Hi! Hello, hello!
My name is Kathy. I write my articles on Discussing Dissociation as Kathy Broady MSW, but around here, I prefer to just go by Kathy. I don’t like getting all stiff and formal. Let’s just get real, and be people. I like that approach better.
I’m no longer the young gal you see in this picture, but my work in the field of trauma and dissociation started waaay back in 1984, when I was exactly that young.
My credentials have changed many times through the years, and my own life story has zigzagged around in all kinds of ways. Here’s a shortened version of that story.
I graduated, as valedictorian, with my Masters in Social Work in 1986. My first years of employment were in Canada, and while I worked in Canada, I was an MSW. When I worked in Texas, I was first an LMSW-ACP, and then later an LCSW. And when I started working from Australia, my credentials went back to a nice and easy MSW again. Different places have different ways of classifying social work credentials, but no matter where I go, I have a Masters in Social Work as my education.
To clarify this a little more, I moved to Australia in 2011, and once I could see that my return to Texas was not likely, I simply let my Texas license go. I didn’t lose it — I just didn’t renew it. I wasn’t working from Texas, and for that matter, I wasn’t working from the USA. I wasn’t even living in the USA. So to be very clear about that, I am no longer licensed in the USA. Once I decided to return to work from my Australian-based residence, I was credentialed by AASW in Australia. Australian AASW credentialing became the standard for me to follow once Australia was my home. This is why I use MSW now when I write.
Then came COVID-19 — the world pandemic that changed my life in a zillion ways. I happened to arrive in Texas on March 9, 2020, a planned 3-week visit to the USA from Australia. A few days after my arrival in March 2020, as you know, the world exploded with the virus and international travel was shut down. I could not return to Australia, my return flight was cancelled, and no international flights to Australia were available. To make a long story short, after 18 months+ of still being stranded in the USA, I decided that I would most likely stay again, in the USA. I am still credentialed via AASW, I still have a house in Australia, but now, I also have a house in the USA. Yep, I’m back in Texas! However, at this point in time, I have no plans to regain a licensure in Texas. I am officially retiring from any official therapy roles in the USA.
However, I am happy to continue working as a DID Consultant. I encourage everyone to get a local therapist of their own, and if you want to ask me additional questions, that’s okay, but please know I will respond to you only as a consultant, not as a licensed therapist.
Consultations are available for other therapists or professionals working in the field, students learning about trauma and dissociation, spouses and supportive loved ones, and of course, for DID trauma survivors themselves.
Individual Intensives are also an option to consider.
If you have any questions about DID, living with DID, understanding trauma and dissociation, I’ve got a variety of resource options available for you. Contact me for more information.
There’s a lot more to my story, of course, so in case you don’t know much about me, let me give you a little bit of historical background about who I am and how I got here.
How did I start working with Dissociative Disorders?
When I started Social Work grad school at the University of Kansas in 1984, I was determined to be a Family Systems therapist. My internships were focused around family therapy, systems theory, generational influences, and I learned a lot about working with systems.
However, I found myself with client after client struggling with sexual abuse issues.
Trauma issues were repeatedly plopped in front of me, and after awhile, I got the point. I turned my efforts towards working with sexual abuse survivors.
By 1984, with a BA in Psychology, I began working with troubled youth — teenagers who already experienced an enormous amount of trauma in their lives. All areas of abuse, both historical abuse and current-day abuses, were the key focus in helping these kids get off the streets, and/or find a suitable homes.
Later, in 1988, I was handpicked to do a clinical pilot study for a government agency in Saskatchewan Canada with a severely abused young woman newly diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder (now called Dissociative Identity Disorder). I found this area of work highly challenging and fascinating. I had heard of DID during my graduate studies, and was rather pleased to get some first-hand experience in the field. Not that I knew what I was getting into!
I was very fortunate to be given two years of intense, yet uninterrupted time to focus on learning about internal systems and dissociative systems. I learned a LOT during that time — it was an incredibly steep learning curve, and I read everything I could get my hands on. I also had weekly clinical supervision with Dr. Colin Ross and his assistant, Geri Anderson. Their help was invaluable. I had so many questions, and everything was new and definitely overwhelming. I did the best I could, being new to the field, but now all these years later, I have to say I would do the work differently in those first two years if I could.
But I was well and truly invested and interested in working with dissociative issues from that time onwards.
And yes, I have adamantly remained devoted to the fields of trauma and dissociation ever since, working with complex internal systems as well as external family systems.
At the personal invitation of Dr. Colin Ross, I moved to the Dallas Texas area in 1992 to work at a psychiatric hospital with a specialized inpatient treatment unit for Dissociative Disorders. Charter Hospital in Plano TX, in the DDU. For several years, I led 10 inpatient groups per week, outpatient support groups and spouse support groups.
Even after leaving the hospital setting in 1995, I continued to build my private practice as a Clinical Social Worker through the years, with a very specific focus on Dissociative Disorders and trauma disorders. Ninety-five percent of my clients have been DID.
Adding an Online Presence
In 2001, I added online work as an option for my Social Work practice. I believe that anyone, anywhere, at anytime should have the opportunity to learn about Dissociative Disorders, especially if there are few resources in their local area. I already knew my time in an office was limited, and I could help only a few clients at a time. With those limitations in mind, I decided that a specialized website, available 24/7, would be a helpful resource for anyone needing to learn about Dissociative Disorders.
I developed AbuseConsultants as an online treatment resource for trauma survivors. That was my first website, and many of you may have found me there. That website was around for many years.
In 2005, I began SurvivorForum, an online group support forum for trauma survivors. Through these websites, I have had clients from around the world, and certainly learned a lot during that time.
I also began this blog, Discussing. Dissociation, in 2008 as a free resource for anyone wanting to learn more about Dissociative Disorders. This blog has grown and grown, and is viewed in countries all over the world. There have been hundreds of thousands of visitors to Discussing Dissociation!
I worked with as many clients as I could. I wrote as many articles as I could. I advocated and spread encouragement for the healing process as I could. I spoke at conferences. I took consultation phone calls. I worked relentlessly for years! Years and years.
And then my life changed due to a string of personal family medical crises.
When I left Texas in 2011, the two therapy-providing websites were closed. Big changes were happening in my life at that time, and I needed a break from the intensity of a 25-year career focused on dissociative disorders, trauma disorders, abuse and violence. It had been a heavy load, and frankly, I got a little tired.
I needed to rest and rejuvenate myself.
I preach a lot about good self care — this is because I have to do it myself to stay in the intensity of this work. I KNOW how exhausting it can get.
It’s hard for me, and you know… it’s even HARDER for YOU to do the work you need to do to get through your years of healing. You’ll need good care and tenderness too!
I have been happy to keep this blog,
busy and active since 2008.
While I rested for awhile, and wrote occasionally……
The ever-growing readership of Discussing Dissociation has proved to me the importance of providing quality information for dissociative trauma survivors. The fact that y’all kept reading, kept posting, kept emailing, kept coming back — that showed me, without a doubt, that this blog was important to you.
I could rest…. but I couldn’t stop.
After I moved to Australia, first I took that much needed rest and rejuvenation in some of the most beautiful places in nature. Rainforests. Beaches. I sat with sunsets and sunrises. Waterfalls. Flower gardens. Rocky cliffs. Teal blue water. Everything beautiful — SOOOO good for my heart and soul.
I felt good again…..
I felt rested.
In 2016, I decided to get very serious about the services provided at this blog.
I had to come back, and keep writing.
I was credentialed with the Australian Association of Social Workers, AASW, and I have been digging in with solid determination. I want this blog to be a very serious resource for dissociative trauma survivors, their loved ones, and their helping support team.
Now, over the years, this blog has expanded with nearly 500 articles and over 13,000 comments from dissociative readers. Together, we have provided an incredible wealth of information! That’s pretty good, hey?!!
DiscussingDissociation offers a free eBook —
The Saddest Little Bear Dissoci-ACTION Story Pack is available.
And the Discussing Dissociation Community Forum is open and ready for DID survivors who need support.
Discussing Dissociation Educational Forum (DDEF) is open — ask us about the requirements for membership.
Support for Spouses, Partners, Allies (SSPA) is open as well.
Discussing Dissociation Zoom Chats have started.
And there will be more, and more resources yet to come… Oh my heavens, there is an ever growing need for more and more and more information about trauma, abuse, dissociation, DID, and DID healing. I’m dedicated to making as many helpful, healing resources as I possibly can. You are welcome to participate with any of them.
Did you hear about the P4 DID Conference 2020 in Phoenix. Arizona?
Well… it happened again!
P4² DID Conference was held in Chicago, Oct 22-24, 2021.
Did you hear about the P4 DID Retreats?
P4 DID Conference
A highly unique, creative event specifically designed for dissociative trauma survivors.
We met in Montana in 2022.
We met in North Carolina in 2023.
Both were amazing experiences!
Bring on P4 ’24 !
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And in 2024, the big P4 ’24 Retreat will be in TEXAS!
P4 Retreat: TEXAS 2024
October 14-24, 2024
Plans are already being made.
Our location has already been decided.
More information coming soon.
Contact us, and soon, more information will be available at the P4 DID Conference website.
As you see, as per usual, I keep busy!
There’s always something new developing here.
I continue to be interested in expanding my efforts to include focus on sexual abuse prevention for children, and offering support for non-offending parents, and for supportive loved ones of dissociative trauma survivors.
I am also a strong believer in the power of healing with music and the healing benefits of animals. Music therapy and pet-assisted therapy are areas of great interest to me. In fact, my two dogs, Pinky and JoeJoe have accompanied me to the retreats.
Thank you for joining me in this journey.
There’s soooo much more to do. There are soooo many trauma survivors who need help. Sooooo many therapists who need to learn how to help. There is lots to do.
And we can do it.
I look forward to reading your latest comments and hearing your thoughts as well.
Please stay safe!!
I wish you the very best in your healing journey.
Related Articles about Kathy’s Life Story:
To learn more about Dissociative Identity Disorder, please watch my video playlist on YouTube, Discussing Dissociation Blog:
Copyright © 2008-2023 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation