Saturday, October 10, 2009

Addressing trauma - body and mind

Interesting blog post about addressing trauma

“.. How can anyone address trauma without also focusing on the real impact such trauma has on the body? When you speak of rape survivors, abuse survivors, survivors of war - the body is just as important a point of focus as the mind ..”

Click here to read in full

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Healing Wounds with Words


“ .. Wounded Souls: A Collection of Poems and Songs, and its companion spoken-word CD (by) Ingrid D. Johnson .. A Winnipeg-based artist .. Johnson’s first book, Little Black Butterfly in Iridescent Sunlight, came out four years ago. According to Ingrid, it was a catalyst for major personal life transformations. This meant honestly confronting friendships and relationships that were unhealthy and manipulative. “I feel my new poems reflect my struggle to forgive and let go of the past, ways the abuse affected my voice and sense of personal boundaries, and my spiritual struggle to overcome all the anger, loss, pain, resentment, bitterness and sadness I felt and expressed in my first book. This new book is more positive. It offers truth, hope, healing and inspiration instead of anger, venom, rage, profanity and bitterness.”

“my love for people who are hurting and lost is also an inspiration to write, and my anger towards people’s ignorance and lack of care for other victims and survivors drives me to speak up for the voiceless. I work with kids in care and [my] sincerest hope is that my words, my life and my story will inspire at least one of them to be a success.”

Ingrid offers the following advice to people who find themselves in sexually abusive situations and relationships: “You are not alone. When you are ready, tell your story and don’t stop telling it until someone listens and helps you to do something good to counteract it. Overcoming sexual abuse begins with surviving — coping — but you have to confront the abuse and learn from its impact on you in order to overcome it before you can help others.”

Click here to read in full

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hollywood’s Twisted View of Child Sexual Abuse

An interesting and well-written editorial, worth reading the whole piece. Here is an excerpt:

".. Once again, the adult's self-interest is being used to rationalize treating proven child sex abuse as though it is trivial, as though it leaves no lasting mark on a child's psyche or soul. Hollywood's defense of Polanski is no different than the Catholic Bishops' shifting of child predators from parish to parish. Both are serving reputation and power at the expense of basic child safety. Polanski's girls have been the fodder of the "great artist." What do a few statutory rapes matter, when you have the man who produced "Rosemary's Baby"? .."

Click here to read in full

Sunday, September 13, 2009

5 Tips for Overcoming the Shame of Family Messages

".. Messages such as “can’t you see how much I’m sacrificing for you” were designed to keep you feeling guilty so you could be controlled more easily. If you had a parent who said that to you, know that it is the job of a loving parent to make sacrifices on behalf of their child to ensure their child’s needs are met. It’s not your job to feel guilty because your parent couldn’t handle the adult responsibilities of parenting and the stress that goes with it .."

Click here to read in full

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Are There Really Any Survivors?

".. what does it really mean to be a "survivor?" Does it mean a person is free from all the damage done to them at such a young age? No it doesn't. All it really means is they have stopped burying it and denying it and keeping silent about it, and have finally gathered up the courage to speak out against it .."

Click here to read in full

Monday, September 7, 2009

DVD Documentary Captures The Pain of Clergy Sex Abuse Victims

".. a group of clergy sex abuse victims, an offending priest and others affected by the Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis .. decided to have the session professionally videotaped … Their collaboration has produced "The Healing Circle," an hourlong documentary on DVD that has caught the attention of some Catholic bishops and the lay committee that advises them on policy and training after the clergy sex abuse scandal .."

Click here to read in full

Friday, September 4, 2009

Book Review: Moon Cussers by Wade Younger

".. Moon Cussers tells of the true life journey of Wade Younger’s search for himself in order to find healing and resolution from his sexual childhood abuse … While Moon Cussers is certainly written to help the victims of sexual childhood abuse, sexual abuse victims rarely suffer alone. The complex emotional baggage often leads to other, more symptomatic, problems later in life including alcoholism, depression, and abusive behavior. The book peels back the layers of distrust, self-loathing, and vulnerability to help victims and their loved ones understand the sources of these feelings .. "

Click here to read in full

Unique Effects of Alcohol on Women

".. Among female alcoholics, a strong association with major depression has been demonstrated. The relative risk for heavy drinking is 2.60 times greater in women with a history of depression as compared to women without a history of depressive disorder .. Women also have a higher incidence of premorbid anxiety disorders,42 and a greater severity of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms than do men with similar traumatic exposures .."

