Ivory Garden Nonprofit Dissociation Financial Data Analysis
What are we doing?
Ivory Garden Nonprofit Organization is dedicated to providing resources, education, communities (forums, and live chat rooms), and support for survivors of childhood trauma, those who support survivors of childhood trauma – including family, friends, mental health professionals, educators, and other interested parties. Through these activities, Ivory Garden strives to support and raise public and professional awareness of childhood trauma and its affects on survivors and their supporters through education, support forums, and annual international conferences.
- Trauma and Dissociation Conferences:
These conferences are possible because of public funding including sponsor donations, attendance donations for registration, folks volunteering, cash donations, in-kind donations for services, donations for exhibits, volunteers, speakers’ volunteering their time and expertise, and contribution to our store. Last year, we raised about $14,000. We thank all who were responsible for making last years’ conference a success.
This years’ conference is off to a great start:
First, the conference is being held as a fundraiser to benefit the TOP DD Study.
The 2015 Trauma and Dissociation Conference is a unique three full-day event of plenaries, workshops, and live entertainment presented by world renowned experts in the field of trauma related disorders. We feel strongly that the conference is essential to fulfilling our purpose as a nonprofit corporation:
Trauma and dissociation has been scientifically researched for centuries, yet the results are rarely taught to psychology students and/or in social work programs. Rather most are taught that dissociative disorders are ‘rare’ or nonexistent despite that the DSM includes Dissociative Identity Disorder as a valid diagnosis. This notion began during the 90’s when public opinion was influenced by groups such as the FMSF that coined such terms as ‘false memory syndrome’ (which has never been scientifically proved) in order to protect perpetrators during court trials. That was then, but times have changed now. Ground-breaking research in the area of trauma and dissociation has proved that dissociative disorders are not only valid, but also common – effecting at least 10% of the population. We can no longer afford to skirt around such invaluable information as will be presented at this conference.
Ivory Garden’s mission is to make available scientific research, clinical interventions, educational material, and support to mental health professionals, trauma prevalors, educators, and supporters. Our purpose is to provide mental health professionals unique chance to learn from experts in order to appropriately diagnose and treat dissociative clients. Fulfilling our purpose requires a collaborated effort by all folks to step out of the box of stigma and into the world of truth where child abuse is real, dissociative identity disorder is a valid diagnosis (as has been proved by scientific evidence) and access to clinicians qualified to treat or even recognize dissociative disorders is sadly inadequate.
We are a small organization with an important purpose. Funds for this conference are publicly donated, the speakers volunteer their time, and only a few of us plan and organize the event – because all involved care. It is our passion to bring solace and respect through education and appropriate care to those silenced and mistreated as children. Dissociative clients who are misdiagnosed with such conditions as Borderline Personality Disorder (a common mistake) are subjected to inappropriate interventions and medications which often lead to further complications such as self-injury and suicide – leaving confused clinicians scratching their head wondering what happened.
We have found that survivors of childhood trauma who are educated and knowledgeable in the area of trauma and dissociation better understand their own symptoms. They feel empowered and are less likely to fall victim to skepticism and misdiagnosis within the current mental health system. Clients tend to trust providers to diagnose them appropriately, but in the case of dissociative disorders, it is imperative that they be their own advocates. Therefore, we encourage anyone interested to attend this conference and learn what the experts have gleaned from decades of research and experience in the field. The TOPP DD Studies are influential in carrying out our purpose long after the conference ends.
- Promoting public awareness about the affects of child abuse:
Promoting public awareness is an important aspect of our vision. Ivory Garden thanks all who have taken on the task of promoting public awareness internationally. Most of this work is done by Ivory Garden members and other folks going out into their area and publicly speaking, educating clinicians, promoting our support forum to survivors of child abuse and clinicians, and generally sharing their experiences gained through interacting with other Ivory Garden members and experts who have provided their services.
Ivory Garden provides resources, support, education, webinars, and workshops for survivors of trauma who have dissociative disorders as well as online forums. The survivors learn about trauma and dissociation and are in the public arena sharing through public speaking, creating Ivory Garden groups internationally. The International 2014 Trauma and Dissociation Conference provided education and information to attendees who then, shared with others and created an interest in others wanting to learn more.
- Ivory Garden California Group – ‘Creative Progress’:
This group is funded by public donations also. The cost is very low – about $400 a year for venues.
This is a branch of Ivory Garden that meets in person. The group is peer-led and not under any licensed clinician. The group has 17 total members with 8 regular members. The group is currently meeting twice a week. One meeting is exclusively for those with DID and the other meeting is for trauma survivors in which those with DID can attend also but the focus is on healing trauma. For some ladies in the group its the first time they have felt safe enough to talk about what they are going through.
