Category Archives: Trauma and Dissociation Articles

Show your Support for Abuse Survivors – Anchorage Conference:

Show your Support for Abuse Survivors – Anchorage Conference:

Trauma survivors – including Human Trafficking survivors – need your support now!!

Ivory Garden will be hosting the 6th annual Trauma and Dissociation Conference in Anchorage Alaska – May 4th and 5th, 2018.  Seats are still available, and a sliding-scale has been added.  The focus is on human trafficking/trauma and how it affects survivors.  Everyone interested in trauma and trauma-informed care is invited.

Last year this conference was held in Seattle.  It sold out – attendees included survivors and supporters from around the world and from all walks of life.  One topic that came up was Backpage.com, what was happening in Seattle and around the world, and what we all could do to stop trafficking.  The question on everyone’s mind, “What resources are available for survivors?”

Recently, the U.S. seized Backpage.com for allegedly providing minors for prostitution and sex trafficking https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/07/us/politics/backpage-prostitution-classified.html

Obviously, many folks were working together to take down Backpage.com.  And, now we must pull together to ensure that survivors of trauma have the resources they need.

So, let’s ask the question, “With Backpage.com seized, what happens to the survivors?”  I am based in Seattle, and I know that this a huge business here.  Our conference is in Anchorage this year, and trafficking is big business there also.

It is up to all of us to provide support for survivors of trauma – including human trafficking survivors.  Right?  They not only need food and housing, but also trained therapists, resources, peer support, and mostly to know that they are important and respected within the community so that they can move forward.  All survivors deserve support and validation.

Ivory Garden provides these conferences in order to bring comradery, education, and awareness for the purpose of supporting survivors of trauma and supporters.  Before Backpage.com was seized, we had already decided to cover this at our conference.

We will be screening “I am Jane Doe” https://www.iamjanedoefilm.com/ as well as having follow-up discussion with Jerome Elam and Erik L. Bauer, the Seattle attorney who has been influential – http://komonews.com/news/local/high-court-rules-against-backpagecom-in-sex-trafficking-suit

Let’s all come together and let survivors and supporters know that there is support and solidarity among peers and communities for those who are survivors of trauma and abuse.

Support the conference by registering now and/or donate to support others coming who would not otherwise be able to attend.

We thank the donors, volunteers, speakers, hotel, and everyone who has so graciously donated toward making this event a reality.

For questions, contact:
Patricia Goodwin, President
Ivory Garden Nonprofit Corp.
felicity4us2@gmail.com

 

Demystifying Human Trafficking

Demystifying Human Trafficking

“What the heck does human trafficking have to do with trauma-informed care – or me, for that matter?”

I have heard this questions asked again and again, not only by mental-health professionals but also, by trauma survivors who were victims of human traffickers.

For me, the answer had always been, “Nothing!” I saw no need to even attend to all of the hoopla about human trafficking. Yes, I did know that it was a huge problem:

“Trafficking women and children for sexual exploitation is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. This, despite the fact international law and the laws of 158 countries criminalize most forms of trafficking. Sex trafficking is a lucrative industry making an estimated $99 billion a year. At least 20.9 million adults and children are bought and sold worldwide into commercial sexual servitude, forced labor and bonded labor. About 2 million children are exploited every year in the global commercial sex trade. 54% of trafficking victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation. Women and girls make up 96% of victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation” (https://www.equalitynow.org/sex-trafficking-fact-sheet).

Despite my awareness of this situation, I had always assumed that human traffickers were hidden bad-guys who gathered victims and transported them to different countries where they were sold or forced to work as slaves.

Ultimately, my ignorance about human trafficking came to light about six months ago when I was planning a conference on trauma. The conference was designed to increased awareness for survivors, professionals, and supporters. One of the speakers arranged a human trafficking panel, which included trauma survivors, a therapist, and law-enforcement officer. As I watched the panel-members interact, my worldview began to unravel. I concluded that human traffickers are the perpetrators of nearly all trauma that victims have endured. These abusers are not hidden bad-guys, but anyone who exploits, deceives, or coerces for the purpose of profiting or benefitting. It has nothing to do with ‘movement’, but everything to do with exploiting and/or selling victims.

“Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery” ( Palermo Protocol). ‘Trafficking’, means trade – not movement.

Clearly, this law defines the act of human trafficking, but fails to clarify how to identify victims, survivors, or perpetrators of human trafficking. Without education and awareness about trauma and symptoms of trauma, perpetrators continue profiting and victims/survivors remain misunderstood. Below is a real-example:

Izabel is forty-three years old. Until a couple of years ago, she was unaware that trauma-symptoms were causing her difficulty in functioning. In fact, she is a college graduate, a successful nurse, and loving parent of two children. She began seeing a therapist when the stresses of everyday life became so overwhelming that she was no longer able to cope or function at all. She presented with an array of symptoms and conditions including: dissociative disorder, post-traumatic disorder (PTSD), self-injury, suicidal ideation, eating disorder, depression, isolation, relationship problems, etc. 

Izabel’s therapist began treatment with the goal of discovering past trauma that could be causing all of her symptoms.  At first, Izabel remembered her childhood as uneventful. Her parents were professionals – her father a medical doctor, and her mother a dentist. Within a couple of weeks, the therapist began the work of ‘processing memories’.  Izabel remembered early school-life as a good time where she felt safe. Her grades were impeccable as was her behavior. She did remember one teacher asking her about welts and bruises that she had not noticed until they were pointed out. That day, she panicked and ran from the school. As she told the therapist about this school memory, she felt the familiar fear, helplessness, and hopelessness that always preceded her practice of self-injury. 

During one session, she told the therapist about when she was a teen and got lost in the city. She remembered that a police officer took her to a nearby hospital where the staff treated cuts and bruises, and called her parents to take her home. She remember wanting to stay with the police or at the hospital, to tell them – what? She could not recall, but while sharing with the therapist, she felt sad, lost, ashamed, and rejected.

 Therapy sessions have included intense memory work to help Izabel process traumatic incidents of torture, rape, and emotional abuse. Although she has undergone therapy for two years, she has not shown signs of improvement. She is depressed, isolated, and overwhelmed with fear and paranoia – terrified that past abusers will find and punish her for ‘telling’. She has attempted suicide many times, practices self-injury, and reenacts past abuse of a ritual nature. She punishes herself every time she thinks about her past abusive situations. She has been hospitalized multiple times for her own safety. Both the therapist and she now believe that she was ritually abused and programmed by organized perpetrators whom she has been unable to identify. 

As is common with many survivors and victims, Izabel is not only reluctant, but also seemingly unable to identify her abusers for several reasons: shame, fear, insufficient information, etc. In her case, her parents accepted money in return for them making her available to perpetrators who abused and sold her from the time she was two-years-old. Though, she does recall going to stay with a family friend, she does not recall any abuse happening there. She does recall her parents accepting large amounts of money from this ‘family friend’. The police, hospital staff, her teacher, and a trained therapist had a chance to help her, but never thought to ask about the actual perpetrators – her parents. Though they didn’t perpetrate the actual abuse, they were guilty of trafficking, because they SOLD her!!

Essentially, this is a common mistake, made out of ignorance about human trafficking. Firstly, it is common for traffickers to make children available for profit, but never carry out any abuse themselves. Secondly, trauma perpetrated by traffickers cannot be quantified or separated into ‘types’ of abuse or symptoms/behaviors of the victim or survivor, because perpetrators utilize an array of abuses in order to control their victims. The training that traffickers perpetrate on their victims is extensive and effectively alters victims’ core-beliefs and sense of self from an early age. Victims learn that their safety is directly dependent on their loyalty to perpetrators who threaten their life in order to keep them from telling. Victims learn from abusers that their worth as a person is dependent on serving and pleasing adults rather than fulfilling personal needs – a common theme among most survivors and victims of abuse.

Because human trafficking is directly relating to childhood-trauma, education and awareness of the implications of human trafficking are imperative in order to understand symptoms, conditions, and the best courses of treatment.

The above diagram demonstrates the complex nature of human trafficking that creates confusion for providers, survivors, and victims.  Realizing that nearly all abuse-trauma is perpetrated by human traffickers (see definition), everyone can work together for the common goal of not only identifying and prosecuting traffickers, but also rendering respect, support, and mental health resources for survivors and victims of abuse.

Recently, Izabel’s therapist decided to attend a conference where folks from all walks of life gathered to talk about human trafficking in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of how to identify and work together effectively. She sat through two days of workshops and plenaries as well as interacting with attendees and speakers. Survivors spoke of their experiences, and professionals presented workshops. She learned why trauma-informed care is important when working with clients. Mostly, she came away realizing that Izabel cannot move forward in therapy until she accepts who perpetrated the abuse. It was not some unidentified bad-guy hidden in the shadows of organized crime, but rather, someone she knew – her own parents.

Following the conference, Izabel’s therapist planned to begin a more trauma-informed approach. She would ask Izabel about her parents and their relationship to this family friend. She realized that upcoming sessions would be difficult for Izabel, but also knew that she would be there to support her – something Izabel had always deserved – to finally feel safe and free from the guilt and shame that had always plagued her life.

© Patricia Goodwin, MA 2018

Do not copy or distribute without permission from author.

2018 Conference – Trauma and Trafficking:

Comprehending the Complexity of Trafficking as Trauma

2017 Trauma and Dissociation Conference Events Overview

2017 Trauma and Dissociation Conference Events Overview

Updated Information –

A Bit About the Conference:

Mark your calendars!  This annual three day fundraising event hosted by Ivory Garden Nonprofit Corporation will be held in Seattle, WA at the Radisson Hotel near the SeaTac Airport on October 19th through the 22nd, 2017.   Professionals working in the area of trauma, trauma survivors, and those who support survivors all benefit from attending workshops and plenaries presented by internationally renowned clinicians, researchers, authors, and lecturers in the field of trauma-related disorders.  This event also provides, for all attendees, a unique experience of meeting and interacting with peers and experts from all over the world.

  • Parking is free.
  • Coffee, tea, and water provided by hotel.
  • Reduced rates for rooms including many amenities – room link
  • 19 CEU’s with certificates available.  Certificates of completion and sign-in forms available for all attendees.
  • Sliding-scale registration available for everyone – including CEU’s – as low as $99.00 for the entire conference.
  • Evening live entertainment.
  • Everyone interested in learning more about how trauma affects people is invited.
  • Internationally recognized by professionals, survivors, and supporters. 
  • Pet-friendly venue.
  • Arts and crafts room open with supplies and workshops during the conference.
  • Please, look though this website for more information home

    register 2016 Trauma Dissociation Conference

    Conference Theme:

    “Demystifying Trauma-Informed-Care within the Dissociative Spectrum”

    This year’s theme reflects the need for an awareness of trauma and how it affects people differently. Relating to traumatized individuals knowledgeably, compassionately and respectfully, within daily or professional environments, is vital to the well-being and stability of clients, friends, and peers who have experienced trauma in their lives.