Click here to read in full

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Recovered Memories

".. traumatized individuals respond by using a variety of psychological mechanisms. One of the most common means of dealing with the pain is to try and push it out of awareness. Some label the phenomenon of the process whereby the mind avoids conscious acknowledgment of traumatic experiences as dissociative amnesia. Others use terms such as repression, dissociative state, traumatic amnesia, psychogenic shock, or motivated forgetting. Semantics aside, there is near-universal scientific acceptance of the fact that the mind is capable of avoiding conscious recall of traumatic experiences.[12] A body of empirical evidence indicates that it is common for abused children to reach adulthood without conscious awareness of the trauma .. "

Click here to read in full

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Guide to Support Groups for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

".. Child abuse survivors are more likely to grow up and become violent, abuse their children, go to jail, abuse alcohol, abuse drugs, and get diagnosed with at least one psychiatric disorder. Adult child abuse survivors are able to cope through therapy and support groups .. Connections between child abuse survivors can bring people together. The sharing experience can be liberating and offer strength. Child abuse survivors often lead a fulfilling life through the help of support groups .."

Click here to read in full

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

George Galloway Writes of Abuse As A Child

“.. The Respect MP said, in his column for the Daily Record, he had been abused by a school caretaker when he was 11 .. The Bethnal Green and Bow MP wrote: "I'm not saying the abuse has ruined my life or anything. I've had a happy life. But it did affect my life and not in a good way and neither in ways I care to rehearse before you. Every time a Soham murderer or a Dunblane Thomas Hamilton emerges, I die a little inside as I remember that dirty old man driven by the same perverted interest in sexually attacking kids ..”

Click here to read in full

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Power And Sexual Arousal in the Abusive Relationship

“.. When we think of children who have been sexually abused, we think of fear, anger and violence. Most sexual abuse survivors talk of the terror and disassociation surrounding the abuse. Many still feel that way as adults and don’t enjoy sex now, even in a loving relationship. But there are those who have a more complicated story to tell. These survivors may have hated their abusers but experience an unspeakable shame over the fact that their bodies responded sexually to the abuse ..”

Click here to read in full

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dissociative Identity Disorder

“.. DID entails a failure to integrate certain aspects of memory, consciousness and identity. Patients experience frequent gaps in their memory for their personal history, past and present. Patients with DID report having severe physical and sexual abuse, especially during childhood. The reports of patients with DID are often validated by objective evidence ..”

Click here to read in full

Friday, August 14, 2009

Social Issues: Depression

" .. One of the leading causes of disability today, according to the World Health Organization, is depression .. the problem is underdiagnosed and undertreated. Many sufferers may not even consider that they are depressed, instead seeking help for physical symptoms such as sleeplessness, aches and pains, or lack of energy.

Depression is a mood disorder and should not be confused with the ups and downs that are a part of normal life. Clinical depression is characterized by extended periods of feeling sad or empty, where nothing is enjoyable and physical activity declines. Symptoms include mood swings, feeling numb, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, a lack of energy, and a sense of worthlessness or inadequacy. In the case of chronic mild depression (dysthymia), a person can function but not to full capacity, which often allows the problem to go unrecognized
.. "

Click here to read in full

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Book Review: Hooked On The Story of Getting Hooked

" .. portrait of addiction offered by the Canadian author and physician Gabor Maté in In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
.. Addiction is dangerous in any form. "There is no such thing as a good addiction. Everything a person can do is better done if there is no addictive attachment that pollutes it. For every addiction – no matter how benign or even laudable it seems from the outside – someone pays a price."
All addiction, whether accounted for by neurological, social, moral, emotional or spiritual factors, is based on the desire to escape one void and plunge into another. Addiction, which Maté cogently defines as "any repeated behaviour, substance-related or not, in which a person feels compelled to persist, regardless of its negative impact on his life and the lives of others" – is what happens when the only reasonable alternative to living with an incomplete self is oblivion

.. Dr. Maté's book is especially compelling for its expansive account of addiction as consisting of all these factors in infinitely variable degrees – addiction is a condition based on a fundamental misperception: that inside us there's a darkness, and that darkness can only be evaded by something outside of ourselves
.. "

