Miriam’s Villa prides itself in providing a unique, professional program that provides counseling and care specifically designed to assist victims of exploitation, coercion and abuse as they return to emotional and psychological health. Most of the members of Miriam’s Villa staff have been involved in an abusive group or relationship at one point in time themselves. We share a special empathy and understanding of our clients. All of our counselors are licensed mental health professionals with the state of Alabama and have the highest level of licensure available for their profession within the state. Our staff have been specially trained and have numerous years experience working with those who have endured coercion, spiritual and emotional abuse.

 

Donna Adams-Weiss, Ph.D., LPC

Executive Director

donna002donna001Dr. Adams-Weiss is a Licensed Professional Counselor with 20 years of counseling experience.  She has worked with those who have left cults, high-demand groups, and coercive, abusive relationships for more than 20 years. She taught a class for graduate counseling and psychology students on the “Dynamics of Cults” for 7 years at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Adams-Weiss has delivered numerous presentations, written numerous articles on the topic of cults, high-demand groups, and coercive persuasion throughout the years. She has been interviewed by various news media across the U.S. and Canada that includes magazine, newspaper, television and radio media. She has participated in documentaries about cults including a documentary by news media in France. Dr. Adams-Weiss is also the former clinical director of Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center when it was a residential treatment program for those who had been in destructive cults.

Dr. Adams-Weiss received her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Ohio University, her M.Ed. in Community and Agency Counseling and Clinical Counseling Endorsement Certification (post-graduate) from Xavier University (Cincinnati), and BSN in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati.  She also attended Jerusalem University College in Jerusalem, Israel where she studied Israeli and Palestinian relations as well as Biblical Studies.

Dr. Adams-Weiss enjoys traveling with her husband on vacation throughout the U.S. and other countries and has traveled extensively throughout the world.  She enjoys weekends at the lake with her husband and their yellow Labrador retriever (Spencer) and weekend motorcycle rides.  She also has been known to “dabble” in the kitchen quite a bit.

 

Craig Branch,

Workshop Director

craig001

craig002Craig attended the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University majoring in Psychology. He has earned his Master’s degree in Religious Education. Craig also played college tennis and was a tennis professional for 12 years. Later he became Alabama director and Vice-President of Watchman Fellowship, one of the largest organizations in the United States that taught of the dangers of destructive cults. He served in that role for 15 years.

Craig served for many years on the Board of Directors of Evangelical Ministries to New Religions. During this time, he also served for many years on the Board of Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center, a rehabilitation facility for victims of psychological abuse and cult abuse.

Craig served as chair of the clergy relations committee of the American Family Foundation (now International Cultic Studies Association, an ecumenical and secular academic organization dealing with cultic abuse and mind control).

Craig has published articles in Spiritual Counterfeits Project Journal, Christian Research Journal, New Man Magazine, Watchman Expositor, Vantage Point, Christianity Today, and in the upcoming Baker’s Encyclopedia of Cults and World Religions. He is a frequent speaker and source for local and national media, as well as a frequent speaker in churches, conferences, schools, universities and civic groups.

Craig is married to Mary Branch and has 3 children, Catherine, Kimberly and Chip.