Saving Cindy by Peter A. Olsson

Saving Cindy

A Psychiatrist Looks at Cults & Their Victims

by Peter A. Olsson

Cindy (not her real name) was nineteen and a sophomore at college when her parents sought consultation with me. She had decided to stay on her college campus in a distant city, telling her parents that this would allow her to finish a term paper and save the airfare for some new clothes. Her parents were pleased by this decision. During her freshman year Cindy had episodes of intense homesickness, wrote several lengthy, lonely-sounding letters home each week, and called home weekly asking for letters and calls from her older siblings. By the second semester the homesickness attacks were less frequent, she had made a couple of new friends, was making As and Bs, and had gotten a part-time job at the student union. Her older brother had commented, “The little kid is growing up at last.”

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