12 Tips for Reducing Shame

Kathy Broady:

Trauma survivors often carry so much shame….. I wish I could lift that right off your shoulders and toss it away, far far away.
Maybe some of the ideas in this article will help.
I wish you the best in your healing journey.

Originally posted on Discussing Dissociation:


One of the hardest areas of healing work in trauma disorders is dealing with shame.

For many survivors of sexual abuse, healing work involves learning about a lot of intense memories that leave them feeling a great deal of shame, humiliation, and embarrassment.  These are difficult emotions to process, and the memory material is typically very overwhelming.

Some survivors feel immersed in shame from the very beginning of their abuse.  They are appalled at what is happening for them and hate every minute of it, even if they can’t get away from the predators. With every incident that happens, they feel worse, and worse, and worse.  The more degraded the survivors are during the abuse, the greater shame they feel.

Shame can become all consuming.  It drowns any feelings of self worth and erodes at self-esteem.  It leads to self-injury, increased dissociation, suicidal thoughts, suicidal behavior, depression, PTSD, anxiety, addictions, etc. …

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Being Kind to Your Internal System

Kathy Broady:

Helping each other

This is one of the first articles written on .discussing .dissociation — an oldie, but a goodie.
Treating your internal system with kindness! Absolutely essential for healing!

Very basic concept, but often a very difficult skill to learn for trauma survivors.
All too many insiders are treated with internal violence and left in dirty, messy, filthy conditions. That was how the abuse happened — I get that. But please move forward in your healing by giving your insiders a nice place to live internally.

How are you doing with these ideas?

Copyright © 2008-2015 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation

Originally posted on Discussing Dissociation:

Create a Beautiful Place

Hey everyone…

Thanks for coming back and reading more of the Discussing Dissociation blog.  It’s exciting to see the number of site viewers growing each week – I think you all must be spreading the news!  I appreciate all of you who have already become regular readers, and thanks for telling your friends.

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post about giving- making- creating- providing new and positive experiences for your internal child parts, I want to encourage all the multiples here to expand that idea to include your whole system on an even wider scale.  This idea applies to non-multiples too, of course, but since we are “discussing dissociation” here, I’m going to write about these idea within the context of DID / MPD.

I have found that most dissociative trauma survivors have a fair bit of trouble understanding how to be genuinely kind to their inside people. It is…

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Turning Self-Injury into Self-Soothing

Kathy Broady:

Emotional Pain

On those really tough days, remember that it’s much better to do self-soothing than self-injuring. You’ve been hurt too much already. Give yourself the permission to feel better through gentle, comforting, soft experiences. Leave the violence alone. Decide to be kind to yourself and your insiders instead.


Keep reading the article below for lots of helpful ideas.
I wish you the best in your healing journey.


Copyright © 2008-2015 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation


Originally posted on Discussing Dissociation:

Self Soothing

Self-injury is a problem all too common for trauma survivors with dissociative identity disorder (DID / MPD) or borderline personality disorder (BPD).  For that matter, self-injury (SI) is an issue for other populations of people as well.  This discussion will focus more on the effects of trauma and abuse and how self-injury can be addressed effectively.  However, because self-injury is actually a very complicated topic, this particular blog article will reach only a few of those layers.

In my years of working as a trauma therapist, I have noticed that many DID survivors self-injure when they are in emotional pain.  They are hurting, their heart feels broken, they feel betrayed or abandoned, or they feel incredibly sad (but can’t cry).  Turning to various forms of self-injury and self-harm sometimes helps to temporarily relieve their emotional pain.  (Trauma survivors also self-injure when they believe they need to be punished, or when…

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Can You Lead Your System?

Kathy Broady:

Dissociative systems have leaders. Are you able to lead your system?
If you aren’t leading your system, who is??

Originally posted on Discussing Dissociation:

Leading Your System

Are you a leader?

Do you know what it takes to be a leader?

Multiples – trauma survivors with dissociative identity disorder – experience life as plural.  Dissociative systems may be internal sets of people, but they are still groups of people nonetheless.

All groups of people need a leader they can look up to – someone they can trust, someone they can depend on, someone with their best interests in mind even when times get tough.  These leaders help to make decisions that affect everyone else.  They hopefully will decide things on that are the best for the majority of the people within their group.  And these leaders need to care enough about what their people want and need in order to make good decisions. Talking Together

Dissociative systems need leaders too.

Who is the leader of your system?

And what does it take to be a good leader?

A leader…

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2014 in review for Discussing Dissociation

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 190,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 8 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

More Thoughts about Self Injury — Kathy’s Video comments, Self Injury2

Flower Bush with Bees


Self injury….. A frequent and common topic for dissociative trauma survivors.

Have you been struggling with thoughts of self harm?

Do you know why you need to self harm?

