Archive for October 30, 2010

Russell Williams: “Call Me Russ”

We’ve all been shaken to the core by this seemingly upstanding leader who turns out to be an evil sadist. The question most of us ask ourselves is this: How could this man be that man? How can the same person be a pillar of society and, at the same time, a depraved, heartless killer with a fetish for women’s lingerie?

Russell Williams, we’ve found out, is married to a woman who is respected by her colleagues and friends. On the surface, their lives together looked ideal: two successful adults doing good work for their communities. Read more

Don’t be a Bystander—That’s all the Help the Perpetrator Needs From You

What can each of us do to prevent a child’s life from being ruined by abuse?

First, we need to be aware. We need to deal with our own denial or dissociation around child abuse. Society’s denial and refusal to believe that child physical, emotional and sexual abuse are endemic allows child abuse to continue unchecked. It’s so easy to deny what you’re seeing or hearing. Read more

Traumatic memory—get informed

Want a fast and easy way to gain accurate, up-to-date information about traumatic memory and dissociation? Go to Then click on students and public.

Next, click on dissociative disorder information or trauma information or frequently asked questions.

The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is a society of clinicians, researchers and academics that exists to train professionals and educate the public about psychological trauma.

Or you might Google traumatic memory. I did and I found solid, informative papers by leaders in the field of psychological trauma. Under Scholarly Articles for Traumatic Memory, click on van der Kolk and you’ll find this expert’s paper explaining the following:

“Trauma is an inescapably stressful event that overwhelms people’s coping mechanisms.” He describes “the differences between the recollections of stressful and traumatic events.”

A study of 46 subjects with PTSD indicates that “traumatic memories are retrieved, at least initially, in the form of dissociated mental imprints of sensory and affective elements of the traumatic experience: as visual, olfactory, affective, auditory and kinesthetic experiences. Over time, subjects reported the gradual emergence of a personal narrative that can be properly referred to as “explicit memory.”

In my book, Confessions of a Trauma Therapist you can follow my personal process as my “traumatic memories were retrieved at least initially in the form of dissociated mental imprints.” I was in my late 40s before I had a personal narrative that made sense of my life and was a clear memory of incest.