September 6, 2009
I am still amazed by the excellent group discussion and active participation that was generated by my last blog post. Considering that one of the main purposes of this blog is to “discuss dissociation”, I think that’s good! Thank you, everyone, for your active interest. I do appreciate that.
I have been contemplating a number of different follow up topics after such an intense discussion. There is a wide variety of important offshoot directions that I could take.
However, after reading some of the comments submitted, I’ve decided to first post some tips and guidelines to remember while using this blog as a healing resource.
The longer I have Discussing Dissociation, the more I can see how reading this blog — or any blog – can have a significant impact as a healing resource. What do you do with the information that you read? Why do you read it? What keeps you interested and coming back? I’ve been thinking about all that, and it’s becoming clearer to me how this blog is having an impact on the healing process for many of you.
Thank you. I am genuinely honored that so many of you are using this blog as a resource.
There are some things that I would like for you to remember while you are reading this blog.
1. I am simply sharing my thoughts based on my experiences as a trauma therapist who specialized in dissociative identity disorder, but there is nothing “simple” about DID. I find it very hard to dissect the complex, layered, multi-faceted elements of DID into one single article, 700-1500 words at a time. There is just sooooo much more to say about each and every topic, and please know that for every point in one direction, I completely understand there are 20 other points facing other directions. But one blog article can only be so long before it becomes too cumbersome to read or write. But … keep reading over time. The more I post, the more the various angles will be addressed.
2. The way each individual trauma therapist conducts his or her therapy sessions is as unique as the way an artist paints a picture. Your therapist may very well do things very differently than I do. That is not unusual, and the challenge is to incorporate the information and methods that works best for you and your healing. It is not about right or wrong – it is about what works for you.
3. I hope that the issues discussed in this blog encourage you to think. I do not presume to have all the answers, but I can give you a starting place to process and explore your trauma issues. Learning to think for yourself is a very crucial part of your healing. Please take the information I provide and work with it as it fits for you. Ask yourself questions. Journal about it. Check inside. Write a comment. Write more about it on your own blog. Just remember – your abusers would have controlled your thinking for a very long time. Breaking out of their dictated thought processes is very important, so yes — thinking on your own is a very good thing.
4. Please know that it is ok to take the topics you have read in my blog to your therapist for more individual discussion on a personal level. I write about the things I have learned in my 25 years of working with trauma and dissociative disorders. I know patterns relating to the DID/MPD diagnosis, typical information about survivors with DID/MPD, techniques to use in sessions, questions to ask, etc. But your therapist knows you and your internal system. If you find information that seems to fit you, please discuss this further with your therapist.
5. If you feel particularly triggered or upset by anything written in this blog, including the comments written by other readers, please discuss this with your therapist as well. Emotional triggers can be uncomfortable and upsetting, but they can also be enormously valuable milestones in your healing process. If you work with triggers to understand what they are bringing up for you, you can most definitely use this information to push further into your healing.
6. Please understand that your therapist and I may have very different approaches to working with DID. That is ok – to each his own. As I said, each therapist is his or her own person, and we all work in the ways that best fit us as individuals. However, if you see a significant contradiction in what I say compared to what your therapist does, it is ok and important to talk to your therapist about this. This blog is not intended to undermine your therapy or your therapist’s opinion. I emphasize again — I hope that you can and will openly discuss any significant questions or concerns with your therapist, as needed.
7. If you are a regular reader of this blog, I strongly encourage you to let your therapist know that you read here, especially if you are finding that you are having any personal or internal reactions (either positive or negative) while reading here. It’s often important for a therapist to know where their clients are getting information. It’s been historically proven that some members the dissociative population can be easily persuaded and affected by opinions of others. If you feel or believe that this blog is affecting you on that level, please be sure to discuss this with your therapist.
9. Remember that you will be reading and interpreting articles and comments from your own personal perspectives, life experiences, and trauma issues. It’s nearly impossible to not do this. The key isn’t to fight or deny that, but to be aware of its impact. We all assign meaning and interpretation of what we read from our history and assumptions. It typically takes a lot of hard work and detailed conversation to genuinely understand each other, especially if someone is saying something different than what you already believe or expect. Genuine communication is hard work. But that’s ok. It’s important work.
10. This can be seen here already, and if you look, you’ll see examples to what I’m talking about. Of course, you can all see what I’ve written and you can hear my preferences. Go beyond that for variety. There are well over 1000 comments made here in this blog. Have you noticed that some of the frequent commenters here have a visible theme / repeated perspective to their comments? Remember — I did not say this is a bad thing. It’s an engrained perspective that naturally affects interpretation. What is your long-term perspective on therapy / therapists / healing / DID / abuse, etc.? How do these things affect how your think? Just keep these ideas in mind as you are interpreting what you read.
More Questions for Thought:
When you read something on this blog (or any blog) that is particularly powerful for you, what do you do with that information?
Do you journal about it? Talk with your insiders about it? Do you talk to your therapist about it?
How does reading this blog help you? What does it give you?
How does this blog impact your life? Your healing? Your therapy?
How does reading the blogs of other survivors help you?
What do you do with differences of opinion? Is it ok for people to disagree? Is it upsetting for you to see conflicting perspectives?
What if I present an idea that is opposite to how your therapist works. What do you do then?
How do you incorporate what you are learning here into your daily life with your insiders?
What do your insiders think of the various topics covered in this blog? Are you all talking together about the information you read here?
Good communication is very hard work, but positive internal communication is the key to healing from dissociative identity disorder. The more you can talk and communicate effectively with your entire system, the more healing and progress you will make. Let what you are learning from communicating in this blog group apply towards helping you communicate effectively with your internal group.
Kathy Broady LCSW