Hello, friends of the DI!
We are fortunate to have so many things going on, the network continues to grow and this newsletter takes longer to compile each month!
At this stage we do not have enough available and interested people to form a board, so this network is continuing to be supported privately by Sarah and funded through her face painting business. Discussions are ongoing. You are welcome to make a contribution to costs too!
Our New Resources
There are now 2 face to face groups for people who experience dissociation, multiplicity, or amnesia: in Victoria, Echoes Yarra and Echoes Preston! This is a very exciting development. More details in Support Groups.
We now have our postcards advertising the DI in print again! These cost around $35 for 100 when printed on recycled paper or $25 otherwise. If you would like any, please contact Sarah, if you’re able to contribute at all to the printing costs that would be fantastic but ask for some to hand out anyway even if you can’t. Donations towards print costs can be made through my personal blog: https://skreece.wordpress.com/donate/ Please be sure to clearly let me know you want it used for the DI postcards. 🙂
Some of us in the DI may recall assisting Noel Hunter, a clinical psychology doctoral student in New York City, USA. From the end of last year until the early part of 2015, she conducted interviews with individuals from Australia and across the United States who identify with the diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder. The goal was to try to understand what aspects of treatment people have found to be helpful and/or harmful. Both her extensive analysis of the literature spanning the last century and results of these interviews serve to challenge the modern-day accepted practices of conceptualizing people’s problems in living as “disease” and then treating them in an authoritarian manner that extends from this “broken” perspective. Individuals respond to trauma and chronically stressful life experiences in a myriad of complex ways, and few people can be treated respectfully and helpfully based on a reductionistic and disempowering conceptualization. She hopes more than anything to show how the creative and sometimes destructive ways that people adapt to trauma and distress can be overcome or even used to lead a productive and satisfying life. People recover every day. She is one of those people. Currently, the dissertation is in its final stages of completion, and will hopefully be defended and available by the end of the year. Noel also writes a blog related to the topic of dissociation, psychosis and trauma at www.madinamerica.com.
Sarah has recently attended the ISPS conference and was excited to note that some therapies are being adjusted for voice hearers. I’m interested in the possibility of adapting these for people with multiplicity too. If the video below isn’t working for you, view it directly on youtube here.
Sarah’s Psychosis without Destruction Talk was also recently delivered in Adelaide and very well received! I am currently in discussions with many other organisations about giving talks on the same topic or about dissociation or multiplicity around Australia – in some cases I’m waiving my fee completely and just asking for help to cover travel expenses, so please get in touch if you would like me to come and speak at your organisation or group. More about my talks can be found on my website: http://sarahkreece.com.au/mental-health/
Suzanne is working on her documentary about Multiplicity. She’s offered us an update: “In the last couple of weeks I’ve talked to five very different people about their lives and experiences with DID and Multiplicity. Three are in Australia and two in the US. I’ve then spent a lot of hours transcribing the audio and just absorbing what they’ve all said. Transcribing is incredibly tedious, but necessary is so you can find the sentence you want far more quickly than listening through lots of audio trying to remember exactly where its located!! I’ve done this before. It’s quicker to transcribe.
Both the similarities and differences of everyone’s stories are amazing and I’m now in the process of working out how to structure them into a documentary. At them moment I feel like I have a pile of jewels and I need to figure out how to thread them in the right order. I’ve written a rough first draft and it’ll be interesting to see how different the final draft might end up being. I’ll be going to Sydney next weekend along with the other eleven people making documentaries, and we’ll spend an intense weekend of face to face learning and workshopping about sound and voice and effects and recording and microphones and who knows what else. I’m really looking forward to it. Tonight, my son Dave, who is going to write some music and create some sound effects is coming to visit, and we’ll see what a first draft, and some combined creativity can generate.”
Suzanne is currently in Sydney and will keep us updated!
Events & Opportunities
There’s a new study through Towson University, looking into whether people with dissociative disorders find a web-based intervention, in combination with individual psychotherapy is more effective. The TOP DD Network study is a year-long web-based educational program for patients with dissociative disorders and their therapists. To be eligible, patients must:
- be 18 or older and able to understand written and spoken English at the 8th grade level
- commit to doing approximately 2 ½ hours of work per week including: watching short educational videos (between 5-15 minutes each week), completing weekly writing exercises, and practising skills exercises each day;
- be diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder or Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified/Other Specified Dissociative Disorder
- be in treatment with a therapist who is willing to also participate by watching the videos and completing surveys
- have been working with their therapist for at least 3 months
- therapists can only participate with one of their dissociative clients
Enrolment in the study is now open. Click on the link for more information on their website, or send an email to the Principle Investigator Bethany Brand, Ph.D. at TOPDD@towson.edu.
The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation have their Aus/NZ regional conference coming up on 27th – 29th of November in Sydney, Aust. The ISSTD Conference title is “Broken Structures, Broken Selves: Complex Trauma in the 21st Century”. Registrations are currently open.
Some DI members will recall Anna Van, who interviewed some of us for an article. The article has been published through The Quarry. Identity, Fractured, Anna Van. Anna hastens to apologise for “the errors and/or lack of depth. I feel a little bit embarrassed!!” but thanks us all for our help and involvement. Interactions with anyone in the media around multiplicity can be fraught and require a lot of courage on the part of us who live with it, and a lot of open-mindedness and willingness to listen on the part of those in the media – so cudos all round! Every non-sensational/hostile/voyeuristic bit of media out there is a good thing.
- Holly Gray – Negotiating with Alters Youtube Clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zi4oxWBXuFw&feature=youtu.be
- Empathy Cards – what would these look like for psychiatric issues? Could we make some? What would they look like for multiplicity?
- From The Cannan Institute Email: Presentation Slides
- Michael Skinner’s Surviving Spirit Newsletter
May there be peace in your letting go and courage in your moving on.
Take care all,