Lorna earned both her BA (1968) and her MSW (1970) from NYU. She is a licensed clinical social worker in NJ and also a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers.

In 1984, Lorna became a certified psychoanalyst from the New Jersey Institute for Training in Psychoanalysis. Presently, she has a full time private practice as a therapist working with children, adolescents and adults. In addition to her work with people who have entered cults in late adolescence or early adulthood, she has worked with children and adults who have grown up in cultic groups. She also has worked with family members of individuals who presently are in cults.

Lorna was the Co-Director (1991 to 1999) and Director of the Child and Adolescent Program of the New Jersey Institute, a two-year postgraduate training program for mental health professionals, until June 2004. She also served on the faculty in the five-year post-graduate training program for psychoanalytic certification. Lorna served as Dean of Faculty at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies from 2004 until February 2017. She presently serves as Director at IPS where she continues to teach and supervise mental health professionals in child and adult psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Lorna has written numerous article for professional journals, some of which can be found in the articles section and on her c.v. Most recently, along with William Goldberg, Rosanne Henry, and Michael Langone, Lorna has co-edited a book, Cult Recovery: A Clinician’s Guide (2017).  She also has published a chapter entitled, Therapy with Former Members of Destructive Cults, in the book, New Religious Movements and Counseling (2018), edited by Sarah Harvey, Silke Steidinger and James A. Beckford.  

With Bill and separately, Lorna has presented her work with former cultists at numerous professional conferences; and, at times, has appeared on television and radio shows to discuss her work. Also, with Bill, Lorna is the recipient of the Hall of Fame Award from the Authentic Cult Awareness Network and the Leo J. Ryan Award from the Leo J. Ryan Foundation.

After serving on its Advisory Board for many years, in 2003, Lorna became a member of the Board of the Board of Directors of the International Cultic Studies Association, formerly the American Family Foundation. Lorna served as President of ICSA from July 2008 until July 2012. She currently remains a member of the Board of Directors of ICSA.

Lorna received the Margaret T. Singer Award from ICSA in 2009.



Lorna Goldberg, MSW

For almost thirty years Bill and I have had the privilege of facilitating a support group for former cultists. Through this group and through our work as therapists we've had the opportunity to learn about a wide range of post-cult difficulties. We've also heard about the effective coping strategies that are used to deal with post-cult problems. Today I plan to discuss some of what I've learned.

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Cold Reading: The Tricks of the Psychics
by William Goldberg, MSW, BCD

When the editor of the zine you're now clutching asked me to write an article on the manner in which so-called psychics perform their tricks, he knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that I'd say yes. He wasn't really being clairvoyant. He knew that so many of my clients had been burned badly by these charlatans that I'd welcome any opportunity to warn others about them. I'm a clinical social worker, and I specialize in working with former cult members. I've worked with people who've told me stories of witnessing psychic surgery (i.e. surgery performed without anesthesia, scalpels, wounds or scars), of seeing their cult leaders materialize physical objects out of thin air, or of individuals who seemed to possess the ability to read their thoughts.

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