    ‘Trauma-Informed Care’ is an organizational structure and treatment framework that involves understanding impact of trauma on human development, recognizing trauma related symptoms, and responding effectively and appropriately. Practicing trauma-informed care requires awareness and knowledge of current research, education of trauma related symptoms/behaviors, and effective therapeutic interventions based on where each falls within the ‘dissociative spectrum’.

    Dissociative disorders, a common effect of trauma, range on a spectrum of severity correlating how extreme and chronic the trauma – the least extreme on this spectrum is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the most extreme is dissociative identity disorder (DID). “Other disorders at points on this spectrum in between these two diagnoses include dissociative amnesia (with or without dissociative fugue), depersonalisation/derealisation disorder, other specified dissociative disorder (OSDD) and unspecified dissociative disorder (UDD). OSDD and UDD are what was previously known as dissociative disorder not otherwise specified (DDNOS) which is a diagnosis given when the full diagnostic criteria for other dissociative disorders including dissociative identity disorder are not met” (source: https://www.pods-online.org.uk/).

    Objectives and goals:

    Attendees will be able to:

    1) explain and define the relationship between childhood trauma and how it effects people within the dissociative spectrum including: different types of trauma (sexual abuse, physical/emotional abuse, human trafficking, ritual abuse) and effects of trauma (dissociative disorders, developmental delays, neurological effects, addiction, eating disorders, self-harm, suicide ideation, depression, and anxiety).

    2) explain and describe current designs of psychotherapy treatment studies and outcomes through literature, strategies, techniques, neurology and clinical implications of treatments in the area of trauma and dissociation.

    3) explain, describe, and define how practicing trauma-informed care can resolve issues within therapeutic relationships including: ethical, boundaries, safety, shame, trust, confidentiality, attachment to perpetrator, cultural differences, core beliefs, expectations, and misunderstandings.

    4) demonstrate practical knowledge of trauma-informed care within the dissociative spectrum through open discussion, brief case consultations, question and answer sessions, workshops, and discussion panels presented by renowned experts in the field of trauma and dissociation.

    5) demonstrate the skills, education, and knowledge gathered during this conference that can be practiced in daily life or within the clinical setting – whether professionals, survivors of trauma, or those who support trauma survivors.

     

    Topics Covered:

    Topics do not apply to any certain paradigm promoted by Ivory Garden, but are comprehensive and relate to anyone interested in learning about or practicing skills in the area of trauma-informed care and/or trauma and dissociation.  Workshops are divided between two rooms (See the schedule) within the large ballroom – seating about 250 people.  This gives everyone a chance to interact as they please within the workshops and plenaries.  Speakers are professional, knowledgeable experts in their fields. It is not expected that attendees will always ‘agree’, but more often, will gain familiarity enough to decide whether to further pursue the topic. Rooms for arts and crafts and general discussion are also available.

    • “TREATMENT OUTCOME DATA FOR DISSOCIATIVE DISORDERS”
    • “TRAUMA MODEL THERAPY”
    • “Ego State Therapy”
    •   EMDR
    • “Understanding the Neurobiology of the Fight, Flight, Freeze, Collapse Response”
    • “Building Trust within the Therapeutic Relationship – Legal/Ethical Issues
    • “Not the price of admission: Healthy relationships after childhood trauma.”
    • “Conversation/Consultation Hour with David Calof, DAPA”
    • “False Memories – Where Are We Today?”
    • “Techniques for Conversations with the Voices Within”
    • “Addiction and Dissociation: Two Clinical Case Studies”
    • “Ritual Abuse: A cultural and epistemological assessment”
    • “Trafficked Boys: Bringing male victims of HT out of the shadows”
    • “Human Trafficking Panel – Question – Answer, and Discussion”
    • “Art Therapy and its Benefits with those with Dissociations and DID”
    • Practical Tools For The Healing Journey – Developing Self-Care, Nurture, Compassion and Cooperation”
    • “Healing from Trauma-Induced Chronic Pain:  A Survivor’s Experience”
    • “Bridging Trauma and Spirituality”
    • “Writing Your Fairy Tale or Mythical Journey: The Call to Adventure & Initiation”
    • “The Process of Owner Training a Psychiatric Service Dog for people with trauma and disassociation.”

    Daily Activity Overview:

    Thursday, October 19, 2017:

    This is a pre-conference day with an informal reception for everyone to get together, meet each other, and prepare for the next three full-days of plenaries, workshops, and entertainment.  We will begin at about 1:00 p.m.  Speakers and sponsors are welcome to set up tables, audio-visual staff will be setting up the rooms, and IG staff will be handing out program binders and nametags.  If you come on Thursday, you will find the Ivory Garden tables and staff who will help you find anything that you need.  Food will be served from one of the board rooms in the early-evening/late afternoon.  Everyone is also welcome to help out as they feel comfortable.  This is a fun-filled evening that everyone enjoys.

    Friday, October 20, 2017:

    TimeSan Juan BallroomWorkshops
    SJ Room 1 and 2SJ Room 3Orcas Room - ClassroomShaw Room- Art Room
    8:00-5:00 p.m. Check-in and Registration
    8:45-9:15 a.m. Welcome, Announcements, and Introductions
    9:15-10:30 a.m.Plenary:
    Colin Ross, M.D.
    "Principles of Therapy for Complex Dissociative Disorders"
    1 CEU
    10:30 -10:45 a.m. Break
    10:45-11:45 a.m. Sandra L. Paulsen, Ph.D.
    "How the Story Tells Itself Non-Verbally" 1 CEU
    Joshua Moore, MAC, LMHC, BCN
    "An Introduction to Self-Regulation with Neurofeedback"
    1 CEU
    OPENKim Lincoln "Bridging Trauma and Spirituality"
    11:45-1:00 p.m.Lunch
    1:00-3:00 p.m. Sandra L. Paulsen, Ph.D.
    "How the Story Tells Itself Non-Verbally" 2 CEU
    Dana C. Ross M.D., MSC, FRCPC
    "Understanding the Neurobiology of the Fight, Flight, Freeze, Collapse Response"
    2 CEU's
    OPENCynthia Wilson, MA, ATR-BC
    “Art Therapy and its benefits with those with dissociations and DID”
    2 CEU’s
    3:00-3:15 p.m. Break
    3:15-4:15 p.m.Sandra L. Paulsen, Ph.D.
    "How the Story Tells Itself Non-Verbally"
    1 CEU
    Jerry Crimmins
    "Techniques for Conversations With the Voices Within" – Part 1
    1CEU
    OPENNaomi Lombardi, MA Clinical Psychology
    "Writing Your Fairy Tale or Mythical Journey"
    1 CEU
    4:15-5:15 p.m.Sandra L. Paulsen, Ph.D.
    "How the Story Tells Itself Non-Verbally"
    1 CEU
    Jerry Crimmins
    "Techniques for Conversations With the Voices Within" – Part 2
    1CEU
    OPENOPEN
    5:15-5:30 p.m. Closing Statements
    7:00 p.m.Kate White - Live Entertainment

    Saturday, October 21, 2017

    TimeSan Juan BallroomWorkshops
    SJ Room 1 and 2SJ Room 3Orcas Room - ClassroomsShaw Room - Art Room
    8:00-5:00 a.m. Check-in and Registration
    8:45-9:15 a.m. Welcome, Announcements, and Introductions
    9:15-10:30 a.m.Plenary:
    Sandra L. Paulsen, Ph.D.
    "Preparation for Trauma Work: The N.E.S.T. Approach"
    1 CEU
    10:30 -10:45 a.m. Break
    10:45-11:45 a.m.
    Colin Ross, M.D.
    "Treatment Outcome Data for Dissociative Disorders"
    1 CEU
    Lynn Crook, M.Ed.
    "False Memories – Where Are We Today?" - 1 CEU
    BoyyM/DonAvan
    "The Process of Owner Training a Psychiatric Service Dog"
    OPEN
    11:45-1:00 p.m.Lunch
    1:00-3:00 p.m.
    Colin Ross, M.D.
    "Trauma Model Therapy"
    2 CEU's
    Laura S. Brown, Ph.D
    "Not the price of admission: Healthy relationships after childhood trauma."
    2 CEU's
    OPEN
    3:00-3:15 p.m. Break
    3:15-4:15 p.m.Colin Ross, M.D.
    "Open Discussion - Questions and Answers"
    1 CEU
    Jerome Elam
    "Trafficked Boys: Bringing male victims of HT out of the shadows"
    1 CEU
    Mary Knight
    "Healing from Trauma-Induced Chronic Pain: A Survivor's Experience" 1 CEU
    OPEN
    4:15-5:15 p.m.Colin Ross, M.D.
    "Open Discussion - Questions and Answers"
    1 CEU
    Kate White
    "Practical Tools For The Healing Journey - Developing Self-Care, Nurture, Compassion and Cooperation" - 1 CEU
    OPENOPEN
    5:30 p.m. Closing Statements
    7:00 p.m.Mary Knight, Film Presentation, "Am I Crazy? My journey to determine if my memories are true" - 2 CEU's

    Sunday, October 22, 2107

    TimeSan Juan BallroomWorkshops
    SJ Room 1 and 2SJ Room 3Orcas Room - ClassroomShaw Room - Art Room
    8:00-5:00 p.m. Check-in and Registration
    8:45-9:15 a.m. Welcome, Announcements, and Introductions
    9:15-10:30 a.m.
    Plenary:
    A.Steven Frankel, Ph.D.,J.D.
    "Building Trust within the Therapeutic Relationship – Legal/Ethical Issues"
    1 CEU
    10:30-10:45break
    10:45-11:45 a.m. STACI SPROUT, LICSW, CSAT
    "Addiction and Dissociation: Two Clinical Case Studies"
    1 CEU
    Tom Cloyd, MS, MA, LMHC
    "Ritual Abuse: A cultural and epistemological assessment"
    1 CEU
    David Calof
    “Conversation/Consultation Hour with David Calof”
    1 CEU
    OPEN
    11:45-1:00 p.m.Lunch
    1:00-3:00 p.m. Jerome Elam; Kate White, Tom Cloyd, MS, MA, LMHC
    "Human Trafficking Panel"
    2 CEU’S
    **Silent Penny Auction OPENOPEN
    3:00-3:15 p.m. Break
    3:15-4:15 p.m.Jerry Crimmins
    "The Use of Dreams"
    1CEU
    **Silent Penny Auction OPENOPEN
    4:15-5:15 p.m.Silent Penny Auction**Silent Penny Auction
    5:15-5:30 p.m. Closing Statements

     

    A Few Words from President:

    We look forward to seeing everyone there.  This is always an exciting event for speakers, professionals and survivors.  This year, we have more seats available than ever before.  We have extended the early-bird special until the first week in October.  Please, take advantage of this and let others know about the sliding-scale option.  We appreciate everyone’s continued support.

