Support Group

by Dawn 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • Dawn

    I have been attending a church in our area for about 2 years now - I really like it. They are looking at ideas for outreach ministry and I think I'm going to approach the pastor about offering a support group for x-jw and mormons (or even those that are still in but want to come....heck....guess I could let them in ). There is another girl at this church who was also raised JW and is now born again, in addition my best friend was raised JW and is now married to a man studying to be a pastor - so I have a few individuals involved in the church who have experience with jw's and could form a core group for support.

    So my question for ya'll is - what type of support group would you feel most comfortable in? What should I offer? I thought the group could begin with sharing stories so people don't feel alone - but then should the group next focus on discussing and answering the spiritual type questions people have - or should it next focus on emotional issues? I don't want it to become a JW bashing session - but a community of people focused on healing.

    I'm gong to browse the web for some x-mormon sites also and get their feedback. Any ideas you have to offer would be appreciated.

    Also - how should we advertise this in our area?

  • Truth2Me

    Hi Dawn, having attended a support group in my area that addresses the psychological, emotional, and spiritaul abuse that we've been through I have a few suggestions. The group I have gone to has people from all different high-control groups, as the abuse we've all suffered is very minilar no matter what group we're from. Reading "Out of the Cults and Into the Church" by Janis Hutchinson is a good start....her book is wonderful. It's actually designed for folks who want to understand and help those who were in a cult/high control group, but I got a ton out of this book from the perspective of a person having come out of a group. Her book has folks from different groups in it, and several were mormans. There are no ex-JWs in that book, but that didn't matter to me, I could not believe how much the healing process, and the "understanding what has happened to me" process is the same no matter what group we were a part of. Also, there is a website for the New England Institute for Religious Research. I think it's They explain the basic similarities of high-control groups, how they manipulate people and how the recovery process works. The folks who run the institute run the support group I went to as mentioned above. They've worked with people from all kinds of groups, JWs included. I wish you the best in your endevors, I hope you're outreach helps some battered souls to find some peace and healing. Truth2Me

  • Outaservice

    You might check out web sites that have sucessfull support ministries such as

    Also, workshops (groups of people talking about various issues of interest) are usually encouraging and helpful.


  • Tower Man
    Tower Man

    Hello Dawn,

    Go to The husband & wife who run this ministry have been running a support group for ex-JWs for 12+ years. They are experts at it and would love to help you. Tell them I sent you.

    Tower Man

  • Dawn

    Thanks so much for your info!! This is going to be really helpful.

    I also got quite a few feedback responses from the ex-mormon sites I visited. Now I need to find some ex-mormons who can join me in getting this going.........hmmmmm I have absolutely NO idea where to look.

  • Granny Linda
    Granny Linda

    Hi, Dawn.

    Since it's a ministry outreach program, does that mean it's Bible based or is there room for the non-Christian? I've done 10 years volunteer work amongst Christians since they are the one's who usually establish community centers/healing programs. At least in the smaller communities anyhow.

    I'm only asking because sometimes there is a conflict between theology and secular. I was forced to set my judgement aside because recovery was the important issue...not my religious (or lack of) differences. It's just that too often these type settings can develop into religious argument rather than some remaining focused on the real issue. At any rate I think it's a wonderful thing you are doing.


  • Dawn

    Hi Granny Linda:

    Although I am planning on using the church resources (room & refreshments) I am hoping that we can make an agreement that the outreach program will be open for ALL beliefs and ideas. I think the focus should be on emotional healing.

    I am a born-again Christian now, but it took a long time for me to be comfortable with a bible based group. I think that the first step is to heal people emotionally. Their spiritual journey after that is a very personal thing between them and God. If they are interested, I will share my faith - but their agreement on my opinions is not conditional on being part of the group. Had enough "conform or die" with the 'dubs. I rather enjoy the complex variety that exists in the real world.

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