This study aimed to examine the inner psychological characteristics of cult members, provide a basis for the implementation of psychological counseling. 63 cult members and 69 ordinary people were assessed with the Self-Consistency and Congruence Scale (SCCS), the Interpersonal Trust Scale (ITS), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and the Self-rated Health Measurement Scale (SRHMS). Cult members scored significantly lower than the control group in the total score of the interpersonal trust, self-flexibility dimension and self-rated health. (t=-3.67,p<0.01;t=-2.34,p<0.05; t=-4.66,p<0.01); cult members scored significantly lower on each dimension of self-rated health than the control group (t= 3.22, p< 0.01;t= 4.18, p< 0.01; t= 3.49, p< 0.01;t = 4.66, p< 0.01); cult members scored significantly higher than the control group in the total score of the self and experience disharmony dimension and the trait anxiety level (t=2.11,p<0.05;t=5.67,p<0.01); cult members’ self-consistency and congruence has negative correlation with mental health (r=-0.372,p<0.05); trait anxiety and mental health have a negative correlation relationship (r=-0.557,p<0.01); the main factors influencing cult members’ mental health were self and experience disharmony and trait anxiety, with two factors explaining 22.3% of the mental health. Cult members were reported to have lower interpersonal trust, lower self-consistency and congruence, lower health level and higher trait anxiety (the so-called “three-low-and-one-high” symptoms). We can use the solution-focused brief therapy to implement mental counseling, which has an emphasis on problem-solving without an entanglement of the causes, and on promotion of cult members’ changes in a positive attitude.
Key words: Cult members, “three-low-and-one-high” symptoms, solution-focused brief therapy.
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