March 4, 2009
The 2009 Crimes Against Women Conference in Dallas Texas this week has been quite interesting. I’ve picked out some “make you think” quotes from the conference to share with you all:
Over four million women are victims of a violent crime each year in the United States.
Female homicide victims are more than twice as likely to have been killed by husbands or boyfriends than male victims are to have been killed by wives or girlfriends.
Three women and one man are killed everyday in the USA from domestic violence.
One out of three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.
From Casey Gwinn:
The most dangerous men in the world do not leave marks. The most experienced batterers are the ones that don’t leave marks, even with sexual abuse.
From Jim Tanner:
Sex Offenses are generally the SAME
- Secretive – they are done privately
- Abusive – there is denigration of the victim
- Manipulative – the offender exercises control
- Emotionless – the offender has no empathy
90% of the time, the victims know the offender.
From Jim Savage and Kristen Howell:
Women are more likely to be injured from domestic violence than by car wrecks, muggings, and rapes combined.
Help women stay safe from the most likely attacker: her partner.
The very skills that allowed a woman to survive the relationship are different than the skills needed to leave the relationship. …Help her develop a different skill set. She’s got the fortitude, we simply must equip her with a different skill set to move her through the stages of change.
Help her to understand the game – passive capitulation is key to survival, but it is a killer to her soul.
Women can protect themselves by not looking like an easy target. In a letter written shortly before his escape from the Glenwood Springs jail, Ted Bundy said, “I have known people who… radiate vulnerability. Their facial expressions say, “I am afraid of you.” These people invite abuse… By expecting to be hurt, do they subtly encourage it?”
Kathy Broady LCSW
January 23, 2009
As I am writing my longer post about working with child parts, I want to encourage you to think about this topic as well. Read the following questions, and be honest with yourself – think about them. Journal about them, and make these questions the topics of discussion in your internal meetings. Try the acronym exercises if you need a starting place.
- What are your beliefs about child parts? Who are they? What are they? Why do you have child parts?
- What are your healing and therapy goals for working with your child parts?
- Do you want your child parts to grow older? Or are you happy to incorporate them into your life at whatever age they are?
- Would you feel better if your child parts grew up? What would you lose if they got older? What would you gain?
- Do you remember the same things the child parts remember? If not, do you believe them? Why or why not? Do you understand why they might have different memories than you?
- Do you know how to comfort, soothe, and protect your child parts in safe and healthy ways? List out viable options. Examine various barriers causing complications and troubles for you.
- Can you sit near your child parts without hurting them, and without having any unhealthy or destructive internal struggles? If not, do you know what gets in the way of this happening or how to address the issues? If so, are you able to hold their hand or let them sit with you in a safe and comforting way?
- Do any of your child parts bring joy, laughter, and smiles to your life? How so?
- Do any of your child parts carry your pain? Your emotions? Your trauma memories? If so, what are you doing to address those issues?
- Are you actively involved in aggressively protecting your child parts from anyone inside or outside that will hurt them? Why or why not? What are you doing that is effective? Where do you need help?
Working with child parts is a complicated and critical part of the therapy for trauma survivors with Dissociative Identity Disorders. Your approach to your kids, your values and your beliefs about the kids will affect how you do your work with them.
Is your approach effective?
If you were the child, would you want to interact with you?
Kathy Broady LCSW
December 23, 2008
Hello to all my Readers,
I hope this day finds you doing well.
The first part of this article certainly caused a little stir, and maybe raised a few eyebrows along the way. Please know, my intention in posting these blogs is not to offend anyone. If you have any questions or concerns about anything I’ve posted, please comment and let me know what you’re thinking! And here’s a big Thank You! to the folks who did comment to the “Part 1″ post. I appreciate that.
Let me try framing the context of this article. In previous blog posts, we’ve been discussing questions to ask a new therapist. This article is, in some ways, a follow-up to that idea, because these are the kinds of things a therapist is going to be thinking about / assessing in new clients as they arrive at their door. These are also the strengths that you want to emphasize when you are meeting a new therapist.
If you approach your therapy keeping these qualities in mind, you will honestly find that more therapists will stay interested in working with you for the long haul. That is not to say you have to be perfect. Who is???! It means, work on these things. Be mindful of them. Developing these strengths will make you a better person overall, and that is very much the goal of therapy.
These qualities, in my opinion, have nothing to do with mental illness. I have worked with some very disturbed people with huge issues, and yet, they possessed these qualities, and they made huge progess in their healing. I’ve also seen some folks who appeared to be rather high-functioning, and yet, they did not, or could not grasp some of these basic ideas.
I agree with the brave soul who commented that these qualities are an important part of everyday life. The more that survivors strive to incorporate these strengths into their approach to everything, the better. Your self esteem will improve, your self-dignity will be solid, and people around you will appreciate you more.
I don’t expect every trauma survivor to have a solid grasp on these qualities, but I do hope every trauma survivor strives to.
Intermingle these strengths into your life everywhere that you can. You’ll be glad you did!
And here is part 2 of the article, “10 Qualities Therapists Recognize in Good Clients”:
6. Honesty and Trustworthiness
- Are you willing to be honest with yourself?
- Are you willing to lie to your therapist, or hide information, or lie by omission?
- Do you gossip and tell lies behind people’s backs?
- Do you gossip about your therapist?
- Do you lie to your inside parts? Does anyone in your system try to trick or deceive the others in your system?
Therapeutic relationships are built on honesty and trust. Your therapist will need to know you possess these qualities as well.
