need when they come out of a cult group. Feelings of introversion, confusion, loss, guilt and even fear or anger can be difficult or nearly impossible to deal with alone. Participating in a group can be a great first step to help pierce the isolation caused by a cult experience, since friends and family often don’t understand what a former cult member is experiencing.

    Rachel Bernstein has been helping people with cult recovery for literally decades. She’s a family and couples therapist but she also specializes in cult recovery, which is uncommonly rare for those in the therapy field. She’s run many group therapy sessions as well as one-on-one counseling. She provides a safe environment to talk about what people have experienced and what they are going through now. She gives the group members an opportunity to learn what destructive cults are all about and how to undo the manipulative influences they lived under. A group setting gives a unique experience because the members learn from each other and are not just lectured at or told what to think or do. Everyone has an opportunity to help each other.

    Rachel’s services are not given for free but are affordable and the scheduling is generally flexible. She offers not only in-person services but also has done online consultations individually and with groups.

    — Chris Shelton

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
  6. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

  7. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    PODCAST: Chris C [@MiamiSixthMan] of Come Get Sum [@CGSHere] interview with cult recovery therapist Rachel Bernstein, LMFT [@RBernsteinLMFT].


    Audio at link.

    * * * * * BEGIN INTRODUCTION * * * * *

    In this first part of our 2 part conversation, Rachel Bernstein addresses how and why she became a Therapist, Claims of the CCHR ( A Scientologist Co Founded Org to fight and end Psychiatry) and the way children are seen by L Ron Hubbard and in Scientology.

    Is Psychiatry "The Industry Of Death"? Are AntiDepressants causing people to murder large groups of innocent people? Is the text in Dianetics Pedophilic?

    Find out the answer to these questions and more on this edition of Come Get Sum!!

    Plus a tribute my fallen friend: Mark Chambers


    Follow on Twitter @RBernsteinLMFT

    * * * * * END INTRODUCTION * * * * *
  8. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    PART 2 OF PODCAST: Chris C [@MiamiSixthMan] of Come Get Sum [@CGSHere] interview with cult recovery therapist Rachel Bernstein, LMFT [@RBernsteinLMFT].


    Audio at link.

    * * * * * BEGIN INTRODUCTION * * * * *

    In Part 2 of my conversation with Rachel, she addresses the contradictions of a Cult follower, sympathizers, Bible based cults and more plus10 Questions!!

    Do Therapists handle politics better? Can David Miscavage be counseled? Why are there so many songs about rainbows? Am I Crazy??? Find out the answers to these questions and more on P2 of my special Scientology Extra Friday edition with Rachel Bernstein!!!


    Follow on Twitter @RBernsteinLMFT

    Email: rbpsychology@gmail.com

    Phone: 818-907-0036

    * * * * * END INTRODUCTION * * * * *
  9. EZ Linus

    EZ Linus Patron with Honors

    I wanted to endorse Rachel as well. The first year I was out, I had a really tough time. There weren't any therapists that specialized, or even knew about dangerous groups like Scientology at that time, and when I heard about Rachel, she was still living in NYC. I waited close to another year before I was able to start seeing her on a regular basis -- after she moved to the LA area. I saw her regularly for a long time and soon after attended her group support meetings which were absolutely key in my recovery. It broke through the shackles that were keeping my mind linked in the cult think, and to Hubbard having the right answers. Because there were people from other types of religions, philosophies, political views in the group. They all once thought that their ideas were THE Truth too. That made me see that Scientology really was just a cult like any other. All the common denominators were exactly the same.
  10. This is NOT OK !!!!

    This is NOT OK !!!! Gold Meritorious Patron

    I heard that she does not take insurance, that is to say that even if you have health insurance through your employer, you have to pay cash and not just a co-pay, but upward of $100.00 per hour.

    Is this true?

    I'm sorry, but this rubs me the wrong way (on many levels).

