One of the biggest issues faced by survivors of any form of abuse (emotional, physical and sexual abuse) is finding the right resource to help them on their healing journey. When a survivor is looking for a resource in the Jewish community, I'm learning it becomes even more difficult.
I have a friend who was involved in a Christian group. Eventually she sought out help from various counter-missionary workers.
My friend ran into all sorts of trouble as time went along, including being mislead into believing those helping her had some sort of counseling degrees.
I've been told that one does not need to have a counseling degree of any sort to counsel individuals out of cults or away from Christian groups. All one needs is the desire to help.
In some states one needs to be a licensed mental health professional to do anything that remotely resembles counseling, or they need to be an ordained minister, rabbi, priest, etc. As we know being ordained does not make one a safe person to be trusted.
I think it's time that we demand that individuals who counsel those in cults, their family member, and friends -- at least have masters degree in some form of counseling, and also be licensed mental health professional.
I also believe it's time that we demand that all Jewish organization be certified. We need to have better quality assurance then what we have now.
It's a sad and scary fact that we are more concerned about kashering food, then we are of protecting some of the most vulnerable from potential abuse. Isn't time we start preventing anyone else from being victimized by those who have no professional training.