We meet in Modesto, Ca and do creative healing activities such as hand painting T-shirts, painting on canvas, collaging, scrap-booking, and mandalas..etc. The group is reading and discussing the book Coping with Trauma Related Dissociation by Suzette Boon, Kathy Steele, Onno Van Der Hart. We also put on educational workshops and hope to one day do a full conference.
- Ivory Garden Online Support Forums, chats, webinars, workshops, websites, and resources:
These are all run by volunteers who receive no other benefit other than sharing the visions and mission of Ivory Garden so that others may benefit. Several folks work up to 15 hours everyday to make sure that all are up and running. These activities are funded by public donations – mainly member subscriptions. The costs are minimal – about $2,500. a year.
- Operating Expenses:
These include all expenses besides what has been mention including: taxes, printing, office supplies, postage, attorney fees, insurance, and other miscellaneous expenses. They are funded by public donations or in-kind services.
How Are We Doing?
Comprehensive Data Analysis
Ivory Garden Mission Statement:
Ivory Garden strives to provide support to survivors of early childhood trauma and those who support them, as well as raising public and professional awareness of the effects of childhood trauma:
1). Provide international forums, and chat rooms where folks who live with the effects of childhood trauma, as well as families, friends, mental health professionals, educators and other supporters can meet, share experiences, and find valid resources in safe and respectful environments.
Since 208, Ivory Garden online support forums and chat rooms have run successfully with approximately 2,000 members, mostly survivors of early child abuse participating. We strive to the best we can for each and every member who participate making changes and updating as needed.
Of those surveyed in the past year:
- 82% of survivors reported that the forums and chat rooms provided for them an environment where they were able to express safely.
- 90% of survivors reported that they were provided with adequate and valid resources on the topic of Dissociative Disorders.
- 100% of survivors reported that they felt less alone and met peers who understood them.
Other comments from long and short-term members included:
- While on the forums, they practiced psychological healing, personal growth, and independence with validating peers. This saved their lives – ‘many times’.
- When they needed it, they were provided with helpful resources – hospital and therapist resources where they could get help.
- They felt that the forums and chats were operated with the focus of providing an environment of safety for everyone. They trusted that when problems happened, appropriate and fair action would be taken.
- Their therapists supported them being a part of the forums.
- Mostly, all surveyed mentioned that participating in the forums and chats had changed their lives by creating in them a sense of ‘belonging’, feeling ‘capable’ and independent, and feeling validated and significant.
*Though forums and chat rooms have recently been made available to supporters and clinicians, they have not been utilized enough to collect data.
*The data provides information that we are succeeding in this area of our mission.
2). Provide educational materials and opportunities to survivors of childhood trauma in order to further understand and promote healing.
3) Provide educational opportunities to those who support survivors of childhood trauma including: family, friends, mental health professionals, educators, and other interested parties.
I am going to put both of these together.
- 100% of those surveyed this past year agreed that the resources, articles, workshops, and webinars as well as discussion on forums and in chat were appropriate, valid, and educational. It was also agreed that it would be nice if we had ‘more’ webinars and workshops available on the forums and in chat. They agreed that the education they have received on the forums has helped in promoting their healing
- 100% of those surveyed agreed that those who spoke at the conference last year were not only amazing, but experts in the field of trauma and dissociation.
- 100% of those surveyed agreed that the conference was educational and did promote healing for survivors – and, clinicians agreed they would use the information in their practice.
- 100% of survivors agreed that what they gained from going to the conference was helpful when sharing with clinicians that who did not go.
- 100% of supporters agreed that the educational information they learned was helpful in them understanding their loved ones.
- 100% of those surveyed agreed that the conference would be valuable for anyone who worked in the area of trauma and dissociation and especially for survivors of early childhood abuse.
- 65% of those surveyed had input of topics they would like to hear for this upcoming conference.
- 82% of those surveyed felt that though they felt comfortable during the conference, they would have liked to have more time together to meet each other and discuss the day.
Other comments for survivors surveyed: They left the conference feeling that they had met mental health professionals who not only cared about them, but also understand and validated them. They left feeling like they ‘belonged’, were creative, capable, independent, credible, and accepted by others. Many have since been out in the community to speak publicly, create new groups, and promote public awareness about trauma and dissociation.
* Last years’ conference was not perfect, but our goal was more than met. We have more volunteers this year to help things run a bit smoother. We are providing lunch on Friday and Saturday so the attendees have more time to meet each other and interact – based on the input received.
Conclusion: Based on the data that we have thus far gathered, our goals were met last year. It was an amazingly productive year for Ivory Garden, and we are extremely grateful for every person who helped make it possible. We are a small corporation with only a couple of people working on planning the conference with very little funding. We expect that each year we will be able to give more to those who need help. Through all of our endeavors, we are also working toward public awareness. It is important that the public is educated about early childhood trauma and its affects on people. We are not able to do much more without funding from the public. Ivory Garden members are thrilled with our progress