    Thank you,

    Pat Goodwin, President – Ivory Garden

    felicity4us2@gmail.com

    253 347 7846

     

Clarification 2017 Seattle Trauma-Informed Care Conference

Clarification 2017 Seattle Trauma-Informed Care Conference

Every year, I receive hundreds of emails with various questions, as well as misconceptions, about the annual Seattle Trauma and Dissociation Conference. Here, I will clarify the description, objectives/goals, whom is invited, and what attendees can expect. In particular, it is most important to share Ivory Garden and their directors’ intention for putting on the conference.

One of the most common misconceptions arise from folks confusing this conference with others that focus mainly on Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Recently, I have been asked, “I don’t have DID. Can I come?” These folks assumed that our conference is identical to another held on the east coast. We are not associated with any other group and/or conference. Anyone interested in learning more about how trauma affects people is invited and do attend the Seattle conference every year.

Another recent question, “I want to be interviewed for a movie. I will talk to anyone, be part of DID research. I have DID. I have a lot to teach people.” Again, this sort of thing is happening at a few other conferences for which we are not associated. Before registering for the Seattle conference, attendees agree to the terms of service that protect attendees privacy (no filming, interviewing, exploiting, etc).

Yes, folks with DID are totally welcome as is anyone else interested in learning about trauma and its effects.

Finally, many assume that, because some of our speakers have presented every year, that the conference is similar each year. This could not be less true. Every year, the theme is different, as are many of the speakers. Planners work hard each year to make the next year better than the last.

Mainly, the Seattle Trauma and Dissociation Conference is professional. No one is asked to ‘tell their story’ on camera, or be part of a research study, or to make a name for themselves – none of that. The conference is a success because everyone treats each other with respect. All sorts of people come to learn and experience being together. Ivory Garden/directors have no incentive and/or personal motivation for providing this event.

The conference activities remain focused on the following:

Theme and description:

“Demystifying Trauma-Informed-Care within the Dissociative Spectrum”

This year’s theme reflects the need for an awareness of trauma and how it effects people differently. Relating to traumatized individuals knowledgeably, compassionately and respectfully, within daily or professional environments, is vital to the well-being and stability of clients, friends, and peers who have experienced trauma in their lives.

Attendees will be able to:

1) explain and define the relationship between childhood trauma and how it effects people within the dissociative spectrum including: different types of trauma (sexual abuse, physical/emotional abuse, human trafficking, ritual abuse) and effects of trauma (dissociative disorders, developmental delays, neurological effects, addiction, eating disorders, self-harm, suicide ideation, depression, and anxiety).

2) explain and describe current designs of psychotherapy treatment studies and outcomes through literature, strategies, techniques, neurology and clinical implications of treatments in the area of trauma and dissociation.

3) explain, describe, and define how practicing trauma-informed care can resolve issues within therapeutic relationships including: ethical, boundaries, safety, shame, trust, confidentiality, attachment to perpetrator, cultural differences, core beliefs, expectations, and misunderstandings.

4) demonstrate practical knowledge of trauma-informed care within the dissociative spectrum through open discussion, brief case consultations, question and answer sessions, workshops, and discussion panels presented by renowned experts in the field of trauma and dissociation.

5) demonstrate the skills, education, and knowledge gathered during this conference that can be practiced in daily life or within the clinical setting – whether professionals, survivors of trauma, or those who support trauma survivors.

Below, find Ivory Garden mission statement:

Ivory Garden is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization which provides programs and resources that support survivors and those who support survivors of childhood trauma, as well as raising public and professional awareness of the effects of childhood trauma:

1). Provide international forums, and chat rooms where folks who live with the effects of childhood trauma, as well as families, friends, mental health professionals, educators and other supporters can meet, share experiences, and find valid resources in safe and respectful environments.

2). Provide educational materials and opportunities to survivors of childhood trauma in order to further understand and promote healing.

3) Provide educational opportunities to those who support survivors of childhood trauma including: family, friends, mental health professionals, educators, and other interested parties.

4). Provide other needed services in support of the Mission, as determined by the Board of Directors of Ivory Garden.

Clearly, our conference is not exclusive to any one population, but to everyone interested.

What can attendees expect while at the conference?

This conference is carefully planned with attendees in mind. The venue is 5 star. Attendees come from all over the world and generally, come in on Thursday, October 19, 2017. There is an informal reception at 1:00 p.m. where everyone can get together, set up exhibit tables, get their name tags and programs, and relax before the workshops begin on Friday, October 20th. Most of the speakers remain throughout the conference interacting with everyone. Speakers are carefully chosen because of their the ability to present effectively to diverse audience. Complete attention is paid to attendees needs and expectation in a professional, but informal, environment. Attendees are welcome to come and go as they please, move between speakers, and visit Seattle.

Of course, people do enjoy getting together with acquaintances, peers, and friends as well as meeting new people – to have a good time. We all look forward to this wonderful experience.

I am aware that questions remain for some. I am available to answer and clarify for anyone interested.

Mostly, I would like to thank all who support Ivory Garden and conferences in so many ways.

Thank you,

Pat Goodwin, MA

President, Ivory Garden

felicity4us2@gmail.com

www.igdid.org

SRA/MC Survivor – Fiona Barnett to Speak at Upcoming 2016 Seattle Conference

SRA/MC Survivor – Fiona Barnett to Speak at Upcoming Seattle Conference

Fiona Barnett to Speak at Upcoming Seattle Conference

We are excited to announce that Fiona Barnett will be sharing her healing journey with clinicians, survivors, and supporters.  We look forward to having this rare experience of talking with her, asking questions, and getting to know her.  She is one of the most amazing, courageous, and intelligent people I have ever met.

Fiona Barnett is Australia’s most vocal and recognized whistleblower against VIP pedophilia. A survivor with an academic background, she offers professionals a unique insight into the victim’s mind. Fiona has studied forensic psychology, art therapy, academic giftedness and more recently, law. Fiona testified to the current Australian Child Abuse Royal Commission regarding her experiences of child trafficking, ritual abuse and military mind control. She fronted the nation’s media before launching into full-time advocacy and media liaison for victims. Fiona has a unique ability to describe the trauma-based procedures that CIA psychologists John Gittinger and Dr Antony Kidman employed to cause her dissociation, plus a rare understanding of the role intelligence plays in the victim selection and programming process. Her testimony concerning how she beat their programming offers hope for victims and their supporters.

Workshops:

Lopez Room -Friday, 9:15 – 11:45 a.m.

“Integration: I Did It My Way”

Description:  There are many approaches and models available to clinicians who work with clients who have Dissociative Identity Disorder, have experienced Satanic Ritual Abuse, and government mind-control.   Using unique approaches, Fiona is now fully integrated and deprogrammed.  During this workshop, Fiona presents how she worked for decades with the goal to deprogram and integrate all of her parts.  She will share successful and unsuccessful techniques she tried in her passage towards integration and deprogramming while in a mental health system that did not provide services for victims such as herself.

Saturday, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

“Discussions with Fiona”

Description:  An overview of Fiona’s experiences – followed by open discussion.  Fiona testified to the current Australian Child Abuse Royal Commission regarding her experiences of child trafficking, ritual abuse and military mind control. She fronted the nation’s media before launching into full-time advocacy and media liaison for victims. Fiona has a unique ability to describe the trauma-based procedures that CIA psychologists John Gittinger and Dr Antony Kidman employed to cause her dissociation, plus a rare understanding of the role intelligence plays in the victim selection and programming process. Her testimony concerning how she beat their programming offers hope for victims and their supporters. Attendees will have a chance to ask questions of Fiona as well as to get to know her in an informal environment.

A huge thank you to Fiona for supporting and trusting those who will be attending this conference to ensure her safety and support during her stay.

(All provisions have been taken to ensure that survivors’  will feel as safe as possible during Fiona’s presentations.  The first presentation is purely educational where she will share her healing journey in order to aide others in knowing what is helpful for SRA/MC survivors and what is not helpful.  During her second presentation, she will describe her experiences of how it felt to come forward and testify, how she has handled the backslash, and how other can support her now.  Then, she will respond to questions from attendees.  This is not meant to be a ‘survivor story  that should trigger anyone.  Anyone who feels ‘unsafe’ should not attend.  There will be people available during these conference for anyone to talk to if they feel uncomfortable in anyway).

If you have questions, please contact me.

Patricia Goodwin, President

Ivory Garden

felicity4us2@gmail.com

Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) and Mind Control (MC) – Paranoia and Delusion?

Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) and Mind Control (MC) – Paranoia and Delusion?

Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) and Mind Control (MC) – Paranoia and Delusion?

Abuse survivors often wonder why people don’t seem to believe them when they talk about their past experiences of SRA and/or MC.  Could it be that their own distrust and paranoia of people has led them to such conclusions?  Or could it be that their delusional thinking has caused them to behave so erratically that people would not believe much of anything they say?  Or could it be that the listener is unable to accept such horrific experiences as real?

Clearly, SRA and MC are alive and well in our world – there is plenty of evidence to prove that as fact.

I have never told my story about how I became paranoid and delusional to the point of needing hospitalization and medication.  It started on a forum exclusively for folks who had or believed that they had experience SRA and MC.  I had described some of my childhood experiences to a friend whom referred me to this group – which is still running today.

Within the first six months that I interacted with the other members and leaders, I was told that:

I had d*mo*s inside me making me do bad things that I could not remember.

Handlers were coming in the night, drugging me, kidnapping me, raping, and re-programming me without my knowledge.  I could tell if there was any dirt on my shoes in the morning.

A ‘twin’ me actually raised my children while I was doing the bad-guys dirty-work – without my knowledge.

When I went out, bad-guys were always following me, hypnotizing and cuing me – without my knowledge.  I was getting in their vehicle and again, being re-programmed and even working as a prostitute or drug-runner – whatever they programmed me to do.

The programming NEVER goes away – I had no power.  The bad-guys always had and will always have control over my thoughts and actions.

If the phone rang, I should check the number – numbers are cues.  And, people called me to trigger cues so that I would do as I was programmed to do.

I couldn’t trust my kids or husband.  Our marriage was set up so that my husband could watch and report my ever movement to the bad-guys.

Therefore, I was told that I was a programmed robot with no free-will or even knowledge of my own actions or behavior.  I spent every moment looking behind me, knowing that someone must be following.  I believed that everyone who called me was a programmer, that ever number meant something.  I checked my shoes every morning and did find bits of dirt on them.  I checked for needle marks where they might have drugged me.  I knew that I had d*mo*s inside, and believed that I was going to Hell for something that I must have done.  I became so delusional and paranoid that I tried to take my own life – a serious attempt.  I was hospitalized and, of course, the stories I told the Drs. there were not taken very seriously.