Click here to read in full

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Former ‘Idol’ Contestant Gets Skinny

" .. Mandisa’s weight has always been a painful topic for her, originating from childhood trauma. The Grammy nominee was sexually molested as a child and a rape at age 16 only added to her struggle. "A lot of girls turn to men to fill that void and some turn to drugs," the singer, 32, told People. "I turned to food as my drug of choice." .. "

Click here to read in full

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Abuse Victims Have Long Term Bad Health

" .. New research shows that abuse victims feel the impact of violence long after it occurred. A recent study in the Journal of Women's Health found that older African-American women who were exposed to high levels of family violence at some point in their lifetimes -- whether by a partner or family member -- are at a greater risk of poor mental and physical health status.
"Not just ongoing violence, which everybody thinks about, but even when it's over, there's something about what happens that seems to have a lingering effect that we don't quite understand yet," said Dr. Anuradha Paranjape, co-author of the study and associate professor at Temple University School of Medicine.
It makes sense that abused women would report worse health, given that people in stressful situations have higher levels of stress hormones, which interfere with immune function, Crawford said.
Other studies show a clear connection between depression and abuse. Adult women who have been abused in a relationship in the past five years have rates of depression 2½ times greater than women who have never been abused, according to a different study of more than 3,000 women. They are also more likely to be socially isolated, said author Amy Bonomi, associate professor at The Ohio State University
.. "

Click here to read in full

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Is He Hurting You? Love Doesn't Hurt.

" .. Abusive people usually start with isolating you. Actually you may feel flattered and that he loves you so much that he wants you all to himself. Don't be fooled...this will not last. He actually wants to control you .. "

Click here to read in full

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What is EMDR?

" .. Bessel van der Kolk, a leading Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) expert defines trauma as an “experience unable to be processed and integrated."..
type of treatment that is especially useful for processing trauma experiences. Only those who are extensively trained should be treating clients with this tool .. has been approved by the APA (American Psychiatric Association) and has been researched for its efficacy in over 20 clinical studies. ..
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It works by using bi-lateral tones listened to on headphones, tapping, and/or eye movement while thinking about the trauma .. seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer re-lives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind; he still remembers what happened, but it is less upsetting. EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep .. "

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Columbia Univ Survey for Women Survivors of CSA

You are invited to participate in an online survey that investigates the benefits and costs of talking to a therapist about the sexual abuse you experienced in childhood. This information will be used to help clinicians be more effective in treating survivors of sexual abuse, as it will allow them to better understand the experience of survivors.This research is being conducted at Teachers College, Columbia University. All responses will be anonymous. The survey takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. Upon completion, you will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win $100.

Eligibility Criteria:

• Must be 18 years of age or older

• Must be female

• Must have experienced at least one incident of sexual abuse in childhood

• Must currently be in therapy or have been in therapy at some point in the past

If you meet the above criteria, please complete this survey by logging onto: www.psychdata. com, enter "129928" in the "Go to survey #" box, and enter the password "Disclosure. "If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Feldman at Columbia.tcsurvey@ *This project, #09-202, has been approved by the Teachers College, Columbia University Institutional Review Board*

Monday, July 27, 2009

Healing Codependence

" .. If you are codependent, you likely grew up with or had prolonged exposure to a set of oppressive rules that prevented the open expression of feelings, and which taught you to avoid conflict. You very likely are a caretaker, you’re controlling and you have a diminished capacity to initiate or participate in loving relationships. So what can you do about it? Here are a list of steps you can take to reduce codependency .. "

Click here to read in full

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Letter To My Non-Survivor Friends: Things I Want to Tell You but Don’t Know How

" .. My friends are all wonderful people with a strong sense of justice. They could easily be any of the posters here. None of them, however, are abuse survivors and perhaps that’s where the problem lies.But most of my friendships have experienced strains once I started talking of my past. So here are some things I want to say: .. "

Click here to read in full

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Former Miss America Marilyn Van Derbur Speaks Out On Child Abuse