  11. EZ Linus

    EZ Linus Patron with Honors

    As I remember it (and it was a long time ago), I was struggling (I mean really struggling) financially at the time and she did a sliding scale with me, but I don't even know if she'd want that information out there? I don't know if it's okay that I let that be known. And the other thing I know is that she could write a thing called a "super bill" (because she is a licensed therapist MFT I believe), and you can pay for the session and submit a claim to your insurance afterward and get reimbursed, such is the case with a lot of therapy and things like acupuncture, etc. I know Anthem/Blue Cross and others will do that. They should pay 80% if you have decent insurance from your employer. Or, oops maybe less if she's out of network obviously.

    Otherwise, I actually do not know if she does not take insurance. I would call her up and ask her, and ask her about the super bill thing too.
  12. Knows

    Knows Gold Meritorious Patron

    I understand that everyone needs to make a living but my friend contacted Rachel to see if she would help an Ex Sea Org - in really really bad shape.

    Rachel basically wanted to know how the person could pay and if they could not pay - she was not interested.

    The person just left the Sea Org and Rachel is wondering how they are going to pay???? Sea Org people have nothing....no money, no job and in many cases no family or support.


    That rubbed me the wrong way - it really pissed my friend off.

    He was willing to pay Rachel but so totally insulted by her "no empathy" response - he found someone else to help the poor Ex Sea Org person - who is helping the ex Sea Org member get back on their feet at no charge.

    I am not saying don't use Rachel - but what Ex Cult members need more than anything is

    TALK....TEARS .....and TIME

    Plus empathy and compassion.

    Also - to not get ripped off by therapists who only care about money - I would do some research up front on cults so you don't waste money on unnecessary "therapy"

    Margaret Singer has some great you tube videos out there.

    Margaret Singer says that "therapists" who are not trained in "CULT RECOVERY" can do more damage by focusing on "why the cult member got into the cult" - which is not good to do....the cult found us...we did not find the cult....we were victims and were exploited by the cult.

    She says ex cult members should stay away from "therapists" because they will make it about "what drove them into the cult" instead of helping the cult member focus on recovering and figuring out how the cult used mind control tactics etc...

    We need people who care about human beings...

    Another Ex Sea Org HORROR story - Karen posted on social media (thank you Karen - for exposing these stories that need to be told).

    Talking about Sea org Youngsters being *DUMPED* and discarded like trash or pieces of furniture reminded me of Kirsi's story.
    Other people's horrific RPF stories always impact me.
    It might be that I have never quite gotten over the CRUELTY and DOMINATION of my bogus fraudulent and unwarranted RPF.
    Mark Headley so eloquently expressed it "Another Day in Hell." So I resonate and duplicate other's RPF stories.

    I was very happy to meet Kirsi in person. A Finnish girl recruited in Denmark and sent to Flag another 20 year Sea Org member who spent some 8 years in OSA Flag, Office of Special Affairs, Flag from where she was sent to a sadistic RPF for 2+ years.
    Kirsi posted on Marty's blog.
    in front of the group by a senior executive, spouses sent to work in different continents, disconnection in full use, veteran staff who had worked with LRH were separated for years.
    During my final stages of routing out of The Sea Org in Clearwater four years ago, I was scraping off the O block exterior walls (home for us RPFers) day in, day out, thinking…. what happened to that dedication. Here I am, routing out after 20 years and on a ‘scrape those walls’- assignment. It was a very odd combination of mixed feelings and confused questions and had no one to talk to – talking to anyone is forbidden in the RPF and when you’re in the RPFs RPF you just have you. Now even the fellow RPFers condemn you – save 2 or 3 who did try to talk to me. But their talk was about changing my mind and staying. Staying wasn’t an option, I needed to understand what is the real reason for sayonara my friends, my group and the once burning purpose. I had seen spiritual rape of fellow staff; humiliation in front of the group by a senior executive, spouses sent to work in different continents, disconnection in full use, veteran staff who had worked with LRH had been routed off or RPFed, and the reasons for my questionning and disagreements went on like this. I had done my share of actions I regret.

    Kirsi told me she was dropped off at Tampa Airport penniless.
    After serving 20 years, and knowing she was a Finnish national with NO $$$ (RPF for 2 years is virtually penniless for 60 hour weeks of slave labor ~~ human trafficking) Kirsi was dropped off at Tampa airport without a cent to purchase a meal or drink, leave alone air fare. This was some 7 years ago. But look at the pattern of conduct over the years.
    Imagine the GREED of an entitiy sitting with $1 billion in reserves in the IAS account, spitting a staff member out with NOTHING as punishment for asking to leave the group. The Church gives no pension, no 401K, nothing absolutely nothing to veteran staff and gets away with slave labor for cents an hour under the guise of "MINISTERIAL EXEMPTION".

