This past week, we travelled to Philadelphia for the annual International Cultic Studies Association conference, where we had the privilege of seeing some incredible presentations and presenting our own work. We'll be sharing some of the resources we discovered there over the course of the next few weeks.
Our conference presentation centered on explaining our adapted model of the Power and Control Wheel. Our adaptation explains the victim experience within abusive groups (gangs, terrorist organizations, political and religious cults, highly abusive families, etc.), with group leaders utilizing their individual relationships with followers, as well as control over followers' relationships with each other, to maintain power and control over group members. We have discussed the original Power and Control Wheel previously and believe that because it is a helpful teaching tool for understanding victim's experiences in abusive and controlling intimate relationships (between two people), it serves as a beneficial foundation for exploring how this dynamic functions within groups. We received a lot of wonderful feedback and are excited to see how this tool may be utilized in a clinical setting and in court rooms where these dynamics are often misunderstood, but vital to comprehend.
For those interested, the abstract for our presentation can be found here. Details about the content, as well as information about available 1.5 hour CE credits for mental health professionals, are provided. We are told the presentation will be available at a future date for any who weren't able to attend in person, but are interested in watching and receiving credits (if applicable). When that link becomes available, we will be sure to share.
Our presentation slides can be downloaded here. We will publish a full explanation of the model in the coming weeks, but for those who attended and would like a copy for use immediately, a copy can be found here.
If you have any questions or you're interested in connecting with us about how this tool can be utilized in your own work, please feel free to reach out.
Written by Abigail Hazlett