My name is Kathy. Officially, I’m Kathy Broady MSW, but around here, I prefer to just go by Kathy. I don’t like getting all stiff and formal!
When 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 now that I am working from Australia, my credentials are back to a nice and easy MSW again. Different places have different ways of classifying credentials, but no matter where I go, I have a Masters in Social Work.
There’s a lot more to that story, of course, so in case you don’t know much about me, let me give you a little bit of background about who I am and how I got here.
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 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.
In the mid 1980’s, 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 have two years of 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 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. 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.
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. 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!
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…..
And 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, 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 over 375 articles and over 9,000 comments from dissociative readers. Together, we have provided an incredible wealth of information! That’s pretty good, hey?!!
DiscussingDissociation offers a free eBook — 101+ Ways to See DID — Dissociative Identity Disorder Described.
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.
And there will be more, and more resources yet to come…
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.
Thank you for joining me in this journey. There’s soooo much more 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 © 2008-2019 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation