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Archived Webinar

In-Depth Exploration of RAMCOA: Five-In-A-Day Webinar Series

Friday, OCTOBER 6, 2017
9:00 aM - 5:00 PM Eastern daylight Time


Presenters: Eileen Aveni, Lynette Danylchuk, Alison Miller, Michael Salter & Valerie Sinason




Session 1: An Introduction to Ritual, Religious and Spiritual Abuse with Definitions, Discussion of Meaning and Attachment Patterns

9:00am – 10:00am   |   Presenter: Valerie Sinason, PhD, MACP, M Inst Psychoanal

Presenter Biography
Valerie Sinason PhD, MACP, M Inst Psychoanal, FIPD is a poet, writer, child, adolescent and adult psychotherapist and adult psychoanalyst. She was Founder Director of the Clinic for Dissociative Studies until her retirement in December 2016 and remains a Consultant. She is President of the Institute for Psychotherapy and Disability (IPD) and Hon Consultant Psychotherapist at the University of Cape Town Child Guidance Clinic; Patron of the Dorchester Trust, Chair of Trustees of the First People Art Centre – Nieu Bethesda Arts Foundation. Her extensive writing includes over 120 papers and chapters. Furthermore, she has written, edited, co-edited over 14 books including a revised 2nd edition of her seminal book Mental Handicap and the Human Condition , (Free Association Books 2010) a 2nd edition of her edited book Attachment, Trauma and Multiplicity: Working with Dissociative Identity Disorder (Routledge 2010), Trauma Attachment and Dissociation (Routledge 2012) and Shattered But Unbroken: Voices of Triumph and Testimony (Amelia van der Merwe and Valerie Sinason, Karnac 2017). Her most recent co-edited book is Holistic Therapy for DID with Dr Patricia Frankish (Karnac Books).

Whilst the international community has become increasingly aware and accepting of the dangers of abuse whether through cyber grooming and bullying,  trafficking, abuse by family and others, (i.e. multiperpetrator abuse), Ritual Abuse, also known as Ritualistic abuse or sadistic abuse, still lacks acceptance. This places victims at greater risk and adds to the problems faced by mental health professionals. 

Upon completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the term "ritual abuse" by providing a shared language and definition.
  • Describe the emotional impact of this narrative for the patient and the therapist.
  • Restate the controversy around the subject of ritual abuse.

Session 2: Internal and External Safety

10:45am – 12:15pm   |   Presenter: Alison Miller, PhD

Presenter Biography
Dr. Miller is a psychologist recently retired from private practice in British Columbia, Canada. She has worked with survivors of ritual abuse and mind control since 1991. She has been a fellow of the ISST-D (International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation) since 2013. She is the 2017 Chair of the Ritual Abuse/Mind Control/Organized Abuse Special Interest Group of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. Her books include: Becoming Yourself: Overcoming Mind Control and Ritual Abuse (for survivors), Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control (for therapists), and (with Wendy Hoffman) From the Trenches: A Survivor and Therapist Talk about Mind Control and Ritual Abuse (in press).

Victims of organized abuse, in particular mind control and ritual abuse, frequently have deliberately designed personality systems with parts trained to maintain the security of the perpetrator group. Survivors' physical safety is endangered by parts trained to maintain ongoing contact with perpetrators. I shall discuss the different kinds of access training, with suggestions for preventing and avoiding ongoing access. Survivors are also endangered by parts trained to punish the person for forbidden behavior such as disclosures, so that telling secrets results in decompensation.  I shall talk about the structure of the organized personality system, internal hierarchies, the role of punisher parts and their bosses, and ways to prevent or stop symptoms such as emotional flooding, pain, and self-harm which result from punisher parts doing their jobs.

Upon completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize and understand the risk of ongoing or renewed contact with perpetrators for survivors of organized abuse.
  • Explain the structured hierarchical personality system and the role of internal bosses and punisher parts.
  • Identify the difference between spontaneous decompensation and symptoms resulting from internal punishment, and know how to minimize this punishment.

Session 3: The Complexities of IDENTIFYING Ritual Abuse and Mind Control in Your Client

1:30pm – 2:30pm   |   Presenter: Eileen Aveni, LCSW, LMSW, ACSW, BCD

Presenter Biography
Eileen Aveni, LCSW, LMSW, ACSW, BCD, holds a Diplomate in Clinical Social Work.  She is currently in private practice in Fairfax, Virginia, where she also does full-day & longer intensives and consultations for ritual abuse, mind control and organized abuse survivors and their therapists from around the US.  She also maintains a very active online practice which serves both Virginia and Michigan.  Eileen has been working with ritual abuse and mind control survivors for over 27 years.  She helped run a safe-house for ritual abuse survivors in SE Michigan for several years.  She ran an on-going therapy group for RAMCOA survivors for 8 years.  She worked on ritual abuse/sex trafficking legislation in Michigan and consulted for other state legislative teams.  Eileen is a local, national, and international speaker.  She has taught in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where she developed a graduate level internship and university internship course for the first Master’s level counseling degree in that nation.  She supervised the entire graduate program of counseling students in their placements, including several sex trafficking centers for survivors fleeing to Kuala Lumpur for safety from all over SE Asia, most of whom showed significant dissociative symptoms.  Eileen is the current Past Chair of the Ritual Abuse/Mind Control/Organized Abuse special interest group (RAMCOA-Sig), a division of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.  She is on the Board for Survivorship.org.  She is a member of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, the National Center for Crisis Management, and the American Association of Christian Counselors. 

