Professional Endorsements


Valerie Tarico, Ph.D., Psychologist, Writer and Speaker, Co-Founder, Wisdom Commons, Seattle, WA.

“Marlene Winell’s depth of experience with religious trauma and recovery is unparalleled. She has worked remotely and in person with hundreds of clients, each struggling to cleanse his or her mind and emotions of toxic residue from authoritarian religion. Her book, written materials, and insightful questions have helped many to move forward in the process of healing.” – October 24, 2011

Janet Heimlich, Author and Journalist.

“Dr. Winell has done a great deal to reach out to those who are emotionally struggling after having emerged from oppressive faith environments. I believe her book and website would be helpful to anyone in this situation, whether they grew up in an abusive religious culture or joined as an adult. As I was impressed with her work, I recommended her book on my website,” – October 28, 2011

Steven Hassan, M.Ed., Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Author and Director, Freedom of Mind Resource Center, Boston, MA.

“Dr. Marlene Winell is a specialist in human development with a passion for helping people and a vision of getting “Religious Trauma Syndrome” accepted as a recognized category of trauma diagnosis in the mental health field. Her book, Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving their Religion, is a classic. I recommend it it to anyone interested in helping people heal from religious trauma. Marlene is compassionate and kind and very knowledgeable. I am hoping to continue hearing about her evolving plans to teach, train, and develop more resources for people to heal.” – August 19, 2012


Lori Sims, Director of Development at Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO.

“Marlene is an outstanding professional. She speaks and writes with clarity and sensitivity. Marlene is one of the most prolific thinkers of our time.” – May 8, 2012

Rebecca Rosen Lum, Journalist and Regional reporter, Bay Area News Group-East Bay.

“Marlene Winell is an intelligent person with a quiet strength and clarity of purpose — a natural leader. She is both an analyst and a visionary; on one hand, deeply compassionate, on the other, a consummate and methodical organizer. I’ve seen her plan and conduct complex events, in the process meeting the needs of multiple clients, dealing deftly with surprises, and keeping the ball rolling toward its planned outcome. She is a lively thinker and a clear communicator.” – October 13, 2011

Richard Rossi, Film Director, Writer, Los Angeles, CA.

“Dr Winell is the foremost expert at assisting those who have been damaged by toxic religious groups and cults to recover from spiritual abuse and rigid religious indoctrination. Her book and retreats are the best in the field.” Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, Creative. – October 13, 2011

Heina Dadabhoy, Writer and Tutor, Orange County, CA.

“Marlene is an expert in helping people to recover from the harmful effects of fundamentalist religion. In addition, she provides excellent advice and guidance in handling family relationships.” Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert. – October 13, 2011

Jim Moyers, MFT, Psychotherapy Private Practice, Berkeley, CA.

“I have known Marlene for a number of years primarily through her consulting work with recovering fundamentalists, including her book, Leaving the Fold. I have been impressed with Marlene’s openness, her genuine warmth, and compassion as well as her knowledge of the complicated issues involved with outgrowing a belief system.” – October 13, 2011

Bob Cowart, Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, Clear Visions Counseling, Berkeley, CA.

“Marlene is the only one I know who is working in the area of RTS (Religious Trauma Syndrome). Based on her book, Leaving the Fold, and knowing Marlene for a few years, as well as attending one of her weekend RTS retreats and speaking with some of her attendees, I highly recommend Marlene if you suspect you may have RTS. She’s very down to earth and keeps it ‘real.’ – October 13, 2011

Richard Irwin, Editor at National Immigration Law Center, Los Angeles.

“I read Marlene’s book Leaving the Fold because of recommendations I found online and because we share similar backgrounds, and I profited greatly from it. Then I arranged to speak with her by phone once a week. She had deep insight into my issues as an ex-fundamentalist, helped me through a difficult time, and provided me effective tools/techniques that I’ve continued to use regularly post-therapy.” Top qualities: Expert, High Integrity, Creative. -October 13, 2011

MaryKris Mcilwaine, Ph.D., Instructor of Sociology at Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ.

“Marlene has in-depth expertise in the specialized (but crucial) area of recovery from harmful religious indoctrination. She is generous, creative and good-humored in deploying her knowledge to help clients re-gain their equilibrium and begin to step out of toxic imprinting.” Top qualities: Expert, Good Value, Creative. – October 16, 2011

Rob Steiner, Co-Founder at Recovering Fundamentalists, Founder at NewMedia Executive Services, Los Angeles, CA.

“Many people who are suffering from the effects of oppressive religious abuse seek help through our organization. Many times, the psychological effects far exceed our capacity and require professional attention. I am very grateful to have someone like Marlene. I can trust Marlene to sympathize with our community while also providing clinical treatment. She’s the best in the world at what she does. I have no doubt about that. Thank you, Marlene!” – February 23, 2012

Jim Etchison Manager, Infrastructure Engineering at HISNA.

“Marlene’s specialty brought us together, as I am also keenly interested in the experiences people have after de-converting from an oppressive religion. Marlene recently did an outstanding job writing the Afterword for one of my books. She’s easy to work with, has a great sense of humor, and I would highly recommend as one of the top experts in her field.” – August 20, 2012