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200 EpisodesProduced by Rachel BernsteinWebsite

Welcome to IndoctriNation: A weekly podcast covering cults, manipulators, and protecting yourself from systems of control.


A Complicated Cookie w/ Beth Matenaer

Our guest this week, Beth Matenaer, is a licensed professional counselor and trauma therapist living in South Carolina, who has worked with adults, children, adolescents, and families for more than 25 years. As a survivor of the Troubled Teen Industry, she has devoted her decades-long career to treating clients who exhibit the complexity of post-traumatic stress (PTSD) and other victims of high-conflict systems. Additionally, she is the co-creator and Clinical Director of the innovative Think Boxing program. As an adolescent, she was sent to a program heavily modeled after the Synanon cult. This self-help style school used attack therapy, loss of personal agency, physical labor, and isolation from friends and family as a way to tear down “troubled” teenagers in order to reform them.

Throughout their conversation, Beth shares with Rachel both her clinical expertise and personal experience, she sheds light on complex trauma or (CPTSD) and how it often goes unrecognized or mistreated. Beth also tells the story of her traumatic time at a "Troubled Teen" program, where she was subjected to unhealthy “cultic” and exploitative relationships with staff members. She goes on to explain what happened when she ran away from the program and how her experiences inspired her to become a therapist focusing largely on misunderstood youth, traumatized children and adults, and highly dysfunctional family systems.

Before You Go: Rachel emphasizes the importance of conducting research into any program before becoming involved, especially for parents who are often deceived by programs in the "Troubled Teen" industry. Rachel gives some tips on what parents should look out for when scouting programs and offers some advice on how to maintain a trusting relationship with their children.

More info about Beth here:

More info on Beth's therapeutic boxing program here:

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