Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2014 Trauma and Dissociation Conference - A Professional Conference - CEU's ?

For the "2014 Trauma and Dissociation Conference" being held Oct.3-5th in Seattle attendees will include clinicians and survivors of child abuse - as well as students, volunteers, and supporters of survivors.

This conference is a professional conference in that ceu's are offered for clinician, speakers are specialists in the field of trauma and dissociation, and those who have dissociative disorders are given the ability to learn more about trauma and dissociation. 
Felicity Lee 8/12/14 all rights protected.  Do not copy without permission.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Trauma and Dissociation 2014 Conference - ugent update

Hi Everyone,

This is a notice to those who may be interested in attending this conference and in need of lodging.   Many of you are familiar with the Seattle area and know that late Sept. and early October are popular tourist times here - as well as for conference.  What can often happen is that hotels - ALL OF THEM - get booked and there are simply no hotels available at all anymore.  The hotel is reporting being booked out three months right now for the weekend of the conference.  That means that within possibly the next month, this hotel will be booked up.  Please, please - if you are at all planning on coming to this conference, book your rooms now.  You always have the option later of cancelling the rooms.  If you have questions, you can always contact me at felicity4us2@gmail.com.

We have rooms available in our block for the special prices still:

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport -
18740 International Boulevard, Seattle, Washington, 98188,

Please tell them that you are booking with Ivory Garden so that we get credit. If you book for longer, you can use coupons you find, etc., but still tell them to credit Ivory Garden for the rooms. Thank you.

The discounted rooms are all together and are set for Friday and Saturday nights. Ask for rates for Thursday night.

If you are sharing rooms, you can call and have them set up for each roommate. For instance, you would call in and tell them the names in your group and set up just your part (for example, for 4 ppl – 1/4th of the rate). Then, the next person would call and do the same. Any information can be changed later.

Here are the rates and information:

These rates are for 1 night (on Fri and Sat) – and are total for all guests.

Room for 1 person – $109.00 – King size bed.

Room for 2 people – $109.00 – choice of 1 king size bed or 2 queens

Room for 3 people – $114.00 – 2 queen size beds

Room for 4 people – $114.00 – 2 queen size beds

These rates are for 1 night (Thursday only) – and are total for all guests.

Room for 1-4 people – any arrangements of beds – $129.00

We only have a limited number of rooms for these prices. Please make sure that you mention Ivory Gardens when you book from our group rates.

Please give the hotel this code: IVG to let them know that you are coming for our conference and directly contact

For these special rates, contact

Ms. Bobbi Barkley, CMP CGMP | Sr. Sales Manager or ask for Kelly.

Direct (206) 248-4330

There should be no ‘pet’ charge for service dogs. Let me know if you have trouble with this.

You can have small fridge and microwave at a small charge.

We are doing what we can to get everyone here and comfortable.  It would help us tremendously, if you emailed me your name - no other information necessary until you register - so that I can make sure that you got the best rates for your rooms.

To see more about Hotel and accommodations, please click 'lodging' on our menu at website http://www.igdid.org

Thank you much,

Pat Goodwin

President Ivory Garden

Monday, June 9, 2014

2014 Trauma and Dissociation Conference (www://igdid.org)
Presented by Ivory Garden
Colin Ross, MD Schedule

We are proud to introduce guest speaker Colin Ross, MD.
Dr. Ross is an internationally renowned clinician, researcher, author and lecturer in the field of trauma-related disorders. He is the founder and President of the Colin A. Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma. Dr. Ross is the Executive Medical Director of three trauma programs located at Timberlawn Mental Health System in Dallas, Texas, Forest View Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Del Amo Hospital in Torrance, California. Dr. Ross provides treatment for patients with trauma related disorders and symptoms. This would include treatment for: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Dissociative Disorders, Borderline Personality Disorder, Addictive Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The symptoms treated and the admission criteria are: suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation, self-destructive and addictive behaviors, and inability to function. Dr. Ross has written extensively on the subject of dissociation and trauma. His latest books include Trauma Model Therapy: A Treatment Approach for Trauma, Dissociation and Complex Comorbidity. Other books by Dr. Ross include: The Trauma Model: A Solution to the Problem of Comorbidity in Psychiatry, and Schizophrenia: Innovations in Diagnosis and Treatment. Dr Ross’ books are available through his web site at www.rossinst.com, at www.amazon.com and at area bookstores. Dr. Ross has authored 170 professional papers and 27 books. He has reviewed for numerous professional journals, is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and is a Past President of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. In addition, Dr. Ross has served as an expert witness in over 50 court cases, consulted on television, movie and video productions on trauma-related disorders, and produced six educational videos and CD’s for mental health professionals on the treatment of trauma-based disorders. Timberlawn Trauma Program Del Amo Hospital ForestView Trauma Program 1-800-426-4944 1-800-533-5266 1-800-949-8439

