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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Heard

Religious Trauma is About To Get The Boost In Awareness It Desperately Needs

Janice used to be a fundamentalist Christian. When I say fundamentalist, I mean it. We’re talking head coverings, dresses that drape to the floor and the belief that she, herself, was nothing but a tool owned by men to reproduce, keep house and stay quiet.

When life and death family struggles forced her to reconsider her worldview, the delicate facade crumbled around her. Though the truth does set you free, this process was not easy. What Janice found was that her thinking, her habits, her self-talk were all coloured by the religion she’d just escaped. She’d been indoctrinated and led to believe things about the world that weren’t true. She’d led her life in a way that didn’t comport with reality. And now, she had to walk away from her community, her lifestyle, her entire worldview and try to build a new one for herself.

Both the process of leaving religion and being indoctrinated can classify as trauma. Life in a religious cult is traumatic at its core. As an increasing number of people find their way out, they are discovering that they’re struggling to shake their symptoms of religious trauma but have few places to turn. Most mental health professionals don’t know how to treat religious trauma syndrome. It’s a problem that desperately needs fixing. And so, after becoming a mental health professional herself, Janice set out to help others in her field learn the tools and methods for treating religious trauma. She did this by creating the Conference on Religious Trauma (CORT).

What is the Conference on Religious Trauma?

CORT is a fully online conference set to happen from May 11, 2021 - May 16, 2021, which aims to educate therapists and counsellors about religious trauma syndrome as well as provide a safe way for survivors to connect with resources for recovery, including mental health professionals who can help them.

Speakers include Darrel Ray, Marlene Winell, Dan Barker, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Alice Greczyn, Nate Phelps, Mandisa Thomas, and more.

When I got involved in CORT, I was over the moon because it meant I got to be a part of something that is going to make the world a better place. I get to help promote the conversation around religious trauma and help people recognize that while not all manifestations of religion are harmful, religion can certainly do harm. We need to wake the world up to this fact. When you attend the conference, you’re becoming part of something that is going to save lives. Of this, I have no doubt.

With plans to go in-person next year, this year’s Conference is going to be a steal. Hosting the event online means you pay less for all access. You can get an All-Access Pass for $150

which provides you full access to all of the Keynotes, Speaker Sessions and the Exhibit hall - all in real-time during the event, including the opportunity to chat and ask questions. It also provides you access to the recordings post-event for up to 6 months.

You can also grab yourself a Resources Ticket which is $75. This ticket provides you access to all the video-on-demand recordings post-event. It does not provide you access to any of the content in real-time, nor the ability to chat and ask questions during the event.

Visit the website for more options.

The best part is that you get to access the whole thing without having to travel in a pandemic. Enjoy the conference from the comfort of your couch.

You can grab your ticket here and join me in making the real world a more welcoming place to people who have left their dogma behind.

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