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2015 Trauma and Dissociation Conference Made LIVE

Felicity Lee
Felicity Lee

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Post by felicity on 10/29/2015, 5:12 pm

The 2015 Trauma and Dissociation Conference was amazing this year.  I am still working on getting everything in order and cleaned up from the conference.

As some are aware, this last year of putting together the conference was difficult for me.  At this time, I am not planning to do it again, at least without the funds needed before we begin planning.  So, we will spend this year fund raising - including writing grants.  By some miracle, we may be able to have another next October.  

At any rate, we outdid ourself this year.  The attendance was somewhere around 180 to 200 people.  35 of the attendees were IGDID members.  I can't say how very much it means for you all to be so supportive coming from all over the world to support your community.  We had fun, learned so much, and met new people.  

Everyone else who attended have reported that the conference was the best they had attended on this topic.  

Now, we have news that is amazing.  Colin Ross, M.D. has given us permission to publish all of his presentations given during the conference.  This provides for the public something amazing.  Imagine that anyone can see and learn from these videos.  

I hope that other speakers might follow suit.  This is what we all stand for - educating the public, survivors, supporters, and professionals.  

More than anything in the world, I would hope that others will back this project and help by generously donating in order for us to continue forward educating and bringing awareness of dissociative disorders and truama.  

I have begun transcribing and publishing the tapes taken at the conference.  This is going to take awhile.  Be patient, and I will get them all out to you.  

Know that we all have worked to the point of really making a difference by working together as a supportive group - helping each other as a community as well as in the community.

You all are the best!

Here is the first video made public - enjoy.

Donations can be made here:  

Ivory Garden Secure Site
Please share this post and the video -
And, please discuss this topic and the conference here - we would love to hear what you think/thought.  There is lots of paper, and this forum is open to the public to write.

Colin Ross, M.D. - "Dissociation & Psychosis" - workshop from 2015 Trauma and Dissociation Conference from Pat Goodwin on Vimeo.

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Post by Guest on 10/29/2015, 8:39 pm

I have put on conferences before and it can be exhausting. I wonder if there is a way to get others to help with running the conference? Also, I wondered how much money do you need to put on a conference like this?
Felicity Lee
Felicity Lee

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Post by felicity on 10/30/2015, 12:02 pm

This year, we gathered about $15,000.00 and barely broke even. It is expensive, but well worth it. We received some help through sponsors, but most through registration and personal donations through selling handmade items, etc. The bulk of the expense was through airfare and rooms - beyond what the hotel charges for just the conference space - which is minimal compared to paying for rooms. We will put out an income and expense report soon on the websites.

This is not actually a lot of money when it comes to putting on events of this type. I believe that if I had spent more time applying for grants and fundraising rather than jumping right into planning the next conference last year, the whole thing would have been easier and much less stressful to go into it with the money ahead of time.

Arranging the event venue needs to be done early in order to hold a space - so, that puts us in a bind. And, underestimating the work - thinking that a year is enough to get everything done is a mistake - I have discovered twice.

Our conferences are amazing because we do help so many and cut the price of attendance so that more can have the ability to come. But, then we don't have an idea of exactly how many - so plan for up to 500 - which this year - if we could have had time, we would have filled the extra 300 seats for free just to help others experience it all.

I would have thought that with the stellar line-up of speakers, presenters, and entertainment - the event would have sold out within a few weeks. If that had happened, we would have met our budget and the TopDD studies would have benefited by thousands of dollars. In one of Colin Ross' presentations, which I will be putting up soon, he explains why conferences on the topic of Dissociative Disorders are no longer well-attended.

I don't quite understand, because I totally believe that providing education on the topic for everyone is the answer to folks being aware of the effects of trauma and the truth that survivors 'are' strong and able - that clinicians 'can' help those who struggle - that all survivors and clinicians can be on the same page rather than questioning whether child abuse exists, whether DID is a 'valid' dx - etc. And, mostly that within an environment of education and acknowledgment - all can 'see' that there is no competition between groups or researchers or clinicians - everyone volunteers their time and expertise - not all may agree or run out and make changes or accept the current challenges of treating or supporting survivors.

I have difficulty wondering why some decide to continue to run from this sort of opportunity rather than face it straight on - giving themselves a chance to decide on their own whether the information is something that will benefit them or others.

I am aware that there were clinicians as well as survivors who did spread negative notions throughout their groups and lists about the benefit of attending this conference. And, also there were those who simply didn't hear about it in time to go this year. I wonder about the intentions of those who try to sabotage such a wonderful event. Clearly, our intentions are as we say - to help educate everyone providing informative workshops and presentation by most renowned of experts who volunteer asking nothing for themselves.

