* Detailed instructions for making comments are in “News Items.”
* Remember that two anthologies are seeking submissions:
1. Jade Miller is working on an anthology about the difficulty of finding a therapist who can work with DID or other forms of dissociation. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. I am seeking submissions for an anthology of accounts of forced abortion, sacrifice, or forced adoption of babies in a cult setting. Contact me through the comments section, email@example.com or RA Projects, PO Box 14276, 4304 18th St., San Francisco CA 94114.
At An Infinite Mind’s “Healing Together” conference this year, a group of people got together and talked about putting on an Internet-based conference at the same time as the annual International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation’s conference. And it is happening! Three whole days of free presentations, panels, and interviews on March 30, March 31, and April 1, 2019. All of it will be recorded and archived.
The conference is put on by a group of dissociated people who call themselves plural rather than multiple – Thus “Power to the Plurals.” The spark that keeps the activist group inspired is The Stronghold System, who makes and edits videos and has created many webpages., including two Facebook groups, Power to the Plurals – A safe empowerment group and AlterNation – A safe support group for those with DID/OSDD. There is also a Youtube channel with over 100 educational videos on multiplicity/DID/DDNOS. etc.
Information, including the conference schedule, topics, and speaker bios (scroll all the way down), is at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1c2KYOgyKaysMo6NTQYLlv2GKYLeaXzFMBVqSYtdyUEU/edit#heading=h.v0yqprrnr0sp
By the way, I was interviewed on “what is SRA?” (SRA can also stand for “sexual ritual abuse” and “sadisitc ritual abuse.) I talked about my particular kind of polyfragmented system as well.
The impetus for this online conference is their belief that the ISSTD does not ask for input from people with dissociative disorders. They honor research findings and tend to shape treatment around those research findings. This follows the trend of evidence-based medicine in the realm of physical disorders.
I’m generally all for evidence-based medicine, as it shows me that my doctor has at least kept up with the literature. But I am savvy enough to know that some research has serious limitations – very small samples, small time periods, no control group, exclusion of women, etc. And I am also savvy enough to know that thinking outside the box can be very helpful. After all, the ideas that are being tested today are the result of somebody being creative and trying something new yesterday.
ISSTD guidelines outline the recommended treatment of DID. The problem is that the guidelines are not taken as suggestions and therapists in many settings do not incorporate anything in their work that is not written up in the guidelines. Therapists who work outside the guidelines, or who use treatment modalities in addition to the guidelines, are marginalized. Submitting papers with original concepts to the ISSTD journal are discouraged as are presentations at their conferences.
What happens when a client does not respond to evidence-based therapy? What happens when the client does not feel heard? What happens if the client feels no need to integrate and is seeking increased communication and cooperation between alters? What happens when the client has religious or cultural beliefs that do not fit within the guidelines? What happens when the therapist has had success with approaches that are not covered in the guidelines? The questions pile up,
I have been on both sides of the couch, so to speak. I’ve been a clinical social worker (with ritual abuse survivors as clients) and have been (and am) a ritual abuse survivor with DDNOS. This is how I see the process. Things work very well when therapists and clients are equal partners and tend to stall or be very bumpy when the therapist is seen as an authority who knows better than the client. It doesn’t matter if it is therapists who are elevating themselves or it is clients who are placing their therapists on a pedestal. Either way, it’s a power imbalance.
So, at the “Healing Together” conference, I found it very refreshing to see dissociative people standing tall and stating that they are intelligent human beings and have ideas, suggestions, and beliefs that warrant attention. I mean, aren’t they the experts on their own system as it is manifesting itself at the moment? Their understanding of their system may change in time, but for now, this is what they have to work with.
Aren’t they in charge of their own healing? The truth is that no therapist can “fix” them. They heal themselves, with the coaching of the therapist. And this should not only be acknowledged, but honored.
3/20 Full moon
3/20 Spring Equinox
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan
4/1 April Fool´s Day
4/5 New moon
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/14 Palm Sunday
4/19 Full moon
4/19 Good Friday
4/20 Holy Saturday
4/21 Easter Sunday
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve
5/4 New moon
5/12 Mothers’ Day
5/18 Full moon
5/18 Armed Forces Day
5/27 Memorial Day
Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
3/20 – 3/21 Purim (Deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman in Persia)
4/19 – 4/27 Passover/Pesach (Deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt)
4/20 Hitler´s actual birthday
4/21 Hitler’s alternative birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday and half-birthday on 4/20 and his actual birthday and half-birthday on Easter of the current year.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
5/1 – 5/2 Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day)
5/7 – 5/8 Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day, Day of Remembrance)
5/8 – 5/9 Yom HaAtzma´ut (Israeli Independence Day)
5/8 V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)