I believed this group of people, because everyone else did – because the leaders were supposed experts in SRA and MC.  I am feeling shaky just remembering being a part of that group.  When I returned from the hospital, I began questioning some of these notions (that they truly do believe).  They turned on me and for the next decade have not only totally believed, but have told everyone else, that I am a cult-operative handler only out to hurt people for the bad-guys.  For some time, their rejection of me did hurt.  I didn’t understand how people who say that they are helping and supporting survivors can, without even realizing it, screw their thinking up so badly.  I now know that you don’t challenge their beliefs without ‘paying for it’.

Now, some 11 years later, I see clearly the paranoia and delusions they create in survivors – limiting their ability to move forward, to think for themselves, to heal.  Yes!  Our experiences are REAL.  The paranoia and delusions created by these groups and leaders are also REAL.  I came to realize that I really do know when I have been raped.  I learned to be aware of the outside world and realized that no one can be hypnotized or programmed by anyone that easily.  Of course, I am not possessed by d*mo*s.  All that they tried to make me believe was bs.  Okay, so any sane person can easily recognize how these sort of beliefs removes all power from already vulnerable people.

Finally, I thought that I was free of this sort of creepy paranoia talk until during the 2015 Trauma and Dissociation Conference last year when I heard one of our speakers telling attendees that a presenter was ‘programming’ the audience with hand-signals.  Really?  Another ‘true-believer’ – supposed expert in SRA/MC.  But, all of her expertise is based on the very crap that they fed me when I belonged to that group – paranoia and delusional thinking.  I rolled my eyes and explained that our conference encourages healing – not fear-mongering.  She wanted to argue the point.

That discussion did not end there.  These people have written several articles warning folks not to go to conferences, because they will be programmed by hand-signals, winks, tapping of a pencil and on and on.  According to them, anyone can also be hypnotized to bark like a dog or run in circles without their knowledge.  Everyone is told to be careful of any person they bring with them – that person could be their ‘handler’.

In other words, everyone is vulnerable to being controlled at a conference…. unless they distrust everyone who even talks to them.  They can’t watch the presentations without fearing that the presenter will program them with their hands and facial expressions.  The could even be taken from their bed, raped, and programmed without their knowledge.  They should check their shoes.  And, possibly everyone is possessed by d*mo*s.

This sort of fear-mongering angers me greatly.  Firstly, the information is not only incorrect, but scary and triggering.  It is difficult enough for survivors to go to a strange place and meet new people – without this sort of warnings.

The Trauma and Dissociation Conference is coming up again soon.  All previsions have been made to ensure the safety of everyone during the conference.  The planners of this conference include folks who have experienced extreme trauma – including SRA/MC survivors.  In fact, one survivor is flying in from Australia to present, and I am sure assumes that other survivors are supporting her courage.  She is brave and strong – not paranoid and scared, because she is healed, which she will talk about at the conference.

I know that some know whom I am talking about, and I have always tried to support them as much as I could, but I cannot support this sort of fear-mongering anymore.  It is clearly damages survivors and their ability to realize that they do have free-will.  Just because a small group of people have become so paranoid as to be delusional does not mean that what they tell people has any basis in reality.  If there were any truth in what they are saying, someone would have noticed something.  But, no – the only thing that has been reported at our conferences was people being afraid that something ‘might’ happen.  Our attendance right now is at about 60 survivors and about 70 clinicians with a total of about 160 people.  We expect about 200 attendees.  And… the speakers are experts who have treated and researched SRA and Mind Control.  Education and awareness with the intention of promoting ‘healing’ is most important for everyone.

I am sorry, but I had to write this out.  You all deserve to know the truth – some already do – some don’t.  Believe me or not.  If you are racked with delusions, please do not come.  If you want to learn the truth, try to come.  Everyone is welcome.  If ever you feel unsafe, just know that everyone is there for each other –

Hope to see you there.  www.igdid.org

Pat Goodwin / Felicity Lee
President, Ivory Garden

Copyright protected 2016 – do not copy any portion of this article without permission from the author.

Balancing the Controversy of Trauma and Dissociation: Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID): Real or Fantasy?

Dissociative Identity Disorder ArticleBalancing the Controversy of Trauma and Dissociation:

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID): Real or Fantasy?

A six-year-old child saunters between desks that clutter the classroom finally settling into his assigned seat in the far corner against the window.  He spends the day quietly staring at the sky unaware of other children, the teacher’s rambling, or the memory of being raped and beaten before the school day began.

A fifteen-year-old child rolls her eyes and sighs, obviously disgusted, as she slumps into the leather stuffed sofa across from a thoughtful therapist – whom will never notice the recently self-inflicted wounds hidden beneath inappropriate clothing or acknowledge any possibility that her client spent the previous night ‘servicing’ men to feed her siblings.

A forty-year-old nurse moves through the crowded emergency room with ease and efficiency, smiling, encouraging patients and peers, obedient only to her inner-drive for perfectionism and compliance effectively shrouding memories of her brutal childhood she may never recall.

A twenty-year-old trauma survivor spends the evening on the computer sharing stories of Satanic torture, Mind Control, and childhood abuse memories with peers who all have ‘alters’ with names and personalities – obsessed with her need to find other like-minded people.

A 35-year-old psychiatrist prepares for her day of evaluating, diagnosing, and treating twenty-five recently admitted patients to her ward by shuffling quickly through case files, attaching pink sticky notes to the front of each, intuitively aware that her twenty-minute meetings will validate her sticky-note diagnosis and treatment – medication to control attention-seeking behavior.

And, a fifty-year-old researcher spends another evening collecting data that further proves what he already knows – DID is not only a common, but also misunderstood effect of early childhood trauma.

All of these folks have one thing in common.  All are attempting to adapt to conditions that are out of balance, as if they are walking a tightrope that will eventually break bringing each crashing to the reality that is Earth.  This imbalance is the result of a culture unaware and uneducated of how trauma affects people’s behavior.  The question is right there, but never asked; is DID real or fantasy?

 did balance2

 

The problem remains that the general public, including most professionals and survivors of abuse are untrained and thus, ignorant of how child abuse affects people.

For instance, the popular and well publicized ‘ACE Study’ only focuses on ten criteria and five behavioral aspects, totally ignoring the ‘real’ problem – the brutal torture that children survive and live with as adults.

This study suggests that childhood trauma can be identified according to ten criteria:

“Growing up experiencing any of the following conditions in the household prior to age 18:

  1. Recurrent physical abuse
  2. Recurrent emotional abuse
  3. Contact sexual abuse
  4. An alcohol and/or drug abuser in the household
  5. An incarcerated household member
  6. Family member who is chronically depressed, mentally ill, institutionalized, or suicidal
  7. Mother is treated violently
  8. One or no parents
  9. Physical neglect
  10. Emotional neglect” (http://www.americasangel.org/research/adverse-childhood-experiences-ace-study/).

Accordingly, the idea is that the higher the ACE Score, the lower the ‘Resilience Score’, which is evaluated by five criteria:

  1. The capacity to make realistic plans and take steps to carry them out.
  2. A positive view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities.
  3. Skills in communication and problem solving.
  4. The capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses.

 

Within this paradigm is also the ability to predict the future outcome based on the criteria.

 

 

ACE-Study-Pyramid

 

Alternatively, there is valid and reliable research that suggests children often adapt to abusive situations through dissociation, derealization, and depersonalization.  They become adept at behaving normally in everyday life – hiding or burying their experiences within a shattered psyche.  When this happens, experts on trauma and dissociation recognize the disorder as ‘Dissociative Identity Disorder’.  DID has been determined to affect between 7.5% to 10% of those in an inpatient setting (Ross, Duffy, & Ellason, 2002). DID was found to affect 6% of psychiatric inpatients in a Canadian hospital (Horen, Leichner, Lawson, 1995). In an American outpatient setting, it was found to affect 6% of the population (Foote et al., 2006).

Consequently, the notion of ‘trauma-informed-care’ (based on the ACE Study) may be a worthless venture – wasting taxpayer money on programs that don’t recognize or provide funding to research DID as a valid disorder.  According to National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse, there are 42 million survivors of sexual abuse in the United States alone.  Do the math!  The prevalence of folks who are struggling with DID is significant enough for the government to provide the means for further research and promotion of practicing evidence-based models – as widely as it has Ace Studies, which are based on how trauma affects employee’s work performance, nothing more.  This is beyond limits of generalization and should be seen as so.

Accordingly, this continuous lack of attention to those children who have endured the most horrendous of abuse has led to another ‘trend’.  Survivors who have DID are feeling the strain of being misunderstood, misdiagnosed, drugged, mistreated, and invalidated.  Thousands of undiagnosed survivors flood the internet daily seeking out peers for support and knowledge.  They are also ignorant to actual symptoms of DID.  Well-intended, untrained clinicians, are following suit by asking clients’ ‘parts’ to come out and tell their stories.  From this mess, comes book after book – survivors’ memoirs, clinician’s books, articles, and workshops based only on information gained from clients’ behavior and stories.

All of this brings public and professional awareness of the ‘possibility’ of such a strange disorder where a person can have different personalities acting out in strange ways, where therapists can ‘implant memories’, where survivors need to fear being programmed by simple hand gestures, where the sane become paranoid and behave erratically in a maze of misinformation and ignorance – all based on ‘beliefs’ rather than evidence.

On the other hand, experts in the area of trauma and dissociation have spent their entire life researching and still don’t know it all.  How can any clinician or survivor pretend to be an expert in trauma without first reading the research and clearly understanding how trauma influences behavior?  Do folks with DID actually walk around talking baby talk and acting out in public as is portrayed in movies?  I have never seen this happen – yet, DID is a fairly common condition.

Thus, the imbalance should be clear.  DID is a valid disorder.  Diagnosis, either self or by a clinician is nearly impossible except by trained professionals.   If the trend to sensationalize DID continues, the average person will never believe survivors’ outlandish stories, many professionals will continue to reject clients who need help without taking time to study scientific evidence that provides crucial information and proof that DID is a valid condition.  Millions of survivors will be affected by the lack of professional care available to them.

The solution should be obvious by now.  Survivors of child abuse must be recognized as complex – beyond the criteria of ten questions, clinicians must reach out for training by experts in the field of trauma and dissociation, and the public must demand availability to valid and reliable research in the area of trauma and dissociation, including DID.  This will bring the balance that is needed.  Everyone deserves to have free access to all information available – each will decide what to ‘believe’.