    She did a collect call to a friend who paid her ticket back to Europe and she now lives in Europe. She made it through and survived.
    Here's Kirsi.

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  13. EZ Linus

    EZ Linus Patron with Honors

    I apologize for endorsing Rachel. I would not endorse someone I thought was doing something hurtful to anyone.

    sorry about everything.

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  14. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    EZ Linus,

    It's just a discussion thread, EZ. People have different experiences in different areas. If someone disagrees or has a different experience, that isn't any reflection on you. People care more than you may think they do, and often a person believes others are more judgmental of their opinions than they are of themselves. In other words, nobody is going to be a harder critic of you than you. You'd be surprised the embarrassing things in your life that you might remember but nobody else does.

    I read something once that said people even automatically block out embarrassing sounds others make, like farting in public. :laugh:

    Plus comments are pretty much forgotten in a day or two or a week. It's no big deal. Everything is fine. :)

    (If you or anybody else farts, we won't remember. :coolwink:)
  15. Glenda

    Glenda Gold Meritorious Patron

    I am going to jump in here because I have a fairly "big" experience with therapists and would like to try to add a "bigger picture". It is often very hard for ex-scientologists to seek professional help. It sure as hell was for me.

    First a few words about my journey with therapists:

    I live in New Zealand. To the best of my knowledge there are no "cult recovery" expert therapists here. When I first left scientology I was a mess (think "suicidal") and, eventually came to realise I needed some expert support. This in itself was horrendous because I was a true-blue heavily indoctrinated CCHR person. The psychs, in all their forms, were deeply evil in my head. For me to seek any form of psych-based support was damn near impossible in the beginning. Thankfully a couple of friends sensed I was close to a very dangerous edge and they supported me to get to my general practitioner and tell my GP what was going on. I trusted no one. God those were dark days.

    My friends continued to lovingly insist I talk to my doctor. I kept coming back with "what can doctors do, I just got to find my way back to real life..." My fear of doctors/psychs was so deeply ingrained there was no way in hell I was talking to one of them about my troubles. Eventually my friends went back-to-back with daily phone calls to me. One friend in the morning, one friend in the afternoons. They were not backing down. "Just go to the doctor Glenda, it will be okay..."

    I will never forget the day I saw my GP. I was terrified. Thankfully I had a working relationship with this doctor from when I had gone to live up in China and had had to have loads of medical tests done for visa application stuff. She had known me two-plus years prior and could see the difference. I was now showing up in her office a total mess.

    I insisted I could not, would not, use drugs. I simply could not deal with that. I still had so much deprogramming to do and psych-drugs were still very evil in my head. So my good doctor arranged for me to talk to someone - a trained therapist. An urgent appointment was set up and two days later I found myself sitting in a waiting room to see a therapist. I had a full blown panic attack. The therapist (Susan) was extraordinary. I insisted she leave her office door open (so I could bolt if I so chose to). I insisted she never use any scientology lingo. I told her I didn't trust her. It took me quite a while to trust her. I think I might have been the client that made her really wonder why she had become a therapist. I was friggin' awful. :)

    Susan helped save my life. For real. Inch by inch I moved forward. The panic attacks eased, the thoughts of hopelessness lessened, and so forth. I started to have hope I would heal. God it was all so huge. I carry Susan in my heart, every single day. I simply love her for her skills, her patience, her humanity. She knew little about cults and was honest with me about that. She was zero-directional with me. She let me lead, talk about what was troubling me. Sometimes I just sat with her and wept. It was the first time in two decades where I could freely feel my emotions without a bunch of clap-trap cult lingo filling my thoughts.

    So here's my point(s):

    Though Susan knew little about cult conditioning and identity shifts, she knew enough to support me in my darkest times. I had read enough about mind-control and cult conditioning to guide her. We worked together beautifully. That's an important point I think. A person recovering from cult trauma (any trauma) is very disempowered in ways they usually have not identified within themselves. The fact that I took "the lead" was perfect to begin to build a sense of strong identity (self) in the world, without the cult conditioning structure to fall back on.