Dr. Ross will be presenting one plenary on the morning of Saturday, October 4, 2014:


This workshop has been approved for “1 CEUs by the Washington Chapter, National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Licensed Mental Health Counselors. Provider number 1975-362 (pending)
The problem of attachment to the perpetrator is one of the core elements of Dr. Ross’ Trauma Model Therapy. When a small child is abused by his or her primary caretakers, he or she is dependent for survival on the people who harm her. This causes a painful, conflicted, ambivalent attachment pattern. The pattern often persists into adulthood. One of the primary tasks of recovery is to heal the disrupted attachment patterns, and form stable secure attachments between parts of the self and between the self and other people.

1. To describe the problem of attachment to the perpetrator and its role in Trauma Model Therapy.
2. To describe the relationship between childhood trauma, disrupted attachment, grief and dissociation.
3. To describe how so-called “disorganized attachment” is the inevitable outcome of being abused by one’s primary caretakers.
4. To describe treatment strategies for resolving the problem of attachment to the perpetrator.

Workshop from 1:30-3:00 on Saturday October 4th, 2014:


This workshop has been approved for “1" CEUs by the Washington Chapter, National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Licensed Mental Health Counselors. Provider number #1975-362 (pending)
In the treatment of dissociative identity disorder (DID), the problem of host resistance needs to be addressed to some degree in the majority of cases. The host personality’s job is to be “resistant” – not to feel all the feelings or remember all the memories, so that function in the outside world is possible. Often, however, in adulthood, there is too much host resistance and it must be addressed in therapy. This will be explained with composite case examples. Additionally, Dr. Ross will talk about orienting alter personalities to the body and the present, which can be done quite early in recovery. Orienting alters helps de-escalate hyper-arousal, reduce self-damaging behavior like cutting, and begin the work of forming a working inner team.

1. To describe the problem of host resistance in the therapy of DID.
2. To describe treatment strategies for addressing host resistance.
3. To describe the technique of orienting alters to the body and the present in the therapy of DID.
4. To provide role-play examples of orienting alters to the body and the present.

Workshop from 3:15 – 5:15 on October 4th, 2014:


This workshop has been approved for “2" of CEUs by the Washington Chapter, National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Licensed Mental Health Counselors. Provider number is #1975-362 (pending)
In people with DID, there are commonly persecutor alters who want to hurt or kill the host personality, who blame the host personality for childhood abuse, and who are hostile to the therapist and the therapy. It is important to make friends with these alter personalities, and to help them realize that they are parts of the whole person, that everyone is “in it together,” and that no one is trying to get rid of them. Both the therapist and the host personality have to participate in this process. In addition to talking about persecutor alters, Dr. Ross will explain and role-play the technique of “talking through to the voices.” A lot of work can be done in DID therapy without alters having to come out during sessions, which is useful if they are too scared or angry to come out safely.

1. To describe the rationale for making friends with persecutor alters in people with DID.
2. To describe strategies for making friends with persecutor alters.
3. To describe the rationale for the technique of “talking through to the voices.”
4. To role-play examples of how to talk through to the voices.

All survivors, mental health professionals, supporters, and anyone interested in learning more about dissociative disorders are invited. Please go to www://igdid.org for more information and registration.

Copyright: Felicity Lee 2014 – do not copy any portion of this without permission from author.

Sunday, May 11, 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:  Felicity Lee 5/11/14

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