Monday, January 18, 2016

Need for Validation and Education after Leaving (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 am a nurse and not a counselor, but I do share with people information from the literature about the common and predictable experience of leaving an ideological group. I end up making a lot of referrals, but I primarily listen and validate people who tend to feel that their experience is unique. It is comforting to realize that high demand groups fall into particular patterns — as they all basically boil down to manipulation and control. That helps break through the sense of isolation that one feels upon exiting and gives individuals choices. 

Anyone who is knowledgeable about the ways in which group leaders manipulate others can offer this kind of support, often by providing a kind ear. They can also encourage the former member by providing a safe, nonjudgmental place for them to voice the doubts that they had about their group and to be forgiving with them when they come to terms with their willing choice to be involved.

I have helped individuals develop strategies that might help them get out of bad situations by networking with others to find help for them. I’ve helped connect people with health care resources and legal experts, and I’ve worked to arrange to help mothers and their children find means of support, though this is often difficult and sometimes not possible when a mother seeks refuge for herself and many children. 

I wish that there were more resources available for women with many children and perhaps some opportunities for the mothers to find some temporary respite. Many years ago, I did more work to help young adults exit high demand families, but those who have left the movement have begun to develop their own networks of help.

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