Fantasy is when we read fantastic survivor stories that are simply unbelievable, when we believe unrealistic notions such as:  therapists can ‘implant’ memories in their clients’ brains; DID is a rare disorder; all people with DID have ‘parts’ that take over their body; people with DID have ‘false memories’; people who have DID are mentally unstable.

Reality is when we come to know that childhood trauma affects children differently, that folks with DID behave normally, are intelligent and resourceful, and a functional part of society.  They are no more likely to seek out mental health care than any other person who becomes overwhelmed with life-circumstances.  You will not find them on a street corner or in a grocery store speaking baby talk with a friend or peer.  The hallmark of DID is ‘dissociation’ – the ability to ‘be’ oblivious, to behave absolutely normally, and to be unaware of themselves, their body and problems within their life.  They tend ‘not’ to seek out attention or believe that they are important or worthwhile.

Consequently, because of ignorance and misconceptions, most folks don’t recognize that abuse survivors who have learned to cope by dissociating (‘going away’) have also learned that the world is a bad place.  When dissociating doesn’t work for them, they become instinctively suicidal.

Thus, it is evident that DID is a serious and misunderstood disorder that needs to be recognized as such.

Lastly, a fourteen-year-old wanders into a hospital unable to feel her body or hear the whispering of the people she bumps, or notice the pop machine she trips over, or see the ‘do not enter’ signs above doorways she passes through – looking for a face of someone she can trust – someone she can tell that she is being sold, beaten, raped, and drugged.  Finally, a man takes her hand and walks her into a room where he motions for her to take a seat.  No!  She can’t sit – he will hurt her, he won’t believe her, he will lock her up.  Shaking – not from the cold damp clothes that hang from her thin frame or the drugs that flow through her body or the fact that she feels so alone and ashamed, but from the fear of being rejected by the man.  Inside her head, she hears the voices warning her not to tell, the voices warning her that she can’t trust anyone, screaming for her to run.  But, she stands strong and whispers, “I need your help – please.”  He looks at her with disgust, seeing only the bruises, cuts, and track marks on her arms as he judges her to be just another ‘throw-away-kid’ who should be locked up.  She knows the drill, the look of disdain on his face, and the rejection she will soon endure.  She listens to the voices and runs out the door and into the street.  Why did she trust that in her darkest hour anyone would help her?

As with most teens who are in trouble, they reach out one time.   Once rejected, they never reach out again.  Those who believe that these children are the product of fantasy MUST take responsibility for their fate.  It is not the diagnosis of DID that is fantasy.  It is the inability to recognize the behavior of those who have DID that is the reality we contend with today.

Finally, we won’t see a news report or even know of the fourteen-year-old girl whom was found in a dark alley raped and brutally beaten to death that same night.  She had tried asking for help, but no one listened.  She had DID and didn’t know how to trust.  She had never had anyone who took care of her or who even cared.  She was an innocent and knew that no safety net existed in the world for her.

DID – is it fantasy or reality?   Does it matter?  Our children are suffering; ask yourself why?  Adult survivors are dying and disappearing; ask yourself why.  If you don’t understand, ask a survivor how they feel when rejected by you, your beliefs and/or behavior toward them.  Survivors’ stories might seem like fantasy, their behavior outlandish, and their attitude and/or lifestyle beyond your understanding, but they are worth the time it takes to do a bit of research, learn from experts in the area of trauma and dissociation, and accept them as valid and reliable before they become nothing more than pop-culture in a society – ignorant, uneducated, and judgmental.

 

Patricia Goodwin, MA

Copyright 2016

All rights reserved.  Do not copy this article in any form without permission.

Conference Supports and Educates Trauma Survivors:

Conference Supports and Educates Trauma Survivors:

Conference Supports and Educates Trauma Survivors:

TRAUMA3
As a survivor of early childhood abuse, I wonder how many others like me waste years ‘looking’ everywhere for answers and support – running in circles reading ridiculous articles about false memories and trying support groups full of others running in the similar circles – never understanding themselves or their own symptoms.
<h2>At the <a href=”http://dreamernews.info/”>2015 Trauma and Dissociation Conference</a>, survivors will find in-real-life support from other survivors, experts in the field of trauma and dissociation they won’t find elsewhere – a life-changing experience for everyone who attends. This is the only time survivors will be able to meet, learn from, and interact with experts in the field of trauma and dissociation – and interact with other survivors who attend. The courage to ‘register’, the excitement of preparing to go and the realization that we were there with each other ‘is’ the answer. Looking forward to seeing you all there. Oh, and tell you therapist about it – a great opportunity for them also.</h2>
<iframe src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/USj0T_0BL3Q” width=”560″ height=”315″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”>

As a survivor of early childhood abuse, I wonder how many others like me waste years ‘looking’ everywhere for answers and support – running in circles reading ridiculous articles about false memories and trying support groups full of others running in the similar circles – never understanding themselves or their own symptoms.

At the 2015 Trauma and Dissociation Conference, survivors will find in-real-life support from other survivors, experts in the field of trauma and dissociation they won’t find elsewhere – a life-changing experience for everyone who attends. This is the only time survivors will be able to meet, learn from, and interact with experts in the field of trauma and dissociation – and interact with other survivors who attend. The courage to ‘register’, the excitement of preparing to go and the realization that we were there with each other ‘is’ the answer. Looking forward to seeing you all there. Oh, and tell you therapist about it – a great opportunity for them also.

In Loving Memory

This section is difficult for me to write, but I feel that the truth needs to be available for public view.  The folks mentioned here, and those who are not mentioned, deserve memorialization. 

Christina Bount (Cozybear)

First, I would like to extend loving memory to Christina Blount, better known on our forums as ‘cozybear’. As the co-founder of Ivory Garden Support Group, she was an integral part of creating what we know today and much of my motivation to keep it what we dreamed it would become – a safe place for folks with dissociative identity disorder to interact and openly express.  On February 10, 2010, I wrote this post to the members of the group:

“Christina Blount (Cozybear) was found at her home tonight.  She passed away sometime during the past two weeks.

I remember the time we put into creating the community together.  She was one of the kindest people I have ever known.  If it were not for her, this board would not exist today.

Once this board was built to our satisfaction, we started designing and writing the Ivory Garden home Website.  After several weeks and long nights, we completed it – as it remains now – but with another board and creators’ name replacing ours’.  And an ugly background.  Christina will never receive credit due for the hard work she put into that website – Kate Erickson now takes credit for it as her work – now, renamed – “Multiple Paths to Healing”.  It is difficult to believe that anyone would take advantage of someone’s suicide.

Together we ran the board for over a year.  Christina stepped down as owner, because she was struggling with depression and SU ideation.  She wanted to be a member – a part of the community without the responsibilities.  She was like many of us.  When she was struggling so, she stayed away from the community.  She return a month or so ago.  I talked her into coming for support.

She was so happy and so proud of what we had all accomplished – a place where people come to talk.  A place where everyone cares and respects each other.  Despite the problems that I encountered, despite what others out there say – she was proud and amazed when she returned.  We had all kept that vision alive.  And she couldn’t wait to get to know all of you who she hadn’t met.  The last time I talked to her was the last night she posted here.

I look here at this board tonight, and I remember her and I laughing and picking out images for the board, goofing up the sidebar so many times, before we got it right.  Changing everyone’s names to be different colors, putting the little online lights on the side.  Mostly, I remember waking up one morning with the name ‘Ivory Garden’.  She laughed and laughed that I had to have that name.  It had nothing to do with DID – I just liked it.

She came to my house last year and visited me for two weeks.  We had so much fun, beading, eating out, talking, remembering putting this board together.  The support we had found here had saved us both so many times.

She died alone – there in her house for nearly 2 weeks before they found her.  I got a call from the neighbor who found my number.  Her family – they didn’t care – and I guess still don’t.  Well, we all know the story.  Maybe she thought there was no one, nothing out there for her.  We have all felt like that.
She left us an amazing gift.  I think she knew before she left.  She is the heart of Ivory Garden.  I feel her everywhere.  And, Christina, “I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for us.”

I want this to be a tribute to a wonderful person who we will always miss desperately.”

What I didn’t tell anyone was that she shot herself while I was on the phone with her.  She seemed happy and content – just sounded a bit odd, as if far away and distant.  Then, I heard the phone drop and a loud noise.  There was nothing that I could do.  Though she was an amazing person, she never viewed herself as such.

When I wrote the announcement on our board, many answered, and our board was rocked with realization of how struggling with Dissociative Identity Disorder can be so difficult.  Cozy often wrote about her inability to get appropriate care.  She was also a veteran of the Vietnam war.  She only had access to veteran hospitalization or therapeutic care.  I can’t write much more.  I have never been able to mourn her loss or how others took advantage of what she left the world – a website stolen by a controlling person who thought she deserved it more than Ivory Garden?  But, those who did appreciate her, left posts to my announcement here – http://dissociativeidentitydisorder.yuku.com/forums/348/Paying-Tribute-To-Cozy-Christina-Blount.  The picture I shared below was taken of her and her husband one year before her death.  Her husband died of natural causes just weeks after this picture was taken.

 

cozyRest in Peace: Christina Blount – 1951-2010

Lynn Iverne (Koehler) Wasnak (Lynn W.)

The second person who had a huge impact on my life and others was known as Lynn W.  Her real name was Lynn Iverne (Koehler) Wasnak.  “Lynn Iverne (Koehler) Wasnak, 68, originally from Canton, Ohio passed away May 14, 2013 in her home in Cincinnati after a heroic battle with an illness. An accomplished writer, founder and executive director of Many Voices Press, she provided inspiration and hope for thousands worldwide.”  source: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/cincinnati/obituary.aspx?pid=164821361#fbLoggedOut

“Many Voices” was originally founded by Lynn W. in 1988.  She was diagnosed with DD-NOS in mid-80s.  Many Voices was first published in Feb 1989 as a newsletter for clinicians, survivors, and supporters.  She also co-edited the book, “Multiple Personality from the Inside Out”, published by Sidran in 1991. 

I have read her website many times and had the honor of reading binders filled with newsletters from all the way back to when she first started making them available.  This is a woman who had an obvious drive to inform, educate, and give those with dissociative disorders a safe place to express and share.  Oddly, it seems that she hoped Many Voices newsletters would continue after her death, as seen here http://www.manyvoicespress.org/index.html , I was unable to find much more information about anything being available except back editions.  I did find a facebook page, but was unable to figure out who was running it.  If you go here: http://www.manyvoicespress.org/sharing.html , you can read a post that she wrote – just scroll down a bit.

Following the news of her death, I wrote to anyone available to offer Ivory Garden members help in continuing to make the newsletters available – we never received a response.  This saddens me that no one seems to want to take the time or energy she obviously put into helping so many people.  Her newsletters and book were my first access to information when I was diagnosed.  I felt a deep connection to her – as I do today.  A woman who cared so much that she bravely went forward – despite adversity that she must have experienced – for some 20 years.  Why?  Because ‘she’ cared!!

