As a physician and Marriage & Family Therapist who’s been involved with cult issues on both a professional as well as a family level, I am aware of the desperate shortage of qualified therapists willing and able to take on people who come out of high control groups.
In my opinion, Joyce Martella is a person of integrity, highly qualified from both a personal as well as a professional level to help people who had the misfortune to be born & raised in a cult. She grew up in in the cult lead by her mother.
Because of this, Joyce comes to the issue from several different perspectives: as a family member of a cult leader as a cult member born and raised into the cult, and as a former member who has dealt with separation from the Cult and her loved ones. This gives her a broad perspective from which to teach both former members and other therapists how to deal with this issue.
“I have had the privilege to know Joyce for many years and have found her to be a very compassionate and knowledgeable therapist and speaker. She has a wealth of knowledge regarding destructive groups not only from personal experience but also from her advanced studies into abusive thought reform environments and the trauma created by them. I highly recommend Joyce as a sensitive therapist and speaker.”
Gina Catena also a Member, Advisory Board International Cultic Studies Association
Joyce Martella is a gem in the recovery field. She is a gifted counselor and Speaker about recovery from cult-based childhood abuse and complex Trauma. She has trained others to skillfully identify and support this unique population within their practices. She co-designed workshops that helped thousands of adults who escaped cultic childhoods. Her compassion and skill grew from her personal experience of escaping from a cultic group led by her own mother. Her facilitative style decreases participants’ sense of isolation to validate common concerns. Joyce Martella’s expertise and gentility positively impacts those born or raised in cults or recovering from complex developmental trauma.
Chair: reFOCUS support organization for former members
Chair: ICSA New York City Educational Initiative
Member: ICSA Advisory Board
I have known Joyce Martella for quite a few years. Down to earth and very effective at reaching people in audiences I have found her to be a wonderful colleague. Her many accomplishments have included speaking extensively on coercive persuasion and previously providing a retreat/resource center to help people who were in cults. Her doctoral dissertation on how to help second generation adults (adults who were born and/or raised in a cult) heal from complex trauma was ground breaking. For her work in this field she was awarded the Margaret L. Singer Award for advancing the understanding of coercive persuasion and influence in 2010--a well deserved honor. On a personal note, it is always a delight to spend time with Joyce.