Recognition of ritual abuse and mind control in survivors is complex, as they often present with clues that are not obvious to a clinician unfamiliar with this more complex and severe type of trauma.  This presentation will provide an overview of the clinical features and clues that ritual abuse and mind control may be present in the background of a client, despite apparently unrelated presenting problems.  Participants will be introduced to both government (Monarch/MkUltra) and cult mind control programming.  A brief understanding of how it can be misdiagnosed as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder will also be included.   

Upon completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • List at least five presentation clues that indicate a possible diagnosis of ritual abuse, mind control, or organized abuse.
  • Distinguish between the clinical presentation of Dissociative Identity Disorder as compared with someone with either Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder.
  • Describe some of the hallmark features of Monarch mind control.

Session 4: Working With Ritual Abuse Survivors: Patterns and Challenges

2:45pm – 3:45pm   |   Presenter: Lynette Danylchuk, PhD

Presenter Biography
Lynette Danylchuk, PhD, has recently finished her term as President of The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD). She has also been the Director of ISSTD’s Professional Training Program, and Co-chair of ISSTD’s Center for Advanced Studies in Trauma and Dissociation Certificate Program, the gold standard in trauma training for complex PTSD and dissociation. Under her leadership, the ISSTD Professional Training Program expanded to include a greater focus on Child and Adolescent courses, and an expansion of the program to South America and Spain as well as online. Lynette has worked in the trauma field since mid-80’s, focused mainly on people with complex trauma and dissociative diagnoses. She continues to do consultation and teaching where she sees a need, including a local graduate school, juvenile hall, or the county trauma-informed services conference. Lynette has given keynote speeches and workshops internationally.

There are several patterns and behaviors that are common in survivors of ritualized abuse, and these show up in therapy in ways that impact treatment and the therapeutic relationship.  Being able to identify those common themes helps both therapist and client see both the adaptive value in them, and how they need to change to allow the client to become self-empowered and free.  This workshop focuses on identifying those common patterns and behaviors, and how they need to evolve. 

Upon completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify at least three patterns common to ritual abuse survivors.
  • Identify how the ritual aspect of trauma intensifies the experience and adds to the difficulty of healing.
  • Identify the most common role reenactments that emerge in therapy.

Session 5: Organised Abuse in Adulthood: Towards a Cooperative Interagency Response

4:00pm – 5:00pm   |   Presenter: Michael Salter, PhD

Presenter Biography
Dr. Michael Salter is a senior lecturer in criminology at Western Sydney University, Australia. He is the author of the book Organised Sexual Abuse (Routledge, 2013) as well as numerous papers and book chapters on organised abuse, child abuse and violence against women. Dr Salter sits on the ISSTD Scientific Advisory Committee and is currently Chair Elect of the Ritual Abuse Mind Control and Organised Abuse Special Interest Group. He speaks nationally and internationally on the subject of organised abuse and sexual exploitation, and he is the lead investigator on the research project “Constructions of complex trauma and implications for women’s wellbeing and safety from violence.”

This session will present the findings of an Australian interview study with women disclosing organised abuse in adulthood and the mental health professionals who support them. Organised abuse refers to the sexual abuse of multiple children by multiple perpetrators acting in a coordinated way, and is reported by a significant minority of clients in dissociative disorder clinics. It is not unusual for adults disclosing organised abuse to indicate that abuse continued into adulthood, and may be ongoing at the time of treatment. This seminar draws from the experiences of professionals and clients in their efforts to understand, manage and end organised abuse in adulthood. Eschewing simple dichotomies of ‘real’ and ‘imagined’ abuse, the paper acknowledges that dissociative symptoms and traumatic attachments can be manipulated by perpetrators to coerce vulnerable people into organised abuse. The reflections of survivors and professionals suggest that the cooperation of multiple agencies can support the physical and psychological safety of the survivor (and their children), enhancing the efficacy of therapeutic work. However a lack of shared understanding and training amongst responding professionals and services can result in the premature dismissal of reports of adult organised abuse, the stigmatisation of victims, and retraumatising or potentially harmful interventions. The paper concludes with some thoughts on the implications of adult organised abuse for practice and policy.

Upon completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Recognise the dynamics of organised abuse in adulthood
  • Describe barriers to cooperative interagency responses to adult organised abuse
  • Identify useful strategies and opportunities to improve outcomes for adults experiencing organised abuse

Can't Make It?
If your schedule won't allow for you to attend, the each webinar session will be recorded and made available for purchase. The each session recording cost is $25 For ISSTD members and $45 for non-members. The webinar recordings can be accessed on the CE-Credit.com website or behind the Member's Corner for ISSTD members.  Exam fees for Continuing Education credits start at $10.46.

6 Continuing Education Credits (pending)

Continuing Education Sponsor:

CE Learning Systems is a co-sponsor of this event. Purchase of continuing education credits will be available at the end of the live webinar and is available to participants in the U.S. and Canada.

CE Learning Systems, (Provider #1020), is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of State Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education ACE program.  ASWB Approval Period: 02/23/2016 - 02/23/2019.  Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social workers participating in this course will receive continuing education clock hours. This course is pending approval for 1.5 credit hours.

ISSTD's Continuing Education Co-sponsor, CE Learning Systems, is approved by American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CE Learning Systems maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

ISST-D's Co-Sponsor, CE Learning Systems SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0060.

CE Learning Systems, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0072.

ISST-D's co-sponsor, CE Learning Systems (d/b/a CE-credit.com), is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed creative arts therapists. #CAT-0008.


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