Counter is a non-profit organization dedicated to countering psychological manipulation and coercive control by developing prevention and recovery tools, training specialists, advocating for policy development, fostering universal education, and strengthening individual and community resilience.
Counter aims to train mental health practitioners in identifying, countering and recovering from psychological manipulation and coercive control. We provide workshops for practitioners and comprehensive toolkits to educate on involvement with various manipulative situations, including hate groups, sex trafficking, intimate partner controlling relationships and high-control groups of all kinds. Contact us today for more information or to book a workshop.
Counter seeks to build a comprehensive curriculum around psychological manipulation and coercive control for youth of all ages. We believe that education is a key factor in prevention and that we need a multifaceted approach to empower the younger generation. We envision a future where education becomes a powerful shield against manipulation, fostering a generation of individuals who can build and sustain healthy connections while recognizing and resisting coercive influences.
At Counter, we strive to foster connection, understanding, and support through a range of initiatives. We are currently working on materials to help loved ones under the influence of PM and CC. Additionally, Counter is dedicated to building a robust network that includes PM and CC-trained mental health professionals, health professionals, and a support network for exited individuals. We aim to provide resources for building community, nurturing connections, and finding purpose
We are committed to driving positive change on a systemic level. Our mission extends to researching, developing, and advocating for policies addressing psychological manipulation and coercive control. We recognize the need for comprehensive frameworks that not only address the issues at hand but also promote community support and development. Counter seeks to contribute to the creation of robust, informed, and effective policies that foster resilience, reduce isolation, and create a safer, more supportive environment for individuals affected by manipulation and coercive control.
CEO & Founder
After leaving a high-control group twelve years ago, Star Spider had a relentless desire to understand the intricacies of psychological manipulation and coercive control. With years of dedicated formal education and independent research, Star has evolved into a seasoned researcher and writer. Currently pursuing a major in philosophy with a minor in psychology at TMU, Star brings a unique blend of personal insight and academic expertise to the field of psychological manipulation. Over two decades, Star has assumed diverse roles, including event planner, producer, student, researcher, and writer. Now, with the establishment of Counter, Star aims to empower others with knowledge and tools to prevent and counter psychological manipulation and coercive control.
Kim Jaggers (MSW, RSW) is the Clinical Director and Founder of Guide Mental Health, a private Toronto based group practice that focuses on providing Therapy in the Life Space. With over 15 years of experience working in corrections, hospital settings, child protection, and community based mental health, Kim has become an advocate for those facing barriers to seeking mental health support. Kim is passionate about teaching and currently provides field instruction as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. Kim’s professional work has focused on helping children and adults living with trauma, as well as providing education and support to those who have experienced gender-based violence, both in Canada and abroad. Kim currently lends her support and expertise to COTI, a Uganda based organization focused on helping women and children move out of violence and poverty through education, and also works closely with the University of Western Ontario in special projects guided by the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children.
Lisa Smusz is a seasoned strategist with 25 years of experience in senior-management-level roles, excelling in public and mental health initiatives on local, statewide, national, and international levels. By blending traditional research methods with lived experiences, she finds unique solutions to complex problems. As an Instructor at California State University, East Bay for the past 19 years, Lisa has taught many courses for both the Department of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism as well as the Department of Educational Psychology.
Lisa is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPC 298) and was a member of the prestigious 2022 Global Health Delivery Intensive cohort at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Bio-Psychology and a Master of Science in Educational Psychology/Counseling. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys exploring thrift stores, reading geeky non-fiction books, and embarking on adventures with her family of seven.
Claudia is the Director of Education and Staff Development at Christie Gardens, a retirement community in Toronto. She is a former elementary school teacher turned elder care culture changer who now educates retirement home and LTC employees and students, supporting both their professional and personal development.
By night, Claudia dabbles in poetry and painting, and she also writes children’s fiction. She is an avid road-tripper and camper and dreams of the day she can live among the trees and sleep under the stars.
Claudia has three adult children, two dogs, an aquarium full of sweet little water creatures, and has lived in Toronto with her husband since 2010.
Bio Coming Soon!