If You Need Immediate Counseling and Help

Because of the harsh treatment many Jehovah’s Witnesses receive and have gone through, you may find that you need immediate counseling and help. Don’t wait to reach out for that help, but get the assistance you need through any of the resources below.

If you need immediate assistance, dial 911 or the emergency number for your area, or visit the nearest hospital emergency room or urgent care facility.

Note that I am not affiliated with any of these organizations and this information is provided for reference only. See the disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

If you notice any broken links or other errors, please note this in the comments section below. If you can share further information about crisis centers or hotlines in your area, especially those outside the U.S., please do so in the comments section as well.

11015108_786829611393546_8453822891610750107_nSuicide Hotlines:

USA: 1-800-784-2433
Canada: 1-800-448-1833
UK: 08457 90 90 90
France: 01 45 39 40 00
Australia: 1300 13 11 14
New Zealand: (9) 5222-999 within Auckland, 0800 111-777 outside Auckland
Germany: 0800 – 111 0 111
Netherlands: 0900-1450 (workdays, 0900-1800 local (CET))
Belgium: 02 649 95 55 (24/7)

Help for Victims of Domestic Violence and Abuse:

USA: 1-800-799-7233, 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline Resources page here for state-by-state resources, resources that are teen-specific, and resources for those in the LGBT community.

Help for Rape Victims:

USA: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

For immediate online live help, visit the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) website here. For more information about help available for rape victims, visit their info page here.

For Men Who Have Been Sexually Abused:

1in6 is an organization for “helping men to heal from unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood.” Also useful for friends and family of those who have been abused.
Webpage: https://1in6.org/

MaleSurvivor “provides critical resources to male survivors of sexual trauma and all their partners in recovery by building communities of Hope, Healing, & Support.”
Webpage: http://www.malesurvivor.org/

The Men’s Resource Center of Manitoba is a male-focused resource center for men who have been the victims of sexual violence.
Webpage: http://www.mens-resource-centre.ca/

If You’re a Runaway or Have Been Told to Leave the Home:

USA: 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929)

For more information and resources, visit the National Runaway Safeline at this page

To find a safe place state-by-state, visit National Safe Place at this page. Note their drop-down menu in the upper right.


GLBT Hotline: 1-888-843-4564

GLBT Youth Hotline: 1-800-246-PRIDE (7743)

The Trevor Project Hotline: 1-866-488-7386

For more resources, visit:

GLBT National Help Center website at this page.

The Trevor Project, at this page.

Treatment Facilities for Cult Survivors:


Wellspring Retreat
Albany, Ohio, USA
The only licensed residential treatment facility in the US specializing in the rehabilitation of former cult members.
Web site: Wellspring Retreat.org


The Odenwald Residence
A temporary home for people who have been affected in some way, as a result of belonging to a cult or controlling group.
Web site: Odenwald Residence


University of Manitoba
Short-Term Assessment and Treatment (STAT) Program
Providing a “day hospital and outpatient programs for patients requiring acute psychiatric intervention in the context of a focal crisis or destabilization, or who would otherwise benefit from short-term, intensive interventions.”
Website: http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/health_sciences/medicine/units/psychiatry/programs/STAT.html

Counseling Services for Cult Survivors:


Terry Kurtz, MA
Email: cultcounselor@cultcounselor.com
A licensed counselor that specializes in cult recovery


John Hochman, MD
Los Angeles
Email: hochmanmd@eurekamail.net
Psychiatrist: since 1980, short term consultation to former members, families and attorneys
Phone: (310) 277-4199

Colleen Russell, LMFT, CGP
38 Miller Avenue, #139, Mill Valley, CA 94941
Email: crussellmft@earthlink.net
General Psychotherapy, Specializing in Cult Recovery and Education and facilitating Group for Former Cult or High-Demand Group Members.
Phone: (415) 847-4103
Web site: www.ColleenRussellmft.com

