Recovering from religious trauma can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be lonely. You can get support from others who understand and who are also working to rebuild their lives.


Release and Reclaim is a private online support group to help members release old, toxic beliefs and reclaim their lives.

Recovery from Religious Trauma Syndrome (RTS) can include many different areas of life, and participants in the group are at a variety of stages. Group members are also varied, with backgrounds as Christian fundamentalists/evangelicals, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics, Muslims, and more.

This online group is confidential and professionally led by Marlene Winell and Helping Professional interns.

Membership includes three monthly calls on the following days:

  1. The first Thursday of each month at 8pm EST
  2. The third Monday of each month at 8pm EST
  3. The fourth Saturday of each month at 12pm EST

You can come to as few or as many as you’d like!

Membership also includes access to a private member forum, with 20+ discussion boards.

Membership in the group is by invitation upon receiving an application to join the group.

Membership is a sliding scale of $20-$50 per month, but if you are having financial difficulties, just let us know.

You can cancel membership at any time – there is no annual or long-term commitment.

All you need to do to join is apply here. From there, you’ll be emailed with next steps!



Among the areas of healing and growth are:

• Understanding clearly what you have been through regarding religious harm.
• Working through feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, grief, and confusion.
• Deconstructing + learning about trauma and how to deal with triggers.
• Reclaiming your right to think and feel for yourself, and learning to trust yourself.
• Learning skills for self-love and self-care.
• “Coming out” to others and dealing with family and friends still “in the fold.”
• Overcoming irrational fears and ideas that persist from indoctrination.
• Addressing relationship and sexuality issues.
• Learning how to find new friends and community.
• Learning to appreciate pleasure and enjoy life here and now.

This is not just a discussion group or a place to rant about religion. We are devoted to healing and growth.  Dr. Winell and the other facilitators are actively involved and bring to the group many years of experience as group leaders. In both the written and verbal conversations, they facilitate so that the group is a safe place to be open and honest.


Safer Spaces Disclaimer

The Release and Reclaim Support Group is committed to safer spaces online. This means that racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, or harassment of any kind – including religious proselytizing – will not be tolerated either in the sessions or in the chat.

If at any time you experience such harassment or would like to make any comments regarding safer spaces at Release and Reclaim, you can email Dr. Winell directly at


As a group member you have access to:

• Profiles of other members and their stories of recovery from religion to inform and inspire you.
• Online discussions pertaining to all the topic areas above. You can join a thread or start a new one at any time.
• Current information about our upcoming events, such as Release and Reclaim retreats, and other events
• Exercises for healing and growth related to the topics we are discussing.
• Articles, podcasts, and videos of interest and humor
• Creative pages where you can view members’ work and post creative writing and art.
• Resources such as book reviews, and free downloads of books and articles, including Leaving the Fold.
• Conference Calls with 8-10 others and Dr. Winell or a trained facilitator. We discuss whatever is on your mind, and pay special attention to anyone who is in need of extra support.




A sample of our different conversation groups!






Listen to group members talk about the benefit of the conference calls here.