I never knew her personally, but did run into her on Amazon while critiquing a book written by Debbie Nathan called “Sybil Exposed”.   Anyone critiquing this book was attacked by False Memory advocates/trolls who were promoting this book as ‘research-based’ – which it was not.  Few people were brave enough to step forward and critique the book for what it was – pure nonsense, written by a woman who stood for child abusers with connections to the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.  Just two years before her death, an FMSF advocate wrote on her blog: “Lynn W. claims to have been a writer for 30 years, yet finds it appropriate as an editor of Many Voices to call Debbie Nathan a “dumb ass.JB” source: https://mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/many-voices-mpd-survivors-critique-sybil-exposed/ Yes, she did and rightly so.  I loved how Lynn W. was ‘real’ – a person who was not afraid to say what she thought.

I have such admiration for this woman that I thought she would have no reason to know me.  I now wish that I would have reached out to her and come to know her a bit.  Everything that I have read about Lynn W. demonstrates to me that most of her accomplishments were her own.  The fact that her website has not been kept up, that there is no sign of another website being built, that only archived newsletters are being sold makes it clear that her wishes for someone to carry on her work will never be fulfilled.  She was one of a kind – no one can successfully follow in her footsteps.

She is memorialized as someone who spent many years of her life giving of herself to help others heal, and to educate clinicians about DID.  She never stopped asking for help.

At MV, hatMed.jpgwe make every effort to be helpful to people
recovering from trauma and abuse, their families and friends.
We also want to assist trauma treatment professionals who guide people
in recovery toward a healthier, happier life. Please help us perform these
tasks well by sending your suggestions and input, pro or con, anytime.
Call me personally. I want to hear from you!

Sincerely,
Lynn Wasnak, aka Lynn W., Editor and Executive Director
Rest in peace – Lynn W.  – we love you.

I am ending this section – though, I know there are so many others who should also be here.  If you would like to add to this section, let me know – email me, felicity4us2@gmail.com.

Best,

Pat Goodwin, President – Ivory Garden Nonprofit Org.

Dissociative Identity Disorder – Education or Ignorance – Who Wins, Who Loses?

Dissociative Identity Disorder – Education or Ignorance – Who Wins, Who Loses?

Jack, a successful business man for 25 years, began to experience symptoms that affected his ability to function at work and home. His wife had noticed his bouts of depression and lack of interest in everyday life activities. He often seemed confused, anxious and panic attacks had become more frequent. She found herself reminding him of scheduling responsibilities. Despite that he had a calendar; he was forgetful to the point of missing important events. She was unaware of his thoughts of suicide or the more consistent evidence of self-harm he had inflicted on his body just to ‘make it through a day’. Their sex life was nonexistent. When she tried to talk to him, he was so distant as to be another person altogether, as if he didn’t recognize their 3 children. One night, she found him in a corner covered with a blanket looking frightened, his eyes glazed as if he were seeing something she could not.

Jack’s wife called an ambulance. He was taken to the nearest emergency room and assigned a private room, told to undress and given a gown to wear. After hours of waiting, a doctor examined him. Because of the evidence of recent self-harm, he was moved the Behavior Health Unit (a new term for ‘psychiatric unit’) where he waited even longer for a psychiatrist to evaluate him. A social worker finally entered, introduced himself, and began asking questions, writing the answers on a form attached to a clipboard.

Jack’s wife was obviously concerned and Jack embarrassed to be answering such personal questions. Once the interview was over, the social worker left the room. The doctor would use the symptoms Jack was experiencing to diagnose and advise treatment:

• Suicidal Tendencies
• Depression
• Anxiety, panic attacks
• Alcohol and drug abuse
• Confusion
• Memory problems
• Delusions
• Headaches
• Flashbacks
• Eating Disorders
• Personality change
• Loss of memory
• Disorientation
• De-realization
• Dissociation
• Depersonalization
• Self-Injury
• Time Loss
• History of Early Childhood Trauma

What Jack and his wife didn’t know was Jack was one of some 48 million child abuse survivors in the United States alone (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006), many of which hospitals and therapists see daily with common symptoms of a dissociative disorder, most probably dissociative identity disorder (DID). Studies show that 1-3% of the general population have DID and 10% of the population have a dissociative disorder. (Maldonado etal, 2002).

Jack and his wife were also unaware that few mental health clinicians are trained in the area of diagnosing dissociative disorders. “In fact, there is lack of a consensus among mental health professionals regarding views on diagnosis and treatment of DID. Nearly one-third believe that a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is more appropriate than DID. While most psychologists believe that DID is a valid diagnosis, 38% believe that DID either likely or definitely could be created through a therapist’s influence, and 15% indicate that DID could likely or definitely develop as a result of exposure to various forms of media” (Cormier & Thelen, 1998).

The social worker turned the form over to the psychiatrist who skimmed the list of symptoms – the same symptoms that he saw literally hundreds of times a week. He sighed, deciding before even entering Jack’s room that he probably had BPD, depression, was over-worked, looking to get drugs, or simply looking for attention. He noted that Jack had never been in therapy, and mostly women read ‘Sybil’ or cared about ‘acting’ like they had multiple personality disorder.

The doctor entered Jack’s room rubbing his chin as if in deep thought. Jack’s wife began explaining his recent symptoms. The doctor looked toward Jack, but Jack didn’t say a word. He looked embarrassed, intense, and confused. Jack was not aware of his surroundings. In fact, Jack had no clue where he was, how he got there, or who the man in the white coat was.

“Just stay quiet,” a familiar voice inside his head kept repeating, a tactic he had learned worked quite well whenever he found himself in similar situations.

Once the doctor ascertained that Jack was not currently suicidal, he explained to his wife that he was suffering from anxiety (probably from situational stress), possibly depression, and most likely Borderline Personality Disorder. He wrote a prescription for an antidepressant, set up an appointment for Jack to begin “dialectal behavior therapy” (DBT) for the treatment of chronically suicidal and self-injurious individuals with BPD, and shooed the couple out of the hospital, assuring Jack that he could return to work the next day.

Clearly, this doctor misdiagnosed Jack. The symptoms of BPD are:

• “Marked mood swings with periods of intense depressed mood, irritability and/or anxiety lasting a few hours to a few days (but not in the context of a full-blown episode of major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder).
• Inappropriate, intense or uncontrollable anger.
• Impulsive behaviors that result in adverse outcomes and psychological distress, such as excessive spending, sexual encounters, substance use, shoplifting, reckless driving or binge eating.
• Recurring suicidal threats or non-suicidal self-injurious behavior, such as cutting or burning one’s self.
• Unstable, intense personal relationships, sometimes alternating between “all good,” idealization, and “all bad,” devaluation.
• Persistent uncertainty about self-image, long-term goals, friendships and values.
• Chronic boredom or feelings of emptiness.
• Frantic efforts to avoid abandonment”. (Nami, 2013).

Though the doctor diagnosed Jack with BPD, he had reported only one overlapping symptoms, self-injury and in fact, had never threatened suicide or reported any of the other symptoms of BPD.

As happens with so many survivors, Jack left the hospital misdiagnosed, mistreated and as advised by a doctor, returned to work the next day. It would be several years later when Jack would again meet up with mental health professionals for the same symptoms.

Luckily, Jack found his way to a good hospital that specialized in trauma and dissociation and was properly diagnosed with DID.

Jack was struggling enough, but once diagnosed, he fell deep into denial, his friends, family, and employer did not understand. Jack, the successful businessman did not act anything like ‘Sybil’! He fell into deeper depression until he lost everything and finally, decided to enter the long-term therapy he needed to recover and start his life again. But, because of the prejudiced views of a public toward this condition, Jack’s life was forever changed. He was considered too ‘dangerous’ to see his children, he was ridiculed by friends and even neighbors. He felt like a ‘freak’, rather than the intelligent businessman he had been before the diagnosis.

Many will read this and know that Jack’s experience is one in millions.

1. Some forty-two million child abuse survivors are experiencing symptoms with minimal mental health professionals educated or qualified to diagnose or treat them.
2. Our public is misinformed to believe that Dissociative Identity Disorder is not a ‘real’ condition.
3. Mental health practitioners are under educated and/or learn invalid information causing them to have prejudiced ‘beliefs’ – ultimately misdiagnosing and mistreating child abuse survivors.

This is a real problem in our society today. You would think that our society’s adult survivors of child abuse would be treated with respect and compassion. Not so.

Let’s take a quick view of a survivor’s life. It begins somewhere – rape, beatings, neglect, torture, physical pain, emotional pain, etc. – abuse. The child, too small to understand or associate the trauma with other memories either pushes it down or ‘pulls back’ fearing death and pushes another part of themselves forward to experience the abuse. Btw, I might mention that everyone has parts of themselves. It really is that simple. The child’s body grows and may continue to be abused. They may push more parts of themselves out to take on the pain, the grief, the fear, the humiliation, the shame, and on and on. One part or more may remain immune, oblivious to the abuse, putting up walls between themselves and the other parts of self. Often, no one ever suspects and thus, no one cares about them, no one supports them; no one nurtures or teaches them the love or appreciation that every child deserves. The barriers, which are built between the parts of self (the difference between those who are DID and those who are not) create amnesia of abusive events that keeps the child safe and sane and thus, behaving as everyone else, often leading very successful lives.

It is a fact that abused children develop differently than non-abused children. Any clinician will tell you that early childhood sets the stage for the rest of your life. It is not what adult survivors of abuse ‘remember’, but what the symptoms are telling the clinician that they ‘experienced’ as children.

Despite this commonsensical fact, there are groups of people who are described as ‘false memory believers’. These followers are influenced by highly influential researchers who have spent years trying to prove that all memories of abuse are ‘false’. These ‘false memories’ are supposedly induced by therapists. Most of the false memory followers also look to a group, The False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF) which was more active in the 90’s than now, but have quite a long history of influencing the public to believe that there is ‘no such thing’ as DID, that most abusers are innocent, that most survivors of child abuse are liars, and that therapists who treat DID are charlatans.

They actually filed and won hundreds of lawsuits against therapists who they ascertained were ‘implanting false memories’ in their clients’ brains. One such lawsuit was recently filed against an eating disorder treatment center. More interestingly, their main concern is to defend child abusers by using these decorated professionals as ‘expert witnesses’ declaring under oath that ‘false memories’ were implanted by the therapist despite that ‘false memory syndrome’ has never been proved and is not a ‘scientific term’.

If you have not studied these people, you may take this as so ridiculous as to wonder what the heck is going on. And, more likely wonder how the whole false memory syndrome notion has anything at all to do with DID. It doesn’t, but the false memory syndrome believers also adamantly write journals and publicly dismiss the reality of the DID diagnosis – often poking fun at those who are diagnosed with or treat DID.

