Sunday, January 17, 2016

Need for Counseling After Exiting (QF: The View from Here)

This series of posts results includes excerpts from information shared with a journalist in August of 2015 who had questions about the Quiverfull Movement as it related to the Duggar Family.
Find the Index of all posts HERE.

Have you directly helped/counselled women through the experience of leaving QF?

Response Part One:

I encourage everyone who exits a group to seek professional counseling, and I highly recommend specialists in trauma. QF/P demonizes mental health care, but I encourage to offer those who have exited a group a sounding board and an ally to support them through the stressful process. I’ve also helped others find alternatives when seeking professional help seems too threatening, often by exploring with them the possibility of supportive friends and family members upon whom they can rely. 

I recommend the resources provided by the International Cultic Studies Association, and if it is possible, I encourage former members to seek out others who have left their own group to find support. Sometimes it is possible to arrange for recovery meetings for groups of people who have left a church with help from skilled therapists who can attend to their concerns. There are many online forums and blogs that also offer compassionate and empathetic support which can serve as a community that can help with healing.

One of the most difficult experiences I had involved talking a friend out of following the corporal punishment program advocated by Michael Pearl. (This program has resulted in at least three documented deaths, and one case of renal failure.) She sought me out because of her fear of physically hurting her daughter by continuing with his system. I phoned the nursing board in this state where I had once practiced, but because I was no longer licensed there, I had the option of declining to report the incident as child abuse. Had this friend not promised me to immediately cease the beating which gave her cause for concern, I would have been ethically required to report her. 

I argued that what she was doing was not working, and she could give the responsibility for watching her youngest over to one of her older daughters until I could get a book to her that seemed to me to be more fitting. We worked together on a better plan of discipline based upon alternatives for strong willed children which appeals to their learning styles. The events were so traumatic that my friend no longer remembers the details of the experience, though she does remember developing the plan and how well the alternatives worked with her youngest child.

~ Cynthia Kunsman
The view of Quiverfull from my vantage
August 2015