The Forum "Our Childhood International" has been moderated by Barbara Rogers since October of 2005 by request of Bob Scharf, the previous moderator, who had moderated this forum since its beginning in October of 2001. The our-childhood-international forum is based on an idea of Alice Miller, but it is no longer based on her, in my view, outdated beliefs about the true self and helpful therapy. In my experience, therapy needs to be aware of dissociation and needs to provide a tool to address the role of dissociation/diconnection that can result from traumatic experiences. In my essay "Escape from the Fog of Admiration," I write about about my departure from her beliefs and explain my insights about what I consider a humane and liberating approach to therapy and towards ourselves by creating compassion and a deep understanding for ourselves and our inner world.
The forum can be found at google: http://groups.google.com/group/our-childhood-international as of September 2008.
The Forum's purpose:
The "ourchildhood" forum is an encouraging, supportive place to share and discuss traumatic childhood experiences, their destructive effects on our lives, and our discoveries and deeper understanding of painful childhood memories, especially through therapy.
The forum is a place where we work on the courage to confront and stand up to our parents' lies. In the protective realm of the group, we are empowered to let go of protecting our parents, to step out of our dependencies and anxieties, and thus develop empathy for the child and compassion for ourselves, for our our inner world and for the consequences that we suffered as a result of childhood abuse and neglect..
The forum is a place where people learn that their pain needs to be taken absolutely seriously and felt fully, even if the endured abuse seems to have been "normal".
Posts are meant to give voice to the ordeals of our childhood, to support that process as enlightened witnesses by understanding and supporting the abused and suffering child, and believing her/his plight.
The forum cannot replace a good therapy with a well-informed, empathic therapist.
Projections can't be avoided but they must be worked out with a therapist.
The IFS (Internal Family Systems) therapy approach is welcome on the our childhood international forum; some forum members use it in their therapeutic work and share about it on the list.
As this is a forum, where survivors of child abuse and neglect share their suffering, their history, the consequences of childhood abuse and neglect for their lives, and about their therapy process, it is imperative that this be a safe and respectful environment. Therefore, if forum members feel triggered by something written on the forum and have the need to speak about it, they are asked to speak FOR the part that was triggered, which means FOR the feelings and beliefs that were triggered -- but not FROM a part, not out of intense, triggered feelings and beliefs.
You can find out more about parts and Self at "The Center for Self-Leadership" in the article "Evolution of The Internal Family Systems Model By Dr. Richard Schwartz, Ph. D.":
What we don't want:
The forum is not for discussions about the philosophy and purpose of this list.
It is not a place for philosophical, religious, or general discussions or for speculation about psychological theories and issues.
The forum is not a place to chat.
The forum is not for telling others that their childhood pain needs to be forgiven because the opposite is true.
The forum is not a place to belittle the feelings of others or to attack them. The forum's way of communicating is respectful.
The forum is not a place to vent the childhood emotions on others or to settle one's accounts with the parents.
How we moderate:
If we think a post, in our subjective opinion, furthers this purpose, we will post it.
If a post that we read does not seem a beneficial contribution to the "ourchildhood" discussion, we will not post it.
We will not give an explanation. In order to let the sender know that her/his post did arrive, we will send a short reply that the post was received.
We will not respond to private letters that deal with the topics of the forum. If you want to comment on the forum, prepare your material for posting, so that everyone is informed about your opinion. Comments about the forum will be where they belong -- on the list.
The forum is a revolutionary effort to confront the truth about our childhoods and their suffering. We want to support and nurture this effort, above all by being on the side of the child who never could voice her or his truth.
Barbara Rogers, http://www.screamsfromchildhood.com
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Screams from Childhood