Because of the vocal nature of these ‘false memory syndrome true believers’ (as many call them), the public opinion has been swayed to believe that child abuse is over reported, DID is not a real condition, and recovered memories are never true. Because these professionals are also teachers and writers, mental health professionals are learning inaccurate information and thus, many remain untrained to appropriately diagnose or treat dissociative disorders. Because ‘true believers’ put out so many invalid studies and books to back up these studies, survivors of child abuse are ridiculed, invalidated, misdiagnosed and mistreated to the point that they become silenced, ashamed, in denial of their own past, and finally, isolated.

Within this nightmare that child abuse survivors live every day, there is a solution: education, education, education!!

Survivors of child abuse need the proper information to understand that their childhood experiences are real and are the source of their symptoms. Memories may be a bit illusive, but experiences can never change – they happened. They must be aware that there are bad people out there who have an agenda to sway public opinion that silences them into believing that their memories are ‘false’.

Clinicians need to seek out valid information and knowledge to ensure that their clients are properly diagnosed and treated. They must understand that there is no such thing as ‘false memory syndrome’. The term was coined by a group, whose focus was on defending perpetrators of child abuse, silencing survivors, and sending fear of lawsuits into the hearts of honest, intelligent clinicians who treat and research dissociation- hoping they would turn away survivors of abuse.

Had Jack been properly diagnosed that first time he entered the emergency room, he would have been moved to a trauma hospital where he would have received appropriate care, been referred to a therapist knowledgeable in trauma and dissociation, and avoided the inevitable heartache that thousands of survivors experience.

I am a survivor of child abuse whose story is nearly identical to Jack’s. I did educate myself and am now an advocate for adult survivors of child abuse. I found my voice, as have other survivors of child abuse.

There ‘are’ prominent therapists who spend all their time and effort providing valid information for other clinicians as well as appropriate therapeutic care for survivors of child abuse.

Ivory Garden has put together a three day conference being held October 3rd -5th, 2014 where clinicians, survivors of abuse, supporters and families of abuse survivors are all invited to hear some of the foremost experts in the field of trauma and dissociation speak. Enough information will be presented for clinicians to begin diagnosing and treating dissociative clients. Survivors of child abuse will meet other survivors and realize that they are a part of 42 million people who are strong, vigilant, and respected. Supporters will learn that their loved ones behave with symptoms based on early experiences; that they will heal with the love and nurturing they never received in childhood.

We feel that this conference is a solution to a problem that should never have been, that if one person avoids Jack’s dilemma because of the information provided at this conference, it is worth the time spent to attend –

2014 Trauma and Dissociation Conference Information – https://igdid.org/

More information –http://igdid.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/2014-trauma-and-dissociation-conference-brochure.pdf

All rights reserved. Do not copy without permission.

© Felicity Lee, August, 2014

Why a Trauma and Dissociation Conference Important Now?

 

Why is the 2014 Trauma and Dissociation Conference so vital to survivors and therapists?

Clarifying the need and reason for the Trauma and Dissociation Conference is vital at this point – I think.

First, trauma and dissociation conferences are not at all rare.  They are happening all the time in different community, states, and countries.

It is rare for communities such as Ivory Garden DID Support Group to sponsor a conference.  Only a few other message boards have attempted to have conferences and not at all successfully, as many know.  The reason for this is simple – and, I will tackle this problem in another section, but mostly because their ‘purpose’ has not been to fulfill community, state, and overall need of trauma survivors, therapists, and supporters – but, to promote the online community and person who ‘owns’/operates those communities.

The ‘real’ problem that is happening in all communities, states, and countries is that the mental health care for most dissociated folks is so far below standards that many, especially those with substandard insurance, cannot get the care they need to heal – some have access to no mental health care.

Community health care facilities often employ many therapists who are recently graduating or with very little education, able to care for only the most simple mental health diagnoses, having NO training in dissociation – many even stating that they will not care for folks with dissociative disorders.  So, the very folks who need appropriate care are left out in the cold.

Ivory Garden DID Support Group is very active, and we have all heard over and over the frustration of having no therapy or therapists who themselves are frustrated as how to treat us.  This is a horrible state of affairs.  The members here have thought of many ways to help:  donating to individuals to help them (a huge expense – impossible, putting together teams to help search for experienced therapist (impossible also – lack of insurance and too few therapist), until you all decided that a conference would reach the most people and help to educate not only survivors but also, therapists.  What a fantastic idea!!!!

So, you all – with the very best of intentions, inspired this conference to help everyone in the world – literally.  And, it all is very exciting.

Having a conference such as this is a lot of work and a huge challenge.

One would think that the biggest challenge would be to find qualified speakers – the most important aspect.  I found that there are very qualified speakers who feel the same as all of us – advocating for better mental health care for survivors and providing education for mental health professionals.  Those speaking at our conference are volunteering their time and expertise for this purpose.

The sponsors are also amazing – Timberlawn Hospital and DelAmo Hospital stepped forward to stand behind us in the community goal – and have been beneficial in making this conference a reality.

You all are sponsoring this conference also – each of you – every time you promote the conference, every time you offer to help, every time you put out the thought of how even one therapist will learn more about dissociation, even one survivor will receive better mental health care.

Ivory Garden Support Group will always be a close community here to support each other.  And, advocating for better mental health care and/or better education for mental health professionals is not every person’s goal in life.  And, that is fine.  This conference is also about survivors meeting and realizing that there are many of us – to help peers come together, meet these wonderful speakers, and sharing information for other educational programs.

What this conference is NOT about is Felicity/ Pat Goodwin or entertaining the drama that goes on within and between message boards and individuals who promote drama.  This problem (which is unfortunately common within other message boards and groups who are competitive and seeking self-admiration and control of survivors).  Acting based on this drama gives certain people evidence that survivors are NOT professional or intelligent enough to be advocates of anything – much less something as important as promoting better mental health care and/or education for mental health professionals in the area of dissociation.  There are groups out there who would love to see any conference or board, such as ours, fail – turn ourself inside out by believing whatever new ‘rumor’ is floating around.  These folks purpose in life is to advocate that dissociation does not exist, there is no such thing as DID, and that everything we say is a ‘false memory’, all therapists ‘create DID’, etc.  Abuse survivors cannot be believed or abuse becomes ‘real’ to the public, and abusers are sent where they belong.  These groups work very hard to ensure that abuse survivors NEVER get the care they need.  Also, mental health care for abuse survivors is long-term – something no one wants to pick up the cost for.

Abuse survivors and the therapists who treat them have ‘power’ in this world to change things as they are now in a very positive way.  Abuse survivors will heal, those who protect abusers will lose their hold on the public, and people who have always deserved the best will begin to flourish.

If anyone out there is working on this conference to impress /support me or trying to impede this conference in order to somehow hurt me, you will become frustrated and finally, sadly fail.  The purpose of this conference is NOT personal to anyone, but more than all of us.  It goes to the children being hurt today.  What can they expect 10 years from now?  Hopefully, we can make a difference, not only for the survivors struggling today, but assure them that they will not be rejected.

If this sounds blunt, I am so sorry.  Yes, I say, “Thank you to all who have put their time, energy, and financial support to make this conference a success.”  But, in the overall scheme of things, it is those who will be helped who will be grateful in the end.  We will never know how many and how much this conference will change things.

I hope that every person sits for a moment and really understands how much ‘your’ attitude, ‘your’ strength, and ‘your’ courage when dealing with others who may be negative, attention seekers, controllers (whatever) can change them to understand that they also can make a huge difference by showing their own courage along the way.  It is those who can’t find their courage who step back and attempt to destroy positive efforts to make changes.  Creating change can be very lonely.  Knowing that ‘you’ change the world and yourself every time you act is very scary.  Together we can all do this.

I am not writing this for myself, but after long pondering of why this conference and everyone putting forth what little they can is so very important.  ‘You’ must put your mind on exactly ‘who’ you are working for – not me, not this board, not yourself – but the children being abused RIGHT NOW – and their chance at a better world where they can expect appropriate mental health care when they are ready.

Beside, everyone is going to have a great time!!!

Further discussion can be found at http://www.igdid.com/t33375-trauma-and-dissociation-conference-ivory-garden-seattle#535499

Felicity Lee

All rights protected 2014

Dissociative Identity Disorder – Safety in Ignorance – an article

Dissociative Identity Disorder:
Safety in Ignorance

Jamie was bred into a generational family of abuse. They didn’t consider what they did to the child as abuse but rather ‘training’ to fit into society as expected. She was to attend college in order to work as an attorney within the ‘organization’. Her training began at birth. During her early childhood, she was exposed to brutal rapes and torture by members of the organization. Since she was viewed as an asset rather than a child with needs, the abuse came from seemingly every source. By the age of three, the perpetrators, who were aware that abused children dissociate, had effectively set up scenarios that split her mind into several different personalities. Before she was 5 years old, she had learned only pain, sadness, agony, and betrayal. She knew never to tell anyone, or the punishment would be death of a friend, pet, or herself.

She learned to dissociate (go away) in order to avoid the torturous situations, never realizing that another state of mind was aware. She learned to avoid the sad feelings of having no one there who cared enough to protect her, not knowing that another state of mind carried those feelings. She learned that there were only two ways to avoid the ongoing agony: dissociation or suicide. Mostly, she learned to behave normally in public and for the next 40 years, she managed to behave as if her family of origin was perfect, being the product of loving and nurturing parents.

She always knew the sad and pain inside and never forgot the threats of telling. As long as she acted normally, all would be well in her life. She would attend the best schools, marry well, and have the perfect family. That was her cross to bear – her heritage.

Throughout her life, Jamie struggled with the symptoms of dissociative identity disorder (DID), as do most children who use the defense of dissociation to deal with extreme abuse. She always felt as if her outside life were a fog, unreal and timeless. This is called ‘derealization’ and a symptom of DID. She could never remember to eat and had no connection with her body. It also seemed unreal. This is called ‘depersonalization’ – another symptom of DID. She often lost time; seemingly waking up in places she did not recognize feeling much younger than her age. This is often termed ‘switching’ – yet another symptom of DID. Though she lived her life in a state of self-hatred, she knew she was as she had been carefully taught – damned.

Jamie is but one in some million abused children struggling with living adult life as a survivor of abuse. Not all have dissociative disorders, but many do – about 1-3% of the population. Though these statistics are reality, articles and information are written by groups of ‘professionals’ who claim that there is really ‘no such thing as DID’. These articles also invalidate the people who have been diagnosed with DID and/or treat dissociated clients. It soon becomes obvious that the topic of trauma and dissociation is actually viewed by many as ‘controversial’.