That was a long answer to a seemingly simple question - I know.

It is complicated, however.

We are a very small organization with a powerfully intelligent board of directors. Last year, we innocently planned and successfully had our first conference. And, it was the speakers, attendees, and everyone who pulled together to help that were responsible for that.

This year, we went into planning without the funds that we had last year from donations. We had thought that more folks would jump in to help this year realizing that the success of the conference benefited all survivors and clinicians moving forward in research, education, and healing.

The most difficult challenge, as I mentioned, was that I did not give us time to fund raise and ask for grants, because I was planning the conference. My education and expertise is such that I able to write grants, research, and look to those who share my passion in supporting survivors of abuse. But, there simply wasn't the time.

Our board of directors are now, with the permission to make some of the presentation public, examining where and how we can best move forward from here. The conference was an overwhelming success within all aspects of the professional and survivor world. People literally came from everywhere to enjoy the conference and have gone home to spread the word of their positive experience. The Ivory Garden online forum has become more active than ever giving survivors a place where they are able to be safe and receive support and encouragement from peers that is not available elsewhere.

Survivors are strong and intelligent. Clinicians 'want' to learn new ways to understand and diagnose dissociation and trauma. More than ever, people are on board to support our purpose - and work together to bring about changes and accept challenges. But, none of us have the funds to financially support these type conferences - which create such benefit.

We are a nonprofit, charitable organization. We put on this conference to benefit TOPDD studies, because their research is imperative to bringing about changes in understanding of dissociative disorders. They are also underfunded. The ISST-D puts on annual conferences also - and, they are underfunded. Research in other fields of mental health are well-funded - overly-funded in my experience - I am talking in the millions of dollars. I think that public awareness of the need for funding in the area of trauma is the answer - especially in research.

We have a few ideas. We are thinking that having one day fundraisers - with the same caliber speakers as the 3 day fundraiser we just completed will be helpful and bring in funds. We have looked at having these around the country so that everyone can come without having the expense of flying and hotel rooms. With the funds from the one-day fundraisers, we might be able to again do the Seattle 3 day conference without struggling financially. But, I doubt that we can raise the funds to do it by October this year. We simply don't have the time needed.

We will begin a fundraiser online that will demonstrate that our Seattle event is actually a 'project' to bring about awareness and education that benefits everyone.

We are excited that more nonprofit organizations are popping up everywhere to bring about education and awareness of trauma related disorders offering more and differing programs. As I have noticed, the needs are overwhelming - and, the expenses of what everyone does is being funded by small donations and lots and lots of work being done by volunteers - putting aside their time without asking for anything in return. This is all being done to help survivors of abuse and trauma get the treatment they have always deserved.

I have also noticed that 'doing' so much in the field of trauma and dissociation seems to leave everyone so busy working on their own - few are working together and few have the time to really put in the work it takes to do the fund raising needed to carry out their purpose. We also don't have the information shared of who is doing what where. I learned at the conference that the ISST-D is working to educate clinicians. I wasn't even aware of this fantastic program. I also learned about the many studies that the TOPDD is doing - I had no idea the amount of work they do with such little funding.

The conference brought much to light for me and other attendees - I think. Mostly, that so many are working so hard for survivors and clinicians without asking anything in return - it amazes me. And, so many offering to help - the organization of all of these offers is one thing that needs to be looked into - do we keep clinicians and survivors separated or do we decide to work together with one common goal?

What helps us the most? Attendance and promotion is how we are able to fund them. The ISST-D conference is a professional nonprofit organization that puts on an amazing conference. They rely on attendance also. If these type conferences are unable to afford to continue, one of the most valuable of resources also ends within time.

Several years ago, we all worked together to ensure that DID dx remained in the DSMV. I put out a form where everyone could write their thoughts and opinions. Over 400 survivors, clinicians and supporters completed it within less than 2 weeks. I turned it into the APA during their 'open' period. I was shocked at how many came forward during such a short period of time. We all have something to offer - be it donations, working together volunteering time, or simply sharing information of what is available and attending conferences - supporting each other. We all have skills to offer - and, we are all strong and capable. Each of us has limited time - we have our own lives to live also and our own struggles. Right now, folks are watching what is going on. The 90's were difficult for therapists. The public was misinformed - that is over. We are in a new era where the truth about child abuse and its effects on children and adults is being realized by the public.

During the 60's, I was there - feeling discouraged and frustrated that all we did - walking around with signs to stop the war, burning our bras, and standing for what was right made no difference. Looking back now, I see that the 60's brought more change than ever has happened in American history - for education, for better treatment of mentally ill, etc.

