‘Cult Survivor’ Benjamin Risha: How Therapy and Education Allowed Him To Tell His Story

My Book Recommendation

The Son Of Seven Mothers Kindle Cover
Find out more about Benjamin’s new memoir here!

My ego has been a compelling actor pushing me forward to tell my story. However, the more I wrote and talked about this story the more I realized that there is a much bigger story than about a Lebanese Jewish, peace child who was born into, survived and escaped a cult in the USA. That story is unique, but survival and thriving post-trauma is the real story. Writing this book made me realize how therapy and education have been critical in providing me the ability to write the book.

I have grown immensely due to a combination of education, therapy, resilience, travel, and maybe even some luck. Phenotypically I am a white male. I have benefitted from that also. Opportunities have been available to me that are not available to my friends who have darker skin than me.

The health care world calls my growth post-traumatic growth. Some people don’t survive horrific events in their lives, but some do. And, those who do survive somehow use their trauma as an energy to thrive. That is what writing, researching, and organizing this story into a book has helped me accomplish.

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Ahmed Abu Risha

Unfortunately, the USA has a culture of demonizing therapy especially when it comes to men getting therapy. Well, I am a man who believes in therapy and I am proud to advertise therapy. It’s time to change the culture here in the USA as it pertains to therapy. If a man hurt his back there is no stigma against him getting physical therapy, but if his mind gets hurt there is.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is the form of therapy that has helped me the most. I left the cult with many triggers. EMDR has helped me reset them so they no longer affect me.

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