Pat and Heidi of Becoming Free
Patrick J. Knapp, M.A. Philosophy of Religion, Denver Seminary. Pat’s initial interest in cult recovery stems from his own involvement in a harmful bible-based group (1970-1984). His recovery came as a result of individual and marriage counseling, in addition to several years of work in and facilitating support groups for ex-members and their loved ones. His M.A. thesis (Fall 2000) was titled: “The Place of Mind-Control in the Cult Recovery Process.” Over the past 20+ years he has been involved in formally mentoring Denver Seminary students for spiritual formation.
He is the founder of Becoming Free (www.BecomingFree.org) an organization committed to facilitating compassionate, safe support/recovery groups for those who have suffered previous involvement in abusive/harmful religious or spiritual environments. He and his spouse (Heidi) co-facilitate these 12 week support groups. Separate groups are conducted for both ex-members and for friends and family with loved ones still in or recently out of abuse groups.
He has done doctoral studies in Marriage and Family Counseling (Professional Track), at Gordon-Conwell in Charlotte, NC. He has also recently completed counseling internships at: Southwest Counseling Associates in Littleton, Co., Denver Veterans Medical Center in their intensive outpatient substance abuse program and the Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation (CeDAR), an inpatient substance abuse program in Aurora, Co. He is currently pursuing a PhD dissertation in the field of recovery from religious or spiritual abuse and drafting a book manuscript for publication which examines various models of cult recovery and defends a Family Systems and Attachment perspective, informed by a Christian world-view. He is also presently contributing a book chapter on developing support groups from a faith-based perspective for those affected by religiously abusive environments. He and his wife currently live in Denver, Colorado. He can be reached at www.BecomingFree.org
Heidi I. Knapp has had personal experience with three different aberrant Christian groups (1974-1996). Heidi has spent 17 years of education on recovery issues. She has obtained three certifications in Life Coaching, and is working on her Bachelor’s degree in psychology through Liberty University. Her education has also included accredited workshops. Her topics of study have included; spiritual abuse, codependency, healthy boundaries for healthy personal relationships, stress management and life skills for coping through crisis. She has a particular compassion and understanding for helping others overcome their past experiences of spiritual abuse. Heidi has co-facilitated with her husband (Pat) support/recovery support groups for those having experienced religious or spiritual abusive environments. Heidi is an active member of the International Cultic Studies Association www.icsahome.com, the American Association of Christian Counselors www.AACC.net and the International Christian Coaching Association www.ICCAOnline.net She has also previously coordinated and led support groups for parents raising special needs children. She is also an artist, having sold many of her art works and taught in a variety of venues. She and her husband live in Denver Colorado. She can be reached at www.BecomingFree.org
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