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Understanding What Happened - Psychoeducation for Ex Jehovah's Witnesses

The first time I watched the trick where the magician saws the lady in half I was completely

baffled. I could see it with my own eyes and there was no explanation, apart from that it must be real magic.

Then, of course, you find out that it's not so much magic as it is a cleverly presented illusion and a couple of flexible assistants. The mystery is shattered and it no longer amazes. It just doesn't work on me any more.

You could draw comparisons with this and what happens when you are a Jehovah's Witness.

You are exposed to carefully choreographed information that is designed to misdirect in order to convey a very specific 'reality'. However, when watching the magician do his work, somewhere inside you know that there is no such thing as magic and it is just a trick. You just can't work out how it's done.

This is where the comparison takes a dangerous turn for Jehovah's Witnesses.

If you were born in and have been brought up within the JW environment, you will have been told specifically what is and isn't true and absorbed this information, assuming it to be accurate and correct. Essentially, you have been indoctrinated with the idea that there really is such a thing as magic, therefore when you watch the magician, the most obvious and rational explanation will be that it is, indeed, magic. You will not be considering the notion that there is a deception in play. Why would you? You believe in magic and that is exactly what is being presented. There is no need to look for alternative explanations because everything makes sense.

This is the facet of life as a Jehovah's Witness that often causes the most problems when the person finds themselves outside of the group. Nothing seems to make sense any more because there is now so much conflicting information but you are torn as to what is right and what is

wrong. Add into that some guilt at reading certain material or having certain thoughts and you have a toxic mix that can really stop a person moving forwards with their life and away from the effects of their JW past.

This is where 'Psychoeduation' can be enormously helpful.

Psychoeducation is the process of understanding not only what happened, but also how it happened and why it still affects you. For many ex Jehovah's Witnesses, having this insight into the psychological processes that have been in play for years can have hugely beneficial consequences.

It can lead a person to stop blaming themselves or feeling guilty or ashamed because they now finally realise that they were powerless to stop what happened. Self blame can turn into acceptance and compassion.

Psychoeducation with me will involve a structured process, purposely tailored for ex Jehovah's Witnesses,

that takes you through this stage of your recovery at a pace that suits you. You will examine your identity, your beliefs and understandings, how potential trauma may still impact you, the importance of having boundaries and what happens when they are not there.

Then, finally, you will be shown exactly how it was done and why it worked on you so well. Essentially, the trick will be revealed.

Psychoeducation can be the missing link in your overall recovery, or it can form the perfect foundation for more regular counselling to be even more beneficial in the future.

To find out more about psychoeducation visit the website here. Or if you'd prefer to see what's available in terms of standard ex Jehovah's Witness counselling, take a look here.

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