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90 Minute Workshop Series

The importance of the third therapeutic stage – consolidation and integrated living

Abstract

Kathryn and Melanie will use their own experiences of the third phase of therapy to illustrate and encourage discussion about integration and consolidation work being at least as challenging as stabilisation and trauma work. They are at different places in their therapeutic journeys, but both have experience of doing some work which falls in the third phase. While recognising recovery is never linear they will emphasise the value of the three-phase model of trauma therapy. The workshop will focus on the importance of the therapist’s ability to confidently stay with the unfolding process while offering safe and realistic containment, curiosity and a good role model in the therapy room on how to manage ‘ordinary’ living. 
Melanie describes her experience of the third phase of recovery as feeling ‘abandoned in everyday ordinary life’ and Kathryn struggles with learning to live less dissociatively, while still experiencing some profound dissociative experiences at times. For both this is new territory, yet another unfamiliar landscape to be navigated and negotiated.  Both have found it hard to adjust to increased levels of integrated living, particularly the loss of the ability to switch to different parts, with its requirement to stay with what is happening in the moment. 

However, at the same time, they are learning to appreciate and trust the positive outcomes of less switching and losing time and the accompanying ability to make deeper and more meaningful relationships. 

Melanie and Kathryn will share what has been helpful at this stage of their journeys, how it has felt important that others understand how challenging this is and the roles they can play. 

Presenters: Kathryn Livingston BEM and Melanie Goodwin

Kathryn and Melanie co-founded First Person Plural (FPP) over 21 years ago, after recognising the paucity of support and effective recovery services for people, like themselves, who have DID.  
They have different trauma, abuse and personal histories, along with differences in their experiences of mental health services.  Both were abused in different contexts by perpetrators of organised ritual abuse crime. Alongside a wide theoretical knowledge of the field of complex dissociation, their different lived experiences and the common threads they share, particularly in relation to living with and ongoing recovery from DID, enables them to bring a unique approach to their training and other aspects of their work.