I remember when I was first diagnosed with DID some 10 years ago. I ran home from the doctor and began researching the diagnosis. I learned that there were vocal groups who not only hated me, but also the few mental health professionals who I could look to for help with my symptoms. One group, the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF), have been in the media since the 90’s spreading such nonsense that there is a syndrome called ‘false memory syndrome’. This happens when a person remembers any childhood abuse. Another popular tale is that therapists who treat dissociation ‘implant false abuse memories’ into their clients’ brains. Most importantly, these folks poke fun at the DID diagnosis stating that clients come to ‘believe’ they have DID from their therapists – called ‘iatrogenic DID’ or ‘therapy induced’. According to Dr. Paul McHugh (a well-know FMSF member):
“Once the patient permits the therapist to “talk to the part . . . who is taking those long drives,” the patient is committed to having MPD and is forced to act in ways consistent with this role. The patient is then placed into care on units or in services – often titled “the dissociative service” – at the institution. She meets other patients with the same compliant responses to therapists’ suggestions. She and the staff begin a continuous search for other “alters.” With the discovery of the first “alter,” the barrier of self-criticism and self-observation is breached. No obstacles to invention remain.

Countless numbers of personalities emerge over time. What began as two or three may develop to 99 or 100. The distressing symptoms continue as long as therapeutic attention is focused on finding more alters and sustaining the view that the problems relate to an “intriguing capacity” to dissociate or fractionate the self.

At Johns Hopkins, we see patients in whom MPD has been diagnosed because symptoms of depression have continued despite therapy elsewhere. Our referrals have been few and our experience, therefore, is only now building, probably because our views – that MPD may be a therapist-induced artifact – have only recently become generally known in our community” (McHugh, 1995).

Dr. McHugh is an educator and a doctor. He, and others like him, have trained and are now training scores of people who have and will be entering the mental health field. These folks were not only trained, but rewarded for accepting such nonsense as ‘truth’.

I do recall my university studies in the area of psychology. During my some 6 years in university, I never learned about DID/MPD and only remember learning how to spell ‘dissociation’ despite that theories of dissociation were first written about during 1869, when French neurologist Pierre Janet discovered that a system of ideas split off from the main personality when he hypnotized his female patients. Soon afterward, William James, the father of American psychology, uncovered a similar phenomenon and termed the condition ‘disassociation’. The theory of DID has been around since then.

Many have asked why our society seems to listen to and believe such garbage as ‘false memory syndrome’, ‘iatrogenic DID’, therapists having the ability to or even wanting to ‘implant memories’ in their clients’ brains. And, for those who care, answers creep forward. Are the members and/or followers of the FMSF (who does have a shady history) and other professionals who perpetrate this controversy financially benefitting from child abuse? Are they just ignorant and/or too lazy to research dissociation and or the effects of trauma on children? What’s the deal?

I have come in contact with mental health professionals who not only have set beliefs that DID does not exist, but refuse to treat it and actually emotionally abuse those who seek treatment. Therefore, I have learned to hide, as I did as a child from unsafe people who are meant to keep us safe. Those seeking help ‘avoid’ those who are meant to help us, because they ‘avoid’ us by believing that we aren’t ‘real’.

As a society, we find safety in ignorance – we avoid anything that seems unsafe. We believe what seems the safest to believe. And, when we live this way – we die ignorant.
Why is it difficult to believe that so many folks struggle with symptoms of DID? Clearly, there is no such ‘syndrome’ as ‘false memory syndrome’. At least, there has never been any evidence to prove such a thing. Therapists do not have the power to ‘implant memories’ in their clients brains, and DID happens as an affect of extreme trauma at an early age.
Is it easier to invalidate folks who have endured horrible abuse at the hands of their caretakers than to help them? For gosh sakes – these people have lived through hell with nobody to protect or stand for them. They aren’t suffering from ‘false memory syndrome’ or ‘iatrogenic DID’, but from horrifying flashbacks, lost time, confusing derealization and depersonalization, eating disorders, low self-esteem, relationship problems, and more.

These folks cannot regain their childhood, but deserve respect and support now as they struggle to live in a world that holds everything they always deserved. At the very least, they should not have to fear the mental health system that has the education available to treat and finally give these folks some help.

Anyone who invalidates the reality of DID only needs to think for themselves – and, disregard those who, for whatever reason, promulgate the notion that DID is not real. We, who have DID are real; we only need professional therapists to help us realize that. Maybe, you don’t like ‘knowing’. Maybe, avoiding us – dissociating our reality is easier. Maybe, deciding that we are all looking for attention helps you get through a day.

From the very beginning of our life, we learn to act normally, to fit in with society’s expectations. And, within our society are beliefs that hold us all together: parents nurture their children teaching them right from wrong; teachers ensure that their students behave and learn according to rules within the status quo; friends and family accept that what happens ‘behind closed doors’ is not their business; only criminals of low social standing would ever abuse a child; children cannot be believed.

These are the lies you are told. We, with DID, live in a hell no singleton could ever understand and/or believe. Few stand for us. Those who do are our heroes. They put their reputations on the line, their time caring for the adults who were never heard. And, they put themselves out there to educate others.
Those who care know who you are, and you know that you give us life and a strength we never realized we have always held deep inside. We are survivors and together, we are strong. The glue that holds us together, the foundation that holds us up is those therapists who are there for us – believing, validating and helping us heal.

I have written this article in thanks to my wonderful therapist and in asking that other therapists take the time to give us a chance. Join adult survivors of abuse, other therapists, and supporters at the 2014 Trauma and Dissociation Conference being held on October 3-5. We aren’t asking anyone to change their ‘beliefs’, but to come listen with an open heart to a full schedule of educational opportunities; to take part in valuable workshops and hear plenaries presented by educators and practitioners in the area of trauma and dissociation.


Please visit: www.igdid.org.

 

Source: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, July 1995 v34 n7 p957(3).

Copyright: Patricia Goodwin 5/11/14

You do not have the right to copy this article without permission of the author.

Seattle – A Two-Day Seminar 9 CEU/CE – Colin Ross MD.

 

Del Amo Behavioral Health System

Presents:

Trauma Resolution Techniques for PTSD and Sexual Addiction 

A Two-Day Seminar & 9 CEU/CE’s 

A Two-Day Seminar & 9

“A Dissociative Model: Strategies for Treating PTSD”         Colin A. Ross, M.D.

“The Spectrum of Emotions: An Application Model for PTSD Treatment”  Melissa Engle, MS, ATR, LPC

“Problematic Hyper-Sexuality/Addiction as a reaction to Trauma”          John R. Sealy, M.D.

 

 

Great Conference in Seattle – don’t miss.

When:

Thursday May 22, 2014 at 8:00 AM PDT
-to-
Friday May 23, 2014 at 4:30 PM PDT
Add to Calendar

Where:

DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport
18740 International Blvd
Seattle, WA 98188

Driving Directions
Contact
Bryan Mitchell
Del Amo Behavioral Health System
310-784-2239
bryan.mitchell@uhsinc.com

Trauma Resolution Techniques for PTSD and Sexual Addiction

A Two-Day Seminar & 9 CEU/CE’s

May 22 – 8 am to 4:30 pm, May 23 – 8 am to 12:30 pm

Del Amo Hospital is pleased to offer this two-day Seminar in Seattle, WA featuring the following presentations:

“A Dissociative Model: Strategies for Treating PTSD” Colin A. Ross, M.D.

“The Spectrum of Emotions: An Application Model for PTSD Treatment” Melissa Engle, MS, ATR, LPC

“Problematic Hyper-Sexuality/Addiction as a reaction to Trauma” John R. Sealy, M.D.

Speakers:

Dr. Ross Colin A. Ross, M.D. is an internationally renowned clinician, researcher, author and lecturer in the field of dissociation and trauma-related disorders. Dr. Ross is a past President of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. He obtained his M.D. from the University of Alberta in 1982 and completed his training in psychiatry at the University of Manitoba in 1985. The Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma was founded in 1995 by Colin A. Ross,M.D. and is currently contracted to provide management and psychiatric treatment services to Del Amo Hospital, in Torrance, California, Timberlawn Mental Health System, in Dallas, Texas, and Forest View Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dr. Ross’ book, The Trauma Model: A Solution To the Problem of Comorbidity in Psychiatry, was first published in 2000, with a second edition appearing in 2007.

Mellissa Melissa Caldwell-Engle, M.S., L.P.C., A.T.R. is the Executive Clinical Director at The Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma. Ms. Caldwell-Engle clinically manages three programs directed by Colin Ross, M.D. She completed her graduate work at Emporia State University and holds an M.S. in Art Therapy as well as an M.S. in Clinical Psychology. Ms. Caldwell-Engle has worked with a variety of trauma related disorders including: dissociative disorders, addictions, PTSD, eating disorders, borderline personality disorder and the comorbid client. She is an internationally recognized speaker on the effects of trauma and the comorbid client.

John R. Sealy, M.D., D.L.F.A.P.A. is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He received his M.D. from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Michigan where he received the David S. Diamond Award for Excellence. Dr. Sealy completed his Internship and Residency in Adult and Child Psychiatry with Harbor UCLA Medical Center. Since 1973, Dr. Sealy has been in private practice, and maintained the position of Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He has volunteered as Medical Director for the Switzer Learning Center in Torrance, CA, and later as President of the Board. Dr. Sealy started with Del Amo Hospital in 1990 as the Clinical Director of Adult Services and in 1992 became Medical Director of the hospital for several years. Since 1991, Dr. Sealy has led the Sexual Addiction Recovery Program at Del Amo Hospital as the Medical Director. He has served on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity and published in the same journal. He received the Carnes Award from the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health in 2005. He was voted one of the Best Doctors in America for the Pacific Division in 1996 and continues as a distinguished speaker on Problematic/ Addictive Sexual Behavior for over 35 years.

This Program will:
1 Describe how structural dissociation integrates together PTSD and a wide range of comorbidities.
2 Describe how self-blame is a core feature of suicidal ideation in trauma survivors.
3 Explain common concurrent psychiatric disorders associated with problematic sexual addictive disorders including PTSD.
4 Identify diagnostic criteria and treatment approaches for problematic/sexual addictive behavior.

5 Illustrate treatment techniques for PTSD through case examples.6 Describe how the Spectrum of Emotions Model can be applied to PTSD.

$55 Before April 28, 2014

$70 Thereafter

Students will receive $15 off

Sign up now. Seats are limited.

*Course meets the qualification for 9 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and /or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; Del Amo Hospital, PCE# 5064.

** Del Amo Hospital is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP 16292 for 9 contact hours.

** This program has been approved for 9 CEU hours by the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

No Refunds provided after May 16th, 2014
Register Now! here – https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?llr=tpcdhtlab&oeidk=a07e97sa6080653d688

 

http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=tpcdhtlab&oeidk=a07e97sa6080653d688 for more details.