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What is The Family Survival Trust Support Group (FST)?

The Family Survival Trust Support Group meets online to support people affected by cults or extremist groups.

What can I expect when I attend a Support Group meeting?

The support group meeting has a psycho-educational focus in which we present material about how cults work and related topics. This forms the basis for sharing related experiences in a reflective group discussion.

Who attends?

The FST support group is for people affected by cults and extremist/exploitative groups (eg political, therapy, religious/spiritual, business, sports, etc.). Attendees are adults who are either former members, family of members, or professionals who support them.

Who facilitates?

Facilitators are all volunteers and former members of cults with experience facilitating.

If I want to attend The Family Survival Trust Meeting, who do I contact?

Email us at:

Can I just turn up at the online meeting?

No. You will need an initial introduction meeting after which you will be sent monthly zoom links inviting you to attend.


Are the discussions in the support group confidential?

The FST meetings are held  under Chatham House Rules. This means participants are free to use the information disclosed during the meeting but the source of that information may not be identified.

People attending the meetings are asked not to record the meetings and ensure no recording takes place through your equipment/location. However, given the sophistication of modern technology & surveillance we cannot guarantee everyone will adhere to this.

How does the FST support group benefit its members?

This psycho-educational support group can be useful, at an appropriate stage, for:

  • learning about the social & psychological dynamics of groups and when this can become unhealthy

  • engaging in mutual support and validation with others who have had a similar experience


What’s expected of participants?

Participants are under no obligation to speak, but we would ask they remain attentive to those who are sharing. As a rule of thumb we find it preferable to avoid being overly intrusive, offering unsolicited advice, or engaging in one-on-one dialogue.

Can I join the zoom meetings from anywhere?

Please ensure that your environment is safe, comfortable, non-distracting, and unlikely to be overheard/witnessed by non-participants.

What technology will I need?

To attend you'll need a device with access to Zoom, a web camera & microphone as well as a reliable internet connection.

Participants must keep their camera on during the meeting to ensure transparency and a climate of safety for all.

What are the timings?

The 2 hour support group session will start promptly at 7pm (Greenwich Mean Time), finishing at 9pm; to avoid disruption, no late entry please.

The Zoom meeting room will open 15 minutes before the group session starts.

Do I have to stay for the whole meeting?

You can leave whenever you like.

If you are exiting the meeting before the end please let the meeting host know.

Do we communicate outside of the group meetings?

There is an optional private & confidential online Facebook group for peer communication between group meetings.

How do I give feedback?

Feedback is an important part of how we operate. You can let us know any topics/themes/theories you'd like for our support group meetings, any suggestions, constructive criticism or anything else.


What if I have a complaint?

Please email us at


Is there a cost?

Yes, a donation of £5 or more is appropriate to help us cover costs and can be made via JustGiving at

If your circumstances do not permit donating at this time, please do not let that stop you from attending.


How can I make contact?




Donations via JustGiving:



The FST support group is NOT a therapy/counselling group and as such is not supported in that way.  Sometimes discussions can be unexpectedly unsettling and then you may want to arrange your own extra support outside the group.

The FST is not a mental health organisation, and is unable to provide support to those who are experiencing severe mental ill-health which might impact on their abilities to manage everyday life.

The Support Group is not suitable for anyone under 18 years old.

Your participation in our group is on the basis that you have read, understood and accept the notes above.  We look forward to seeing you.

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