Marlene Winell, Ph.D.
Email: mwinell@gmail.com
Specializes in recovery from authoritarian religious organizations.
Phone: (510) 292-0509


Cathleen A. Mann, PhD, LPC
1880 South Pierce Street, Unit 6, Lakewood, CO 80232
Email: cathleenmann@comcast.net
Counseling for children, families and adults affected by cults and also attorney-requested evaluations.
Phone: (303) 934-2828
Web site: http://psyris.com/cultspecialist


Erika Van Meir, LMFT
Email: erikastille@bellsouth.net
Specializes in treating people that have been in questionable groups
Phone: (770) 660-0229

New Jersey

Bill Goldberg, MSW, BCD, LCSW
Lorna Goldberg, LCSW, BCD
Englewood, NJ
Specializing since 1976 in working with people involved in cults and destructive groups
Web site: Bill and Lorna Goldberg

New York

New York Cult Clinic
Mental health professionals providing services to former cult members and families
Web site: Cult Hotline and Clinic

Daniel Shaw, CSW
Mental health professional that treats cult abuse victims.
Web site: Daniel Shaw, CSW


Colleen Russell, LMFT, CGP
70 SW Century Drive, Suite 100-363 Bend, Oregon 97702
Email: crussellmft@earthlink.net
General Psychotherapy, Specializing in Cult Recovery and Education
Phone: (541) 306-6081
Web site: www.ColleenRussellmft.com/


Steven Eichel, Ph.D., ABPP
Specializes in harm done by exploitive, coercive and/or destructive movements and groups.
Web site: Dr. Steve


Doug Duncan, MS, LPC and Wendy J. Duncan, MA, LBSW
Specializing in cult recovery counseling with support group for former cult members.
Phone: (214) 607-1065
Email: info@dallascult.com
Web site: www.dallascult.com


John D. Goldhammer, Ph.D.
Recovery from destructive groups and religious cults
Email: john@goldhammer.com
Web site: www.goldhammer.com

Other Resources:

Cult Education Institute
webpage: http://www.culteducation.com/
Note their page on Jehovah’s Witnesses here.

Freedom of Mind
Headed by Steve Hassan, a national expert on cults and abusive religions
webpage: https://freedomofmind.com//

Cult Awareness and Information Library
webpage: http://www.culthelp.info/index.php

Drug Rehab
Help for recovery from drug, alcohol, and other addictions, and for survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence, and substance abuse.
webpage: https://www.drugrehab.com/

Facebook Groups and Pages:

Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses Recovery Group 3
webpage: https://www.facebook.com/groups/xjwrg3/

Bo Juel
webpage: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bo-Juel/699071073540310

PAWS (People Against the Watchtower Society)
webpage: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cleanpaws/

*** ***

The information contained on this website is not intended as, and is not, a substitute for professional medical advice. All decisions about clinical care should be made in consultation with your treating physician. If you need help with a mental health or other medical issue, see your physician or, if it is an emergency, call 911. JWVictims.org and its contributors are not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented on this website. Use of this website or any of its Content does not create a physician-client or a psychotherapist-patient relationship with JWVictims.org or any of its contributors.
The counselors and sites listed on this site have been resourced from online sources. JWVictims.org has not verified the accuracy of this information and does not make patient referrals. You may wish to contact your local medical board when choosing a psychiatrist.
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5 replies »

  1. Hello Heather – I was molested too and was born and raised in the organization. I am currently going through an addiction out-patient program at El Camino Hospital in Mountain view, Ca. I would like to contact you.

  2. I am a former JW who was molested as a child.
    Would it be possible to add my name and contact information to the counseling help section?
    I specialize in sexual, physical and emotional abuse and can hold sessions via phone, skype or in person.

    Heather McAbee
    Butterfly Effect, Resonance Repatterning

  3. Please see the site FundedJustice.com & look for my name. My last letter to Brumley is dated May 29, 2017; it is available for your review. MW

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