    Later I also worked with a doctor of psychology. His expertise was trauma (he'd worked in the USA with vets) and attachment stuff. Again he wasn't trained in cult recovery but OMG! The man was a genius at reading what was going on with me and what had happened to me in the cult.

    I would have liked to have worked with a therapist who was trained in cult recovery but it was not possible. I made the best of what was available and those therapists were stunning.

    With love for Susan, Deb, Jonathan and Susana and the two stunning general practitioners who have been with me all the way (Ronelle and Moira). Professional therapists/doctors I owe a lot of smiles. :flowers:
  16. Knows

    Knows Gold Meritorious Patron

    Good for you. Glad you had a therapist you knew who could help you.

    Most Scientologist's however, have been mind fucked on the subject of "therapy" and if they can muster enough courage to even go to one - may be harmed more if the therapists focus on "why did you join the cult..." It is the wrong question to ask..

    Most therapists I find are a joke and scam people out of money.

    I had a terrible experience with so - called cult and PTSD therapists.

    I went to a cult recovery therapist after I left Scientology because I went from running a multi million dollar very successful business to NOT being able to make any decisions - compliments of Scientology. I was a total mess.

    I sought help from a therapist licensed and who specialized in "CULT RECOVERY".

    She was awful and it actually did more damage to me - it was a disaster.

    She told me on the phone she had helped a lot of people who left Scientology and was familiar with the cult and how to help one recover.
    She LIED!~

    She was very interested in "GETTING PAID UPFRONT" - which triggered all sorts of HE&R!:angry: I paid her the $200 up front for my 45 minute "Session".

    She sat about 40 feet away from me with a clip board - looking at me up and down.

    She said (and I fucking kid you not )

    " So.....tell me about Xenu? "

    I got up and walked out.

    Then...I went to a therapist who was about 12 - to try to get help with PTSD.

    Total joke....kept saying the same thing over and over...

    "What do you hope to gain from coming to me..." on and on like this...

    I finally sent him a text saying I won't be back and got a letter from him saying "I am so happy I was able to help you recover":omg::no::ohmy:

    Watch Margaret Singer on You Tube... BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK - it is free.
  17. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    Thanks, Glenda. :goodposting:
    I am scatter-brained at times, :blush:


    cause I got off track and forgot to mention something I learned a few days ago that might help some people here.

    A few days ago, I learned that ADHD and PTSD are often confused with each other and misdiagnosed as one when it is actually the other. Also, someone with ADHD can also end up with PTSD that exacerbates the condition. That may not mean much to people here on the surface, but it matters because the PTSD condition must be addressed first and the treatments are very different. I know a few people on this Board who were diagnosed with ADHD but who seemed to mostly suffer from PTSD.

    One of the effects of PTSD is SURVIVOR's GUILT. For example, if you got out of a terrible cult but others did not, you might experience guilt over it.

    Addressing these issues is important. Here is a wonderful article about it: http://untappedbrilliance.com/ptsd-vs-adhd/
  18. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    That's awful, Knows. Sorry to hear you went through that.

    I've had mixed experiences. The best was with the school psychologist when I was going to college, maybe because they get exposed to so much trauma and different backgrounds, they gain a wider range of experience.
  19. Knows

    Knows Gold Meritorious Patron

    Thank you Just Sheila - I recovered on my own. It has taken about 3-4 years of working daily at "re-wiring" my brain.

    I can make big decisions and those decisions work out and I no longer have the triggers I had when I first got out.

    Another strange phenomena I experienced in the cult of Scientology was a "CHOKING SENSATION" -

    I found out later that this is a symptom other cult members experienced - what a relief. I had no idea what was causing this.

    I hope everyone re-wires their brains so they get all the way out and lead normal lives.

    Flourish and Prosper my friends - Flourish and Prosper.:hattip::grouphug::cheers::flowers:
  20. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    Cheers, Knows. :cheers: Good on ya! :thumbsup:

    I most certainly will FLOURISH AND PROSPER! :biggrin: You do the same, sweetie. All your life. :hug: