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Today’s social climate is wrought with polarizing and divisive rhetoric inflamed by frequent and evolving conspiracy theories and analogous cult influence. This trend has had major negative impacts on individual and collective identities and beliefs. A common result? Strained relationships, family conflict, employment challenges, and a new normal that can be difficult to traverse. We see it translate into therapy quite often today, and many clinicians feel stumped about how to approach these sensitive topics!

This day long seminar will provide helpful case studies and interesting findings in counseling and communication research to increase participants’ understanding of how cults, conspiracy theories, and political radicalism takes root as well as how they impact individuals, their families, and engagement in therapy. This course will cover the real-world persuasive tactics used to influence public thought, the step-by-step process of how institutions and individuals cultivate a cult-like following, related ethical dilemmas for clinicians, and conversational strategies that clinicians can use to navigate these topics in session.


Cost: $165 – Want to attend this course and any future event or course from our CE library for FREE and unlimited for the cost of $34.99/month for 12 months??!! Check out our Everything Plan here.




This training will provide participants clinical knowledge and tools to:

a). Describe the psychology of social radicalization.

b). Name the 4 stages of cult acquisition and the 9 primary traits.

c). Define conspiracy theories and distinguish them from other unreliable thought patterns.

d). Understand the influence of political and social identities in the therapeutic context.

e). Discuss clinical strategies for working with clients affected by radicalization.

f). Identify harmful communication practices that threaten clinical growth.


Target Audience:

The target audience for this event includes psychologists, social workers, counselors, MFT’s, and other clinical mental health professionals.


Instructional Level: Intermediate

Instructor(s): Corey Petersen, MS, LCMFT, MAPC

Material Author(s): Corey Petersen, MS, LCMFT, MAPC

Corey Petersen, LCMFT, is a Communication Specialist, and owner of Communication and Connection Therapy. She is currently finishing her Ph.D. in Communication Studies which is her third college degree in the communication field, and fifth degree in total. Before becoming a psychotherapist, Corey was pursuing a career in political strategy. She even interned as a speechwriter for a US senator where she earned her certification in speechwriting. Though her passions led her toward working in the mental health field, she has been teaching courses covering political rhetoric and persuasion collegiately for the past 8 years. When Corey is not teaching, she is likely working on her dissertation or meeting with clients in her private practice.

For additional information about this course, the instructors, or the material authors, please contact Content Assistance at

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