Kate’s Couch: PTSD Therapy

This page is an annotation of my posts on my Complex-PTSD therapy sessions with Kate.

You may also want to visit the Abuse Recovery page to read what I’ve learned on my own.
Related research:  What Works for PTSD [23 popular PTSD therapies are rated for effectiveness]

Kate’s Couch: Sharing My Complex-PTSD Therapy Sessions

© 2009 Carole May
© 2009 Carole May

The silver lining of my most recent PTSD episode is that I have found a wonderful therapist named Kate who seems to know what she’s doing.  She practices hypnosis which I have heard is highly effective.  We aren’t there yet.  I still have major trust issues.

In reading other PTSD posts, I realize that many folks with PTSD might benefit by being allowed to go along on my therapy ride.  We’re all navigating uncharted waters until the Veteran’s Administration’s research comes up with viable treatment protocols that will hopefully trickle down to the general public.  To read more,click here.

Kate’s Couch Session One: Midsummer’s Eve

Kate sent me home with the assignment to recall valuable life lessons I learned from my grandmother.  And, she advised that when life threw me a curve ball that I assign my adult self the role of being loving grandmother to the terrified child within.  In essence, this is a way we can serve as enlightened witnesses for ourselves if nobody shows up to protect us from abuse.

Kate’s Couch Session Two: Are You a Queen?

In the midst of a PTSD episode, we often feel abject powerlessness.  Everyone seems to have control of our destiny but us.  How do we effectively ask for help. . .especially when our life’s pattern is that nobody shows up?

Wild DogKate’s Couch Session Three: Which Dog Do You Feed?

“Grandpa, will I grow up to be a good man or a bad man?”

“Well, son, that depends on which dog you feed.”

This is the story that began my third therapy session with Kate.  I was as confused as the little boy.

Kate’s Couch Session Four: Bastille Day

Kate drew a volcano on her white board to depict my emotions.  On top of the volcano, she drew the steel dome which I delude myself into thinking will contain the pain.  The heat of all those emotions, however, is melting the dome.  When iron gets hot enough, it melts into liquid steel.

Kate pushed my “not good enough” buttons.  I didn’t explode.  I shut down.  Completely.

Kate’s Couch Session Five: Who ARE You? Who? Who?

After Kate cracked me open like an egg during our fourth session, she started helping me put the Humpty Dumpty pieces back together again during our fifth session.

We often have to demolish what was in our life before we can rebuild on firm foundations.

11 responses to “Kate’s Couch: PTSD Therapy

  1. Kate,
    I found myself quite drawn to your site and your story. I too was seriously abused as a child. This included rape, neglect and at one point being starved till near unconsciousness.

    I’m building a site designed to ferret out child abusers. It’s called GoRiot.com. It will allow anyone to file a complaint about a person ( actually anything, but it was originally designed to combat child abuse .) Then, if two or more people share the same complaint, they will be connected via anonymous emails. I know that in my case, such a system would have illuminated my abuse. I also have come to know of a couple of abusers and only via a very unlikely string of coincidence did I find others that had knowledge of the same crimes. Crimes that the police are either unwilling or unable to address with only one witness.

    Kate, I really believe this will change the face of child abuse. It’s something that’s never been done. I’ve always thought the internet has been used completely backwards, or upside down. Currently we use it like a pyramid. With the website as the pointy top, and the people as the broad base. All the people connect to the site. But imagine reversing that. Turn the pyramid upside down. Now the website is at the bottom and is used to connect all the people at the top. And not like social networking sites, which still connect individuals in the ones and twos. Or like blogs, which only pass a single idea, from a single person, on to many. But if we did as I propose, the true power of the internet would suddenly be harnessed. People would be connected by the millions, and by common experience. Within hours of this site going live I suspect that it will ferret out sick people, sick products, sick buildings and many other problems and crimes that we haven’t even dreamed of. Mostly, it will give power to the people and prevent them from suffering alone. It will, quite literally, change government, change industry, change society, and change the world.

    I’m not pitching a website or asking for money. But I do seek emotional support and when I read your words I felt a strange kinship. I truly am asking for nothing more.

    I would love it if you would call me.


  2. Sorry, I meant to address the previous to “Anne”, not “Kate.” Although I’m sure Kate is a wonderful person. In all the excitement, I got the two mixed up.

    I’m helpless without post-edit.

  3. Daniel,

    I have three words for you: “GO FOR IT!” When you have a link to your web site, please post it here in the comment section.

    My policy is to not contact my visitors directly. It is just little disabled me here in my apartment doing the best I can with what I have. And, I never know when someone is doing the judge’s dirty work. If you surf around on my site, you will discover I’ve been stalked by a corrupt judge since 1992. He was elected to his state’s highest court on the platform that he had “extensive experience with family and child abuse.” Right. Hands-on.

    I’m not the only woman he has abused or stalked. Not even close. But, his state does nothing because the people who should prosecute him or haul him in front of an ethics panel are too chicken-shit and/or corrupt.

    That’s why I chose to enter WA State’s ACP. Here in WA, we have several ethical people who will do everything in their power to eliminate the abuse of women and children. I encourage you to watch the news and pay attention to who is on your side. . .and who isn’t.