Everything we do to bring the truth to the public and reveal the lies of the past makes a difference in this world - though we might not be aware now. Some are very aware - and, they put their time in of their own accord.

I might not see the fruits of everyone's labor in my time, but I have faith that the tides will turn and survivors will realize their strength and clinicians will learn during their training and later the value of appropriately treating trauma and dissociation. The public stigmatization of those having DID will change to admiration and support of those who have suffered. And, funding will be granted to those working toward better care.

Mostly, child abuse will be recognized and children and adult survivors of abuse will receive the adequate and appropriate care that they deserve.

My heartfelt thanks goes out to those professionals who have and are volunteering their time - and the survivors who have stepped forward to help also. There are literally millions of us - who, if we work together, make small changes everyday.

Now, a really long answer to a seemingly simple question.

What we could use mostly now is for those who attended to write your experiences - whatever they may have been. We had an assortment of speakers. You may not have agreed with them all, but overall - how was the conference helpful to you? How did you feel being together with such diverse people - all there to support education and awareness of trauma related disorders? If you were a speaker, how did you feel speaking to such a diverse audience? All in all, how did the conference affect you personally?

We did not have time to put together a form at the conference where people could write answers to these questions. Possibly, since some time has passed, you might do that now. You can do it here - I will start a new topic.

Thank you for asking how you can help - we appreciate it. As this long post of my thoughts seems to demonstrate - we are, ourselves, trying to determine that very question. Ideas?

We would love to hear them. Right now, I am overwhelmed with completing CUE information and getting it mailed out, putting together all of the raw footage from the conference and editing it to get out to everyone - 2015 Trauma and Dissociation Conference Made LIVE 57811 But, still thinking about what to do next.

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Post by Guest on 10/30/2015, 10:27 pm

You have written so much, my mind cannot hold it all, but I do want to give it my attention, and it may take me over time.
I really appreciate what you and other volunteers have done to make this conference happen. I really do know how exhausting it can be. I used to put on one large and several smaller conferences every year, and I always was sure they were going to fail, but then they would go over mostly really well, but I was glad they were over because it is so exhausting doing something so big.
I was fairly new to IG when I learned about the conference, and maybe I took it for granted that it would be there every year for me to attend. Now, it looks as though I may regret that. I do think the idea of mixing DIDers with the professionals is such a neat idea and probably has potential beyond what any of us have even imagined. I hate to only know these people through hospitalizations. Would be so nice to get to know them collaboratively to all work together.
I could have gone to the conference, but it would have been a lot for me to pull of because I was late to the game. I was interested in hearing from some of the people you were going to have. But, for me to fly across the country and go to the expense and be away from family and work, I really had to weigh it out.
The deciding point for me was I thought the soeakers leaned a little heavy toward RA/MC and that was not something I was looking for. Before you respond, I totally understand it is impossible to meet the needs of everyone when you do a conference like this, but I also thought it was important for you to understand what went into my deciding factor.
Having said that, if you decided you wanted to do this again next year, I would be happy to help since I have some experience with this. I used to hold my conferences at facilities that would donate the space or very low cost space instead of a hotel. I was good at making a lot of conference tracks for various groups of people who would likely attend the conference. I also was pretty good at selling tickets and more importantly, getting sponsors to cover the cost of the conference.
I know this comes on the heels of you all being exhausted from the conference, so I can only imagine how this feels to you.
Just putting it out there if you decide you want to do it again, I am happy to help and bring the skills I have in event planning for conferences I used to hold in my previous nonprofit job.
Felicity Lee
Felicity Lee

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Post by felicity on 10/30/2015, 10:41 pm

We would appreciate your help much.

You should know that the speakers are professionals and careful to keep the information educational. I did get to see Alison Miller, and she was wonderful - talking about the facts and educating clinicians on the best way to treat RA/SRA and Mind Control.

Colin Ross also spoke on these topics. You will be able to watch his presentation, and I think you will understand why I trust these speakers to present the facts without triggering information for attendees.

I, personally, am not a part of any 'communities' - especially the SRA/RA community - and not even the DID community - as they call themselves. My interest is in education, support, and awareness only. I don't think that 'survivor stories' that are triggering are appropriate during conferences. We all have our own stories and don't need to hear others in order to 'believe' our own.

The speakers were among the most respected in the field -

We were actually asked by clinicians to include a bit more about SRA/RA and MC and how to treat folks who had these experienced in their background during this conference. I think it was a wise decision to do so.

But, yes - we could use the help - especially with fund raising.

