≡ Menu
Bay Tree Publishing, Take Back Your Life, Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships, Lalich and Tobias

$19.50 trade paperback
374 pages, 6″ x 9″
ISBN-10: 0-9720021-5-4
ISBN-13: 978-9720021-5-8

Free Shipping
(Within the U.S. only. For international orders
please email us for shipping costs.)
Check out / Buy now

Take Back Your Life—Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships

by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias

Cult victims and those who have suffered abusive relationships often suffer from fear, confusion, low-self esteem, and post-traumatic stress. Take Back Your Life explains the seductive draw that leads people into such situations, provides guidelines for assessing what happened, and hands-on tools for getting back on track. Written for the victims, their families, and professionals, this book leads readers through the healing process. A resource list and numerous personal accounts of those who have successfully made the transition to the “normal” world provide help and inspiration.

About the Authors

Janja Lalich, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Sociology at California State University, Chico. She has been studying the cult phenomenon since the late 1980s and has coordinated local support groups for ex-cult members and for women who were sexually abused in a cult or abusive relationship. She is the author of Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults, and co-author, with Margaret Singer, of Cults in Our Midst.

Madeleine Tobias, M.S., R.N., C.S., is the Clinical Coordinator and a psychotherapist at the Vet Center in White River Junction, Vermont, where she treats veterans who experienced combat and/or sexual trauma while in the military. Previously she had a private practice in Connecticut and was an exit counselor helping ex-members of cultic groups and relationships.


“Take Back Your Life is must reading for everyone who wants to understand the powerful appeal that cults have for so many ordinary people, using so many disguises, with so many subtle tactics. This book’s wisdom is vital for us all.”
— Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Stanford University

“Former members of cults (including those born or raised in such groups) and individuals coming out of abusive relationships will gain valuable insights from this book on how to deal with those experiences and their aftermath. Concerned professionals, family members, and friends will also find useful advice on aiding those who have been abused. I believe that Take Back Your Life is the most insightful practical introduction to this subject.”
—Michael D. Langone, Ph.D., Executive Director, International Cultic Studies Association

“This comprehensive book takes the former cult member through all the necessary healing stages—from understanding the effects of mind control and cult involvement to taking positive steps toward a healthy, balanced recovery. I highly recommend this book, which respects the strength, courage, dignity, and intelligence of former cult members.”
—Carol Giambalvo, author, Exit Counseling: A Family Intervention

“I wish every cult member, and every family of a cult member, struggling to free himself from the trauma of membership in a destructive relationship could read Take Back Your Life. It offers the powerful healing medicine of understanding.”
—Eugene H. Methvin, Senior Editor, Reader’s Digest

“Take Back Your Life is an intelligent, well-written book that will be invaluable to former cult members, their families, and anyone who wishes to understand the cult phenomenon. This book will be a classic and will have to be added to every cult watcher’s library, where it will be consulted again and again.”
—Lorna Goldberg, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., and William Goldberg, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

Table of Contents

  Part One: The Cult Experience
 1 Defining a Cult
 2 Recruitment
 3 Indoctrination and Resocialization
 4 The Cult Leader
 5 Abusive Relationships and Family Cults
  Part Two: The Healing Process
 6 Leaving a Cult
 7 Taking Back Your Mind
 8 Dealing with Aftereffects
 9 Coping with Emotions
10 Building a Life
11 Facing the Challenges of the Future
12 Healing from Sexual Abuse and Violence
13 Making Progress by Taking Action
  Part Three: Families and Children in Cults
14 Success Is Sweet: Personal Accounts
15 Born and Raised in a Cult
  16 Our Lives to Live: Personal Accounts
  17 Child Abuse in Cults by Nori J. Muster
Part Four: Therapeutic Concerns
18 Therapeutic Issues
  19 The Therapist’s Role by Shelly Rosen
20 Former Cult Members and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
A Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups by Janja Lalich and Michael Langone
B On Being Savvy Spiritual Consumers by Rosanne Henry and Sharon Colvin
C Resources
D Recommended Reading