“ .. I’m in touch with more adult survivors than anyone else in America, and we’ve all felt that shame in ourselves — that if people know, we will no longer be respected or admired,” she said .. her message to her fellow survivors is that they should shift their perspective from shame to pride. “It took me 53 years to understand that I didn’t do anything wrong,” she said. “We talk a lot about how we protect our children, and how to teach them that their bodies are their own,” .. The other message is that it’s rarely the “stranger in the park” who is the perpetrator. “Almost always, we are violated by someone we trust,” she said. “Part of my mission is also to say that it happens in the nicest homes .. "

Click here to read full story

Friday, July 17, 2009

Olympic Medallists Go Public with Sexual Abuse

" .. Margaret Hoelzer .. the swimmer who won three medals at the Beijing Olympics is ready to share her story and work to make sure what she says happened to her doesn't happen to other kids .. "Some days I feel great about it, and I'm completely at peace with it, completely calm and ready to do this. Then, there are other days where I'm like, 'Oh my God, do I really want to do this?’ ..

Hoelzer, in counseling for more than a year after telling her parents of being abused, decided it was time to return to therapy. During the process, Hoelzer dredged up all sorts of uncomfortable feelings and memories. But she also began to gain a better understanding of herself. "I was looking for a sense of peace within myself, and I was looking for a sense of confidence," Hoelzer said. "Since I've been back in counseling, the biggest thing I've learned is that what (sexual abuse) does. It undermines people's value. It undermines their self-confidence ..

Chris Witty, a Winter Olympic gold medalist in speedskating, .. too, was a victim of childhood abuse, violated by a trusted neighbor from the age of 4 to 11. She, too, hid her secret for years. Finally, after extensive therapy and a triumphant performance at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, Witty turned to the media to get her story out. Once she went public, Witty was overwhelmed by the reaction. She was bombarded with letters and e-mails, all of them praising her for taking such a bold step. Total strangers came up to reveal their own cases of abuse. Most poignantly, a friend, emboldened by Witty's courage, came forward to reveal being molested. "As soon as I heard that, I knew it was mission accomplished," said Witty, who now lives in the Netherlands. "I don't think I would have had closure about my abuse issue unless I could tell people about it
.. “

Click here to read full story

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Brother and Sister Write Book to Give Voice to Sexual Abuse Survivors

" .. In their newly released book, “The Lie That Binds: Overcoming the Tragic Effects of Child Abuse,” they share their story of abuse at the hands of their father while growing up on a small Ojibwa Indian Reservation in Ontario, Canada. Each and every member of the Sault family of sixteen brothers and sisters was brutally violated in a different, terrifying way. “We wrote this book to give a voice to the millions of people who have had their innocence stolen from them -- an estimated 39 million survivors of sexual abuse exist in America today,” say authors Claire Heath and Larry Sault. “We are living proof that the truth will set you free, and that it is never too late to find forgiveness and strength to get better.” .. "

Click here to read full story

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Childhood Traumas: An Outline and Overview

" .. There appears to be a group of problems brought on in childhood by the experience of extreme fright generated by outside events. Some of these childhood problems are created by one external shock, and others are created by a multiplicity of blows. Untreated, all but the mildest of the childhood traumas last for years. The child’s responses, in fact, may create a number of different kinds of problems in adult life. There are four characteristics, however, that seem to affect almost everyone subjected to extreme terrors in childhood. These findings seem to last and can be retrieved in histories. They include repeated visualizations or other returning perceptions, repeated behaviors and bodily responses, trauma-specific fears, and revised ideas about people, life, and the future .. "

Click here to read in full

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Healing Your Inner Child

“ .. The inner child is your core emotional self. No matter how much you think you know intellectually, this is the person inside you who reacts first and unconsciously whenever your buttons get pushed. This usually occurs in situations that evoke emotional memories or patterns that are painful.

As you progress with your inner child, you will be able to see your parents' behavior as signs of their inner child needing to heal from their parents. These unhealed patterns repeat themselves until a generation is able to heal. If you have children, you will pass your unhealed behavior on to them unless you work on your own healing .. "

Click here for full story

Monday, July 13, 2009

Psychological Impact of Child Abuse

" .. According to a new Mayo Clinic study, a history of child abuse significantly impacts the wide range of challenges facing depressed inpatients. Included are an increase in suicide attempts, prevalence of substance use disorder, and a higher incidence rate of personality disorder .. "

Click here for full story