The TTI recovery course is designed for survivors of congregate care and treatment facilities within the Troubled Teen Industry (TTI). It pulls from the sociological expertise of cult expert Dr. Janja Lalich, as well as trauma therapists and fellow survivors, Sally Martin, LCSW and Beth Matenaer, LPC. (See the “Who Are We” section on this website for more background on each of us.)
The course includes 5 two-hour sessions and costs $250. Each session will include one or two brief presentations, as well as time for Questions and Answers. Each session will also include skills from co-founder Sally’s Toolbox to assist in managing emotional reactions. Participants will be sent short readings and optional homework before each session.
One of the hardest challenges of healing from the trauma associated with the TTI and congregate care is that so much of the experience that was harmful is not recognized as being so. While everyone’s experience is unique, the belief that what happened to you was necessary to “save you,” or that the ends justified the means, can add to an already difficult recovery. Also, that point of view can compound the harmful impact of those experiences on the individual.
The exact manifestation of those effects is likely to differ from person to person. Yet, there are some commonalities in the impact of the deliberate and pervasive use of coercive and abusive power dynamics in those settings. Often those impacts present themselves in issues related to trust, relationships, and the ability to regulate your emotions. In addition to this, often there are residual impacts on the survivor’s relationships with family for sending them to those facilities, as well as understandable distrust around participation in any kind of mental-health treatment.
Although some survivors will report that there were aspects of their experience from which they gained knowledge, the overarching experience of being forced into treatment, unable to leave, alienation from friends and family, and, for some, forcible transportation to their program can leave a long-lasting impact on an individual’s trauma response for many years. Given that, we provide course participants with useful knowledge and practical skills that can be used to both deconstruct and analyze their experiences.
Our approach is to help you unpack your experience and lessen the impact on your life going forward. Learning that your trauma responses (flashbacks, triggers, panic attacks, and fear) are normal responses to abnormal situations will help alleviate the emotional and physical pressures on you. By gaining a deeper understanding of what happened to you, you will hopefully experience fewer triggers, less stress and anxiety, and therefore be able to self-regulate the effects of residual trauma responses – the goal being that the past no longer dominates or interferes with your daily life, your sleep, your work, and your plans, hopes, and dreams for the future.
IN THE TTI RECOVERY COURSE, YOU WILL LEARN ABOUT:
Individual differences affecting recovery
Dr. Lalich’s bounded choice theory, including the concepts of personal closure and the illusion of choice
Common areas of post-program adjustment
Information about coercive control and coercive influence
The neurobiology of trauma response
PTSD vs. cPTSD (Complex PTSD)
Post-program challenges: personal, social, philosophical, family challenges, work-related
Self-regulation skills and exercises
Lastly, we understand that participating in groups or mental-health-related learning sessions can be uncomfortable and at times triggering for survivors. The purpose of these courses is to empower YOU in your recovery and to give you potentially helpful information in charting that path for yourself. It is important for us to ensure safety for all in our courses and we make a great deal of effort to answer any questions or concerns that you may have about our classes or teaching approaches. In that regard, we always welcome any feedback or learning about any concerns that you have while participating in the course.