The Game

You can read about my first experience with an encounter group and a description of what Synanon and Phoenix House’s “The Game” is like from inside the circle in a previous blog post, but I’m going to share some receipts today, too. These are pages from the Phoenix House Handbook as it stood in 1992. This is what passes for therapy still to this day in “therapeutic communities” like Phoenix House, who pioneered rebranding The Church (Cult) of Synanon’s abusive, cult methods in working with addicts. These were our “rules” for group “therapy” with other human beings:


2 thoughts on “The Game

  1. Hi there! I too was a resident at Phoenix House on San Diego. I was there a couple of years before you (in 1990 I believe). I did end up “splitting” after 11 months and have always wondered how other people have/haven’t recovered from that place. I still carry this ridiculous “guilt” for forgetting to bring the flag in one night and I never “dropped” it. 30 years later and I’m still thinking of that hell. Thank you for your post and letting me know that I’m not the only one who still suffers from its trauma.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reading and for your comment! If nothing else, I’m glad you feel less alone in your feelings about Phoenix House. It’s taken so many of us decades to even recognize HOW problematic the cult programming, abuses were. Please feel free to contact me via email (contact page) if you’d like to chat more about it or share about your experiences. I’m also on Twitter @girl_recovery


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