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Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control

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Healing the Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control is a practical, task-oriented, instructional manual designed to help therapists provide effective treatment for survivors of these most extreme forms of child abuse and mental manipulation.

336 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2011

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About the author

Alison Miller

8 books32 followers
Dr Alison Miller is a Canadian Psychologist. She developed the LIFE (Living in Families Effectively) Seminars for parent education. Since 1990 she has specialized in treating survivors of organized criminal abuse.

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Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 reviews
Profile Image for Bookish.
30 reviews61 followers
May 2, 2015
Amazing book. Nothing else like it on the market. It is aimed at counselors only - she recommends Safe Passage to Healing for survivors.

You will get little out of this unless you already know DID well. If you don't know anything about programming or mind control this may not be the place to start either. She breaks down complex and involved things into simple terms, and includes sections written by survivors and uses their words to analyze and summarize the types of actions committed by perpetrators (abusive groups/cults) and how they work in terms of structure.

Her explanation of the "traps" survivors are caught in was great, as was the section on Lies, Tricks and Indoctrination. She mentions the tricks played on young children in terms of costumes and stage magic, as well as the use of props such as the "alien spacecraft".
One real strength is the way she insists that survivors of such abuse should work out things themselves - by asking different parts (alters) each for their own recollection and perspective on the past. Since a single memory is split between several the one remembering the "alien spaceship" may be different to the one remembering the environment around it (in the case she quotes, it's parked in the car park of the building the cult uses).

She explains and gives a clear sequence for traumatic memory processing, and insists on stability beforehand, giving techniques to "put the memory aside" until later. She also explains how programming can be dealt with effectively and comments on the claims of specialist "deprogammers" (as you would expect - its not a long term solution).

She also asks for feedback on the book and any corrections too, so I expect she'll update it after a while.
This really is the kind of book that needs a hardback cover - its the sort of thing you constantly want to refer back to. And you will struggle to borrow a copy, or to get yours back if you lend it.

A quick note - secondary traumatization is pretty likely unless you skip a few parts, like that by Stella Katz. This is explained in the book. A refund is offered by Karnac books if you feel it inappropriate for your needs. And that are no gory, blood thirsty descriptions. Just true reality and horror without the drama and suspense that makes the horror genre sell. Will be boring for horror fans and probably very upsetting.
Profile Image for Alex.
386 reviews10 followers
January 16, 2019
This being the umpteenth SRA/DID/Mind Control therapist-geared book I've read, I can unequivocally say it's the most comprehensive. Alison Miller's knowledge and confidence reflect her 30 years' experience and her expertise shines through. This book is rich with tools and processes to use with clients.

She warns at the beginning of the book that it's not necessarily a good read for beginners with no prior exposure to SRA/DID/Mind Control. She jumps right in, then dives really, really deep. She has no reservations discussing how far wide this abuse goes, Yes I'm talking about you, US Government.

I've done nothing but immerse myself in this topic for many months, I now have thick skin and was wholly prepared for the emotional, mental, and spiritual shock of this information, but some are not. Consumers new to the topic may want to check in with themselves to see what their stomachs can handle. Think "Child Called It" to the tenth power. Instead, maybe start with "Lessons In Evil, Lessons From the Light: True story of Satanic Abuse and Spiritual Healing" by Gail Carr Feldman, PhD. or start with "When Rabbit Howls" by Truddi Chase. Both these books ease into the topics more gently, although they're still disturbing.

I've had conversations with fellow mental health providers who believe satanic ritual abuse is bogus and "80s satanic Panic" was mass hysteria - not reality. I can't imagine what harm this attitude would bring to any SRA survivors looking for help. Not to mention how much effort that level of denial takes as so many survivors continue coming forward.

This book will make its way to my book shelf. Excellent, comprehensive reference. Alison Miller has a few conference videos online that I suggest people check out as well. She's amazing.
22 reviews2 followers
December 17, 2018
It's a great book, although I resent the lack of scientific rigor the author brings when she claims that "processing memories leads to their complete cessation" - more or less betraying a lack of understanding of how the brainmind self-organizes in terms of metabolic surplus, and thus, when the system as a whole is vulnerable (under-nourished, under-slept, dealing with an infection, or stressed by the environment) then the supposed "miraculously cured flashbacks" roar back - as they will always do, since your brainmind is a continuously developing system, and no memory from the past which produced a particular response can ever be completely and utterly "eliminated".

In short, while you can oppose traumatic affect via the expansion of consciousness that happens in a safe and nurturing context, you cannot ignore the symmetry dynamics that control brainmind function, which means that you reflexive cognition - or what appears automatically within your experience - is not under your control. All the self can do is build up a repertoire of responses that constrain and inhibit the phenomenological appearance of the symptoms - and hence, give the appearance of being "beyond" the pain.

This is an important understanding that more seasoned and neurobiologically informed therapists are aware of, but for some reason Alison miller likes to indulge in the fantasy of 'complete healing'.

As a trauma survivor myself, and as someone with a very deep knowledge of the physical sciences, neurosciences, psychotherapies, as well as spiritual traditions, I believe it is deeply important to be aware of the vulnerabilities that a system has - and so, when the system is being constrained - i.e. dealing with entropy (from some of the examples listed above) then the higher cortical systems based in the ventral PFC will lose their usual "oomph" in regulating cognition, which will leave the system feeling vulnerable, and hence, exposed, to the outside-in structuring dynamics from the material environment.

The mind is not a "soul" - but an emergent property of symmetry dynamics. The pain of the past is never completely lost, or "healed", but only controlled, and constrained, by the higher-level consciousness that comes from love and recognition/mirroring dynamics with others. It is thus vital that therapists not exaggerate healing to the point where the person can believe themselves to be "beyond" the traumatic meanings of the past. Situations/contexts and circumstances certainly exist that would make you - the trauma survivor - experience those affects at their greatest; and hence, healing is very much a matter about being circumspect and realistic - not idealistic, or disconnected from causal reality - about your vulnerabilities.
Profile Image for Jamie.
11 reviews
July 27, 2017
This book can be difficult to read. If you're a therapist, be sure not to stop reading. Some powerful and practical reading in the last few chapters.
9 reviews1 follower
July 19, 2019
Best book in the field. Not a light read. Only read if you are ready to have your world view changed. Shocking but important if you are working with DID
99 reviews1 follower
February 27, 2021
Well written. Allows access into an unimaginable world. Great book for professionals who work with this population of clients.
Profile Image for Quentin Gaige.
2 reviews9 followers
February 22, 2014
Wow! This author knows her stuff. I have read everyone on DID and Elizabeth Howells has been my favorite for quite some time until I ran into this one. I am amazed!
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 reviews

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