In this video, Self Injury 2, I ask lots of questions about self injury — questions you are meant to ask yourself.  Genuine questions to think about, because if you can seriously start to answer these questions, you will get some much-needed insight into your patterns of self injury.


Self Injury 2, by Kathy from Discussing Dissociation


Self Injury 2, by Kathy from Discussing Dissociation



A Bee in a Bush .

Do you see the bees?

There were hundreds of them in that bush, all buzzing around!

Why am I sitting so close to all those bees in the video?

.Buzzing Bees


My wish for you is that you will be able to free yourself from the patterns and expectations of ongoing self-injury.

You have been hurt enough already.

You really, really don’t have to continue hurting yourself or your insiders.

It’s ok to feel, and it’s very very ok to be safe from more harm.

Be kind, gentle, and comforting to yourself instead.

Try self soothing, instead of self injury.

Stop the abuse, even the self-inflicted abuse.


I wish you the best in your healing journey.



Copyright © 2008-2015 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation

Happy New Year 2015


Happy New Year Wishes


Snoopy's Happy New Year


Unlimited Potential


Happy NewYear 2015



Happy New Year, everyone!

I wish you a year filled with ever-growing peace, lots of comfort, a daily dose of kindness, and moments of beauty.



Copyright © 2008-2015 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation





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Compulsive Hoarding and Dissociative Disorders

Kathy Broady:

It’s the end of the year, and many of us are thinking about goals for the New Year. “Cleaning house” is often on that list.
This article about hoarding was once one of the top viewed articles here at Discussing Dissociation — for months and months, it was the top viewed article in 2009 – 2010, surprisingly enough. I’ll send it through again, and see what the viewers of 2014 – 2015 think. Your comments are welcomed, of course!
And for those of you struggling with compulsive hoarding, please know there are people who understand and can help. You’re not alone.
I wish you all the best in your healing journeys.

Originally posted on Discussing Dissociation:

Compulsive Hoarding is a cluttery mess!!

What makes this happen?

Have you seen homes that look like this?

Does your home look like this?

Compulsive hoarding, or disposophobia, is a psychiatric condition that affects millions of people.

Compulsive hoarding is an obsessive need to acquire and keep possessions, even if these items have little value, are unsanitary, or broken, or unusable.  Numerous items are kept and not discarded.  Instead of using the items already owned, or looking for items that are lost in the piles, new items are acquired repeatedly to the point that the clutter creates significant dysfunction in a variety of areas of the person’s life.

Compulsive hoarding is far more complex than it first appears.  It is connected to a variety of disorganized chaotic behavioral patterns and disorganized thinking patterns.  It typically occurs in combination with other psychiatric issues, such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder…

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Addressing Depression in Trauma Disorders

Kathy Broady:

Depression often hits hard around the holiday season.
How are you feeling? Is depression snuggling up to you??
This article can give you lots of things to think about …
I hope you feel better soon.

Originally posted on Discussing Dissociation:

Depression and Sadness


It is no secret that trauma survivors get depressed, and depression is the most commonly known and experienced mental health disorder.

Typical depression symptoms include:

  • Suicidal thoughts, recurring death thoughts, death wishes
  • Suicidal behavior and suicide attempts
  • Self destructive behavior, self injury, self harm
  • Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, self hatred, or not deserving to live
  • Loss of energy, fatigue, excessive sleeping
  • Little or no interest or pleasure in anything or anybody
  • Inability to think, or to concentrate, or to make decisions
  • Significant but unintentional changes in weight loss or weight gain
  • Significant but unintentional changes in appetite
  • For children, not making normal and expected weight gains and physical growth


Depression Word Collage


For trauma survivors, depression can have layered meanings beyond the typical medical symptoms.

Repeated patterned depressions can be very much related to a specific or recurring trauma, or to a significant loss.  For dissociative survivors with DID/MPD, the…

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Understanding Child Parts in the Dissociative System

Kathy Broady:

Knowing how to work with your child parts is crucial to healing when you are dissociative.
Do you understand who your inside child parts are?
Why are they there?
What are you supposed to do with them?
Read on…..

Originally posted on Discussing Dissociation:

Beautiful Children

Child parts come in all shapes and sizes – small, tall, skinny, short, chunky, pristine, messy, filthy, princess-like, raggedy, male, female, quiet, noisy, screaming, crying, silent, confused, dazed, sleepy, busy, playful, happy, sad, angry, fearful, bouncing, babyish, stiff, awkward, hurting, numb.

As different as they are, they all have similar qualities.   They are typically some of the oldest, most knowledgeable members of your system.

But as the youngest parts, how can they be the oldest?

Let me explain.

For example, if you split off a 5-year-old child part when you (and the body) were a literal age 5, and you are now age 35, that child part has been around for 30 years.  Even though that little one might not have aged during that time, they may very well have seen or participated in many of your life’s events over the past 30 years.  Being around for 30 years means…

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