About Cults

 Specialized Counseling

I have been providing professional counseling for former members of cultic groups, and friends and family members of those involved in cults, since 1994.

Because of the limited number of mental health professionals specializing in the field of cultic studies, I provide counseling both in person, and if needed because of geographical distance, by telephone and Skype.

I use psychoanalytically informed psychotherapy and trauma therapies to support former members of abusive groups in their post-cult recovery.  Post-cult recovery is for many former cult members a difficult process, involving struggles at many levels to return from a restrictive, authoritarian culture to a life of freedom and autonomy.

While in many cases counseling from a qualified, licensed mental health practitioner can be helpful in post-cult recovery, I offer special familiarity and expertise with these issues, and can provide adjunctive consultation specific to cult issues to those already in psychotherapy.  In addition, I also provide supervisory consultation to mental health professionals with cult-involved clients.

I have successfully coached parents and siblings in interventions designed to help their cult-involved family member exit abusive group situations.  I have also helped many family members of cult-involved loved ones determine the best course of action to take in order to maximize their ability to stay in relationship with the cult member.  An important guiding principle is never to advise the use of, or participate in, coercive interventions.

Finally, under the auspices of The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), I facilitate a monthly meeting in New York City, open to all those who have been impacted by their own or a loved one’s involvement in a cultic group.  The group offers education about any and all issues pertaining to cult involvement in the form of open discussion.  

The meeting is held on the last Friday of every month, from 7pm to 9pm, at the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, on West 86th Street, between Broadway and West End Avenue.   Call (201) 497-0756 for more information; or visit the ICSA website.

To speak with Dan about counseling regarding any of these issues, call (845) 548-2561; or send e-mail to danielshawlcsw@gmail.com

Recommended Reading:


Traumatic Abuse in Cults: A Psychoanalytic Perspective by Daniel Shaw
Cultic Studies Review, 2003, (2)2:101-129

This Article Won’t Change Your Mind
from The Atlantic Monthly, March 2017


Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation by Daniel Shaw
Terror, Love and Brainwashing by Alexandra Stein
Take Back Your Life by Lalich and Tobias


The Atlantic Monthly, Sept. 26, 2016
How Well-Meaning, Intelligent People End Up in a Cult

Dan’s talk on The Psychology of the Cult Leader

A few words on a CBS News New York segment on fraudulent meditation schools – 9/17/2017

Recommended Websites:Other Resources

The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA)
Cult News 101