    You might find that in King County’s prosecutor’s office that you have friends. There are things that your web site can do that would be entrapment if they did it.

    If your web site isn’t up and running yet, I encourage you to take a look at WordPress. You can get a domain name for $15/year from them, and their servers will allow you to do some amazing things on a shoestring.

    I have taken the liberty of removing your telephone number from your comment. Predators will find it and engage in phone harassment. If your phone number has ever been listed, they can come to your home and harm you. So, be very, very careful about what you reveal on the Internet. And, I would strongly suggest adopting my policy of not responding via e-mail to those who leave comments on your site. It can be dangerous business because you never know whether people are well-intentioned or not.

    I read every comment that is posted and respond as best as I am able. As you can probably imagine from my most recent posts, I’m not doing very well right now. I’ve spent the month of September in PTSD hell.

    In closing, I have four more words for you: “Good luck! God bless!” BTW, Kate is quite pleased that by helping me she’s helping others. I think she’d admire your spunk in setting up your web site. Hopefully, I’ll get good news next week and will be able to make more Kate’s Couch posts to give those walking in our shoes the help they may not have access to.


  4. Caroline,
    I’m so glad you responded.
    First of all I’m appalled but not surprised that you’re being abused by government officials. I’ve had first hand experience of such. I’ve always said, sometimes the judicial system is a toss up. That is, it sometimes causes more harm than good. It’s a magnet for some of the most warped and abusive people; folks that should be put through the system, not running it.

    Also, your advice is sound and powerful. However, my name and face is about to become quite public and I’m not going to hide. I faced monsters as a five year old and nothing since has ever come close to that. If somebody wants to harm me, so be it. I won’t make it easy, and I’ve made myself a somewhat tougher target by working out for years and being over 225 lbs. As an adult I’ve never been one to be messed with. I take pride in my ability to negate violent situations with kindness and understanding. I’ve also had experience with situations where that didn’t work. I won’t make it easy for them but if I die, I hope it will shed much needed light on *our* cause. I’m willing to die for that. I’m not only willing to email “anyone”, but I’d happily offer my home address, if somebody feels the need to drop by. I want to be someone that anyone can go to and yes, that will mean serious risk, especially as my site starts leading to arrests and convictions, but I don’t plan on living forever.

    As for your WordPress suggestion, that’s an excellent platform and suggestion. However, for my purposes it would never do. I’m actually a web developer myself and the site I’m building is much more complicated and requires a much more robust structure. I’ve lined up some press for launch and strongly believe it’s a shoe-in for national exposure, as it’s a compelling story with an action component and a “feel good” tone. I want to be very public about my abuse and in doing so hope to give permission for others to do the same. I bought all the city riot sites ( seattleriot.com, bostonriot.com, lariot.com, etc ) The 60 largest cities in the US and 12 largest states *riot.com* I want to create a network for people that experienced abuse of any kind. My hope is that people won’t suffer alone.

    Which brings me to you. It really breaks my heart that you’re suffering. I’m *way* overstepping my bounds here but I wish so much that I could help. You and I are sister and brother. We’re part of a sister and brotherhood of abused children. I too have serious PTSD and take medication for it. I also have an amazing counselor, Brenda Smyk, who change my life and ended the night. I’m so overstepping my bounds here but I wish we could meet. If the maggots that abused you keep you from your community, don’t the terrorists win?

    Anyway, I don’t mean to stress you out. If you every need help, I’m leaving my number again. When GoRiot.com is launched, I’d be so honored to have someone with your wisdom, smarts and obvious writing skills to contribute to our blogs. I would at least hope to have your permission to link to your site but I don’t want you to feel any pressure.

    By your site you’re doing holy work.

    Your brother in absentia,

    Also, if you do facebook, here is my facebook page.

  5. Susan Boyle is an immensely talented lady who’s been subjected to considerable pressure in the media. IMHO she deserves every bit of success that she is having.

  6. Thank you for sharing. I found your blog when looking for PTSD and domestic violence. Let me share with you all, my abuser was a mental health therapist, with six college degrees, the most recent in 2009 was his Master’s of Social Work from EWU. He has not found a job to this date; he has been black balled by many of his colleagues in WA state for good reasons. And he had the guts to get on the stand in court and tell the judge he wants to work for DHS with kids. I reported the abuse after we got out; we were okay for awhile, but he found us. And I decided after his comments about working with kids that I could help by reporting what happened and maybe protect other kids from his abusive ways.

  7. Thank you, Dr. Muss, for sharing your PTSD treatment expertise with my visitors. I watched the video intently, but I must confess that I don’t understand the rewind piece. Yet, I think the concept is absolutely brilliant and could be immensely helpful to many of my visitors.

    If you would like to publish a guest post about your work on my blog, I will be delighted to publish it along with a link to the You Tube video. After V-Day’s (2/14) One Billion Rising celebration, my intent is to focus much of my blog’s attention on integrative health and wellness concepts to assist in my own healing as well as those who follow my blog. So, your comment is quite timely.

    Mr. Kopff, I think you would be wise to edit your comment to to describe the specific treatments you provide to survivors of domestic violence and child abuse. I think this will entice potential clients to visit your site.

    Thank you both,
    Anne Caroline

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