- Will you treat your friends and family members with kindness and respect even if they have done things you do not like?
- Will you loyally protect your internal system from predators and perpetrators, putting the safety of your inside parts as a priority?
- Are you loyal to your therapeutic process and will you keep clear boundaries around the therapeutic process?
- Will you respect your therapist’s trust in you to the same degree that you expect your therapist to respect your trust in them?
- If you and your therapist experience a conflict, where do you look to resolve that? Do you expect to resolve the conflict within the context of therapy, or will you spread the conflict outside the therapeutic relationship and draw others into it?
Your therapist and support team can be your greatest allies in your healing journey. However, a deep level of mutual respect is expected and needed in order to progress in therapy. It is crucial that you thoroughly differentiate the “good guys” from the “bad guys”. Therapists understand the concepts of transference and projection, and they will work with you in those tender moments, but there will be limits to that. I can promise you, your helpers do not want to be thrown under the bus any more than anyone else.
- Are you determined to do the same things over and over again?
- Are you open to trying new options?
- Can you think outside of the box instead of being boxed in?
- Do you help to problem-solve the various dilemmas that surface?
- Will you work on ways to reach even the most difficult of insiders? Even if this involves several failed attempts before you successfully connect with these parts?
We’ve all heard the saying, “the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again, expecting to get different results.” A huge part of the healing process is learning new things and doing different things.
9. Gratitude and Appreciation
- Do you appreciate what people do for you?
- Do you recognize when someone is doing something for you?
- Do you thank them for helping you?
- In relationships, do you overlook smaller imperfections in appreciation of bigger strengths?
- Do you thank others in your dissociative internal system for the ways they have helped you to survive through the years? Do you recognize their strengths and talents in the current day?
Gratitude and appreciation are key elements of any healthy relationship. Don’t take the goodness of others for granted. Be thankful for what you receive from others.
- Are you a safe person?
- Do you use threats of violence, or threats of harm to others, or threats of emotional blackmail, or threats of any kind to destroy or control other people or to get your own way?
- Do you threaten self-harm or suicide as a way to manipulate others or to get your own way?
- Are you willing to hurt yourself or someone else in order to get your way, including others in your internal system?
- How far is “too far” to go to get what you want or prove you are “right”? Do you think there is such a thing as “too far”?
Therapists will model safe behavior. If you are acting in ways that are unsafe for yourself or manipulative of those around you, your therapist will set boundaries with you — just as you should set boundaries with someone who is unsafe in your direction.
If you follow these guidelines, you will have a much better relationship with your therapist and others around you. If you are looking for a new therapist, remember that the more you can genuinely offer in the areas listed above, the more those therapists will view you as a client with potential — and the more positive potential you demonstrate in these areas of your life, the greater interest more therapists will have in working with you. It goes to your advantage, your healing, your self-respect, and the amount of respect others will feel toward you to learn these things.
All people, including trauma survivors with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID/MPD), can claim these strengths as their own. Work hard to be a “good person” in your therapy, and you’ll be amazed at how much difference this can make in your relationship with your therapist and with your system. Remember:
Maintain your stability the best you can.
Be dependable in what you do, and do what you say you will do.
Maintain your motivation and your willingness to work hard.
Be courageous, even when it is scary.
Stay clear and upfront about your personal responsibilities.
Be honest and trustworthy at all times.
Stay loyal to your helpers.
Be creative in the hard times.
Have gratitude and appreciation for the good things and good people.
And be a safe person. Be safe for yourself, and be safe for others.
You can do it. I’m just sure of it.
Kathy Broady LCSW
December 15, 2008
I am busily working on some new posts in response to the excellent comments made by the readers here. You have been asking good questions and making thought-provoking points. I’m looking forward to responding to as many of these comments as I can. Thank you for your active participation – it is really exciting to see so many folks showing up around here already!!!
In the meantime, since all of you are frequently online, and clearly many of you are dissociative trauma survivors, I want to encourage you to read some very well written articles about internet safety and internet predators:
- Internet Predators: They Really Are Everywhere
- Internet Predators: One Way They Work
- Internet Predators and Child Alters: 10 Ideas to Keep Them Safe
These excellent articles are all available on Rocking Complacency, http://rockingcomplacency.wordpress.com. For that matter, this entire blog is good. If you are up to reading through the whole thing, I certainly recommend it!
The whole subject of internet predators is highly troubling and deeply disturbing. They work relentlessly to discredit the helpers, to prey on the vulnerable, to manipulate the gullible, to control the unsuspecting, and to deceive the needy while greedily feeding their own dark agendas. Dissociative trauma survivors are particularly at risk for getting used and hurt in these ways.
Solid prevention information / education can be enormously useful. It can help you prevent some serious harm, and can give you tips on how to better protect your system.
During my years of working with DIDer’s online, I have become aware of too many situations where naïve trusting DID survivors were led down the garden path by someone they trusted, only to find out, painfully too late, that their “friend” was an internet predator. It seems that warning people that are caught in the midst of this process falls on deaf ears – they get hooked and tangled in their predator’s web before they even realize it. They can’t see it happening, and all too often, they’ve been well-coached ahead of time on how to respond when an outsider catches wind of the dangers they are in.
By recommending the above-mentioned articles, my hopes are that many of you will become more aware of the danger signs ahead of time. If you recognize a predator’s tricks and ploys as they happen, you will have a greater chance of removing yourself and your system from their grasp, and staying safe.
Kathy Broady LCSW