"I think I am learning in the group. It's as if we are all wrestle with the same things and imagine writing and fighting and teaching and prosecuting and maybe even erasing it from ourselves. But I think the way forward is with connection and probably just one intimate long term connection. One person who gets it, accepts us and loves us and accepts our love. I don't really think anything else matters more than human connection. We are social. It nurtures our brains. And I like the group because its a place where we see ourselves in others. Thank you for the group" (Workshop Participant, 2020)
"Thank you for your amazing presence and guidance for so many years, Colleen. I am so grateful." (Client, 2020)
"I wasn't aware until listening to others in the workshop and reading the educational material you provide, how many relationships I've been involved in that have been coercive." (Client, 2020)
"Thank you again and know that you very much helped the four of us and your insights gave us comfort where we all have felt a bit lost". Client (2019)
"I am doing really well. I'm feeling really good about the progress I've made in religious triggers, family relationships, and my personal relationships. Thank you so much for everything. Your therapy has been integral to my progress and healing." Client (2019)
"Thank you so very much for the years of generosity for C4DP and the many survivors you helped along in their journey. Your steady presence for “tea” was confirming to all of us- staff and guests and clients alike. I will miss knowing you are there at shelter each week, coming and going and healing and caring and cherishing the souls of our troubled participants. I am so grateful to have gotten to know you and learn from you. Thank you from my heart to yours. I hope I cross paths with you again. I admire you so."
Kate Kain, Executive Deputy Director, Center for Domestic Peace, San Rafael, CA. (2018)
"Colleen exemplifies all of the best traits in a family therapist: compassion, insight, persistence, and a relentless capacity to bring out the best in her clients. I have personally spoken to those who have benefitted from her dedication and intelligence; they could not speak highly enough. For them, Colleen offered a safe place to explore, a place to grow and to learn to live in new ways. I recommend Colleen highly, for individual and family therapy, as well as for the support groups that she facilitates so well." 2013, Patti Millar, PhD, ACC
"You do wonderful work, Colleen. Kudos to you for your commitment to these women!!" Hope Edelman, Author of "Motherless Daughters, The Legacy of Loss" and "Letters From Motherless Daughters". 2013.
"Thank you so much for the last 4+ years of your service helping battered women and their children. You have been awesome! I have heard so many wonderful life-changing things about you from the women that you helped." Graciela Rodriguez, Director of Emergency Services, "Center for Domestic Peace (2018).
"Your interpretations and praise throughout the session were so sensitive to each of our goodnesses and powerful in the ultimate effectiveness of our interactions. You are so perfectly suited to your profession and it is wonderful to behold. I still revel how one quick google search led me to you." Client, 2017
"Colleen, I want you to know I appreciate all of your help in my healing process. Knowing you and participating in group allowed me to share painful feelings of a child who was expected to take care of herself physically and emotionally after my mother's death. It was great having your care. I will miss you.See you again if I falter." Client, 2014
"Colleen is a sensitive, insightful and mature professional therapist who has been greatly helpful to her many clients. I recommend her without hesitation." 2013, Daniel Shaw, LCSW
"I have known Colleen Russell for years. She is one of the most thoughtful therapists I know. I have implicit trust in her. She is much respected and known for her caring approaches. She is an invaluable therapist for those who have been (or are) in a cultic group or relationship." 2014, Janja Lalich, Ph.D., Sociology Professor at Chico State, Specialist in extremism and undue influence, Author of "Take Back Your life" and "Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults."
"Just wanted to let you know that I found the Motherless Daughters Group meeting very valuable and interesting. I found myself understanding many feelings and motivations from the shared discussions, and found it very easy to get out of myself and share my thoughts and feelings. You were very supportive and skillfully facilitated the exchanges. You were also very patient with all of us."
