Emma's Journey with Dissociative Identity Disorder


Posts tagged trauma
Guest: Dr. Dan Siegel
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Daniel J. Siegel received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent and adult psychiatry.  He served as a National Institute of Mental Health Research Fellow at UCLA, studying family interactions with an emphasis on how attachment experiences influence emotions, behavior, autobiographical memory and narrative.

Dr. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. An award-winning educator, he is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and recipient of several honorary fellowships. Dr. Siegel is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational organization, which offers online learning and in-person seminars that focus on how the development of mindsight in individuals, families and communities can be enhanced by examining the interface of human relationships and basic biological processes. His psychotherapy practice includes children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. He serves as the Medical Director of the LifeSpan Learning Institute and on the Advisory Board of the Blue School in New York City, which has built its curriculum around Dr. Siegel’s Mindsight approach.

Dr. Siegel has published extensively for the professional audience.  He is the author of numerous articles, chapters, and the internationally acclaimed text, The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are (2nd. Ed., Guilford, 2012).  This book introduces the field of interpersonal neurobiology, and has been utilized by a number of clinical and research organizations worldwide. Dr. Siegel serves as the Founding Editor for the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology which contains nearly seventy textbooks.  The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being (Norton, 2007) explores the nature of mindful awareness as a process that harnesses the social circuitry of the brain as it promotes mental, physical, and relational health. The Mindful Therapist: A Clinician's Guide to Mindsight and Neural Integration (Norton, 2010), explores the application of focusing techniques for the clinician’s own development, as well as their clients' development of mindsight and neural integration. Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology: An Integrative Handbook of the Mind (Norton, 2012), explores how to apply the interpersonal neurobiology approach to developing a healthy mind, an integrated brain, and empathic relationships. The New York Times bestseller Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human (Norton, 2016) offers a deep exploration of our mental lives as they emerge from the body and our relations to each other and the world around us. His New York Times bestseller Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence (Tarcher/Perigee, 2018) provides practical instruction for mastering the Wheel of Awareness, a life-changing tool for cultivating more focus, presence, and peace in one's day-to-day life. Dr. Siegel's publications for professionals and the public have been translated into over 40 forty languages.

Dr. Siegel’s book, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation (Bantam, 2010), offers the general reader an in-depth exploration of the power of the mind to integrate the brain and promote well-being. He has written five parenting books, including the three New York Times bestsellers Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain (Tarcher/Penguin, 2014); The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind (Random House, 2011) and No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind (Bantam, 2014), both with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience in Your Child (Bantam, 2018) also with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., and Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive (Tarcher/Penguin, 2003) with Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.

Dr. Siegel's unique ability to make complicated scientific concepts exciting and accessible has led him to be invited to address diverse local, national and international groups including mental health professionals, neuroscientists, corporate leaders, educators, parents, public administrators, healthcare providers, policy-makers, mediators, judges, and clergy. He has lectured for the King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Google University, and London's Royal Society of Arts (RSA). He lives in Southern California with his family.

You can see his website HERE.

The website for the Mindsight Institute is HERE.

The parts of the brain video referenced in the podcast is here:

Guest: Kelly McDaniel ("Mother Hunger")
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Kelly McDaniel, LPC, NCC, CSAT, author and psychotherapist, has been a licensed clinician since 2005.  In 2008, Gentle Path Press published McDaniel’s first book Ready to Heal: Breaking Free from Addictive Relationships.  Written for women, her book addresses the cultural and psychological issues that complicate love and sex. In Ready to Heal, Kelly created the concept of Mother Hunger® to explain the origin of problematic bonding. Each year since 2008, Kelly has been teaching both locally and nationally about women, relationships, and trauma, and in 2012, Gentle Path published the second edition of Ready to Heal with an expanded chapter dedicated to Mother Hunger.


In 2012, McDaniel collaborated with 9 other colleagues to write and publish Making Advances: A Comprehensive Guideline for Treating Female Love and Sex Addicts. In January 2019, she hosted a four-hour webinar sponsored by the Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals for 30 clinicians on the topic of Mother Hunger.


McDaniel’s new book Mother Hunger Living With a Broken Heart, informed by the past 10 years of clinical work, training, and neuroscience, describes the complex betrayal trauma that delivers a child’s first heartbreak.  The concept of Mother Hunger frames the lonely legacy of bonding to a compromised caregiver. McDaniel’s work is being used to treat women in various programs and facilities throughout the U.S. including The Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angelnces, The Meadows in Wickenburg, Arizona, and The Ranch in Tennessee.  McDaniel has offered trainings for clinicians through The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, The Rape Crisis Center in San Antonio, Texas, Sante Center for Healing in Argyle, Texas, and Life Healing Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 


McDaniel has successfully trademarked her Mother Hunger Intensives; custom curated, one on one healing experiences for women. You can see her website HERE.

Guest: Pat Ogden, PhD (Sensorimotor Psychotherapy)

Today on the podcast, we welcomed Pat Ogden, PhD, a pioneer in somatic psychology, is the Founder and Education Director of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute.