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Felicity Lee
Felicity Lee

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Post by felicity on 10/30/2015, 11:31 pm

2015 Trauma and Dissociation Conference - Made Live
Colin Ross, M. D. " Extreme Skeptics About DID: Why The Are Wrong"

Colin Ross, M.D. "Extreme Skeptics About DID: Why They Are Wrong" Presented at the 2015 Trauma and Dissociaton Conference from Pat Goodwin on Vimeo.

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Post by hideandseek on 11/1/2015, 3:02 am

Felicity, thanks for this information and insights into the complexities of organising the conference ... although I cannot be there, i am so grateful for all you do and for your focus on DID education.

It will take a lot to get me there from South Africa ... but one of these years ... I will make that happen for myself and T!

Thank you for getting the Colin Ross vids out ... such a valuable resource for those of us who could not be there.

KK, how amazing that you have these incredible skills and that you can help!  Thank You!
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Post by BAILIWICK1 on 3/12/2016, 5:23 am

The first thing we want to tell you Felicity is how grateful we are at all the hard work you do in the countless ways that you make so much possible.
We also have produced many large events and comgratulate you on the excellent conferences you arrange.
We applaud all the effort you put into it and are absolutely understand your speaking of the toll it took on you.
And while we know others made the trip from far distances that is something we as yet cannot do, although we would love to be in person with such an amazing group.
And while we know it is never the same as being there in person, we would like to suggest something that we are sure you have considered. Offering the event to participants through live streaming.
We participate in conferences this way and do get a lot out of "participating" over the web.
We know this adds extra cost of technicians who do this, but would expect to pay just as a participant.
We know of someone who live streams meetings and how effective this can be. If that is something you might consider we would be willing to speak to you about it and pursue more information from the professionals who do this.
Anyway, thank you again for all that you do.
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Post by manysunshine on 3/17/2016, 10:04 pm

Live streaming sounds like a great idea. However, if we consider doing this, Felicity, what are the legal things and costs and everything that would have to be done to accomplish it. I know some of the speakers would probably have to be very persuaded to do this and it might involve a lot of legal contracts and stuff. But, something to maybe think about for the future??
Felicity Lee
Felicity Lee

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Post by felicity on 3/18/2016, 7:54 am

We do not have speakers who are interested in doing this - though I know that it would be great. We taped most of the conference, but only Colin Ross - so far - has agreed to make them public.

Because of the nature of the topics, and the fact that speakers are volunteering their time and expertise, their intellectual rights come into play. The conference is a fundraiser, by its nature - and all proceeds are charitable donations to Ivory Garden. More likely, would be that we would gain rights to offer CD's for sale after the conference, but that isn't going to happen unless the speakers are part of Ivory Garden or they relinquish copyright to us.

The ISST-D has a library of CD's available - similar to the workshops by the same speakers - on their site.

I looked into live-streaming last year, and it was an adamant 'no' from speakers and participants. There is also the problem of personal privacy -

Then, there is the expense. The expense of having workshops taped was high - very high - and, some of the tapes did not even record properly. So, we have tried different options.

Live streaming would be viable - if not that these speakers are internationally renowned and make their living speaking. They graciously volunteer their time for the benefit of survivors, supporters, and clinicians. We keep the registration as low as possible - nowhere near what you would normally pay to see even one of the speakers - otherwise.

I know that we have so many who come from all over the world - and understand the expense of that. We keep the rooms as low as possible also to accommodate for a comfortable stay. I wish that there were more we could do -

I think that the answer lies in us having more webinars with speakers here. They really are quite amazing.

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Post by BAILIWICK1 on 3/18/2016, 8:09 am

Please please hear that I am not pushing this by replying only just adding information so I will stop with this if it is just an annoyance and please hear that I am just trying to think of other ideas that could potentially open to more funds.
When we speak about live streaming we do understand copyright infringement and push back from speaker, extremely understandable.
What we are referring to is live streaming that is encrypted and only accessible with a coded entrance. The people that we know who do this personally and we have been personally involved with when we worked for a major financial institution work with proprietary information, encryption is vital as corporate product and intellectual information must remain closed.
All we are saying is that yes it is expensive and yet the participants of the livestream would have to pay for the service as same as participants that physically attend the conference. Again encryption is a given to protect the intellectual property of the speakers. And payment for receiving the stream hopefully would defray the cost of the streaming.
Again, I am only suggesting this because I do know how it is encrypted and utilized in corporate settings and could open to a greater audience who would of course have to pay for "admittance" to the access codes for the stream.
I would be willing to look into this if you would like or will just drop it here, only offering information.
Thank you again for all you do.

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