"I was fortunate to find Colleen among the half a dozen therapists listed on cult recovery websites in 2003 when I belatedly realized “Oh shit! I was raised in a cult. My whole family is in a cult. No wonder my life is screwed up!” Colleen’s gentle blend of cult counseling/ education with the therapeutic process supported me to rebuild my life. I stopped berating myself, and learned to recognize and avoid drama that results from involvement with manipulators." Client, 2014
"This workshop has been so helpful to me in bringing me together with others who have lived through similar experiences and get it! I feel as though I'm on a team. Thank you, Colleen, for being such a valuable support and providing me with resources that help me understand." Client, 2017
"I am grateful for you and all your support and care and teaching! It's been crucial for my getting out and healing. I'm savoring the lovely parts of being alone, along with the challenges." Client, 2018
"Colleen Russell worked with former cult members and victims of domestic abuse for several months in 2009 at Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center, one of only two residential facilities in the world that specialize in treating survivors of destructive cults, religious or non-religious. Her work was much appreciated, as our director and primary counselor, Dr. Paul R. Martin, was incapacitated with the leukemia which eventually claimed his life. Ms. Russell's willingness to fill in during that time was immensely helpful in lightening the load of the regular staff, as well as providing comfort, knowledge and encouragement to the clients we served during her stay." 2013, Lawrence A. Pile, Former Director of Cult Education and Research, Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center, Albany OH.
"I really appreciate the work you do--- and will always be thankful for the difference you made supporting me with your wise perspectives, understanding, and personal encouragement with my sister. It was a relief to know I wasn't alone in that desperate time, and I don't know what I would have done without your help." Client, 2010
"Colleen is a wonderful therapist. I was in her Motherless Daughters group for 2 or 3 years and learned so much about myself. She has excellent skills in facilitating groups. I would highly recommend her for one-on-one or group therapy." 2013 Client
"I thoroughly appreciate your consistent professionalism, gentle support, and understanding. I'm leaving our group as a 'new person' in some ways...I'm sad that I won't be seeing everyone regularly, but I'm excited about my life." Client, 2000
"Colleen has many years of competent work with various forms of marital dysfuntion. In addition, she is a noted leader in helping people recover from the trauma of cult membership. I would refer to her confident that she will provide service worthy of her reputation." July 2, 2013, David Pittle, Pastoral Psychotherapist (REBT/CBT) at TurningSpirit Counseling 2013.
"Colleen is a delightful, supportive and knowledgeable colleague I had the pleasure of meeting and working with at the ICSA International Cultic Studies Conference. I have followed her trajectory over the past several years and participated in a therapeutic cyberspace discussion group with her. I have found her to be a serious and committed therapist who specializes in Marriage and Family Therapy and also with members of cultic or cult-like groups. I admire her energy and output as she runs a support group for former members and is constantly working with former cult group members and finding ways to refer and support them." 2013, Paul Lennon,Executive Director at Fully Human,Washington D.C. Metro Area
"As a motherless daughter I now realize that for years following my mother's death I didn't allow myself to feel my pain or to confront how her death and illness affected my life. Now I'm able to be myself and not let my perception of others' feelings dictate what I do or say...The pain has subsided and even the shame I somehow felt. I can now comfortably say 'I'm a motherless daughter' because it's part of who I am." Client, 2016
"Colleen is one of the few therapists I know who understands cult dynamics. I heartily recommend her to anyone who has suffered from cult involvement or in an abusive relationship. In fact, with her warmth and compassion, I can recommend her to anyone looking for a good therapist.",2013,David Cole, Independent Publishing Professional
"Colleen Russell is that rare therapist that has wonderful skills in conventional therapy as well as the special arena of recovery from "cults" as abusive group relationships." 2013, Joseph Szimhart, Artist, Cult Specialist, Mental Health Worker, Author .
"Colleen combines life experience, clinical knowledge and devotion to her client's welfare. I recommend her highly as a therapist working with survivors of high demand groups or relationships especially those whose creativity has been impacted by their prior involvement." 2013, Lois Bernard, LCSW
"All in all I would say that our work together continues to have been a grand success...Having worked through much of the underlying pain and conflict, I simply no longer feel the need to be intoxicated -- there is no pain left to kill. That is a freedom so fantastic that it remains hard for me to express in words."Client, 2004
"I feel I have healed from the impact of the cult and it is no longer on my radar. I have been testing out different churches ... In this process I feel empowered and not obligated to serve under a certain pastor and if I don’t like the place, I leave (then and there, not when the service is over) and don’t come back. I feel no guilt or fear of cosmic punishment if I do so. I will not compromise my hard-earned victory by placing myself under the strong hand of a tyrant." Client, 2004
"I have known Colleen as a professional therapist for several years and I have followed her professional development and her private practice. I know she is a very professional person who takes her clients seriously and with passionate interest. She is constantly learning and implementing new and proven methods to bring about change and healing. Colleen is also a very collegial person who consults with colleagues and takes suggestions willingly." 2013