Dr. Ogden is an internationally recognized school specializing in somatic–cognitive approaches for the treatment of posttraumatic stress and attachment disturbances.  Her Institute, based in Colorado, has 19 certified trainers who conduct Sensorimotor Psychotherapy trainings of over 400 hours for mental health professionals throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia. The Institute has certified hundreds of psychotherapists throughout the world in this method.  She is co-founder of the Hakomi Institute, past faculty of Naropa University (1985-2005), a clinician, consultant, and sought after international lecturer.

Dr. Ogden is the first author of two groundbreaking books in somatic psychology: Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment (2015) , both published in the Interpersonal Neurobiology Series of W. W. Norton. She is currently working on a third book Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for Children, Adolescents and Families with Dr. Bonnie Goldstein. 

Her current interests include Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for groups, couples, children, adolescents, families; Embedded Relational Mindfulness, culture and diversity, challenging clients, the relational nature of shame, presence, consciousness and the philosophical/spiritual principles that guide Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.

You can learn more about Sensorimotor Psychotherapy on her website HERE.

Emma's Top Ten

In the podcast episode, Emma’s Top Ten, she told the story of a baby bird we saw today at the park. Here is our youngest daughter having a little chat with the baby bird:


Here is the list of ten things Emma shared that she has learned from our therapist:

10. Now time is safe.

9. Now time is different.

8. Memory time does not change now time.

7. She (the therapist, or even ourselves) is real, all the time.

6. We can ask for reassurance; sometimes that’s all you need.

5. You know better than anyone else what you need, and what is right for you.

4. It’s not our secret.

3. You always have a choice.

2. Turn the lights on.

1. You are not a little girl anymore.


In episode 14, Taylor talked about setting boundaries as part of protecting your system and your body.

Here are some steps towards setting boundaries:

  1. Figure out what is your stuff and what is their stuff. You are only responsible for you. What is it you are feeling? We often feel like we have no power over what happens to us, or what happened in the past, or what others to do us. That may be true, that we don’t always have a choice in our circumstances or our interactions. But we do always have a choice in our we respond.

  2. What is the violation? When you have a big emotional response during an interaction, that is always a clue. It may be a trigger to old stuff in memory time, but if it is about what is happening now and in the present (or both), then it’s important to acknowledge the violation itself. Did someone touch you without asking first? Or borrow money, but not pay it back? Or take something without returning it? Do they speak disrespectfully to you? Do they text or PM more than what you are comfortable with?

  3. Stand your ground! Once you know what the violation was, you can go back to what is your stuff and determine what is appropriate and safe for you. It’s okay if you are not comfortable with texting or chatting after a certain time in the evening. It’s okay if you don’t want to share your charger cord because you need it right now. It’s okay if you don’t want to hug your Great Aunt Sally. You have the right to decide what is safe and comfortable for you, and knowing your own preferences will help you set better boundaries with other people.

  4. Say it out loud. While it is true that there are some people who just don’t respect boundaries at all, most people just aren’t aware if you don’t say it out loud. Speak up! Say to your classmate, “I can’t share my charger right now because I need to finish this project first.” Or say, “I have $5 I can share, but you need to pay me back by Tuesday or I can’t loan you money anymore.” Or say, “I really want to support you, but right now I need to sleep. I would be glad to talk to you in the morning>” Or, even better, just say no. In fact, like Taylor said in the podcast, your yes means nothing if you can’t also say no.

  5. Be wise. You don’t have to do something just because someone tells you to do it. You don’t have to answer personal questions just because someone asks. Remember that just because someone pays attention to you doesn’t mean they care, and just because someone offers flattery doesn’t mean they have your best interest in mind. Use your energy for caring for you, and then your connections with others will be more meaningful.

  6. Notice your feelings. Remember that resentment almost always means you are in over your head, and that you are already getting sapped of your time and energy without getting enough nourishment in return. It can also indicate burnout in a job or hobby. Feelings of guilt are about not meeting other people’s expectations, which is different than considering your own preferences.

  7. Be direct. It’s one thing to respect different cultures or have good manners, but there are times to be direct. Some cultures are more direct than others, and some less direct cultures can actually be very passive aggressive. Regardless, if someone seems to not understand your boundaries or is just outright not respecting them, then firm up and be more direct and explicit with the boundaries you are setting so there is no confusion about what you mean or need.

  8. Adapt to relationship roles. Different kinds of relationships have different boundaries. There may be professional boundaries in a work, school, or clinical setting. These are meant to keep everyone safe. Dating or other relationships have boundaries, about how much time to spend together and apart, guidelines for how much money is spent, or what activities you are comfortable participating in with your partner. Friendships also have boundaries, like how much time you spend together, or how early in the morning you can visit, or how late at night you can call.

  9. Be responsible for yourself. Part of good boundaries is caring well for yourself. While we all need connection with others, we are responsible for our own level of functioning to a degree. That includes mental and emotional functioning. Your friends can be supportive, but it’s not their job to rescue you from the challenges of life. Your therapist can be helpful in your healing journey, but they cannot do the healing for you.

  10. Set boundaries for yourself, too. You may need your own internal boundaries, as well. Maybe you need to focus on that one healthy meal that is delicious, instead of focusing on restricting yourself from all things good. Maybe you need to turn off your devices earlier, so you can get more sleep at night. Maybe you need to give yourself permission to leave that social scene early, go for a walk after a long day at work, or spend some time at the park after therapy instead of rushing back to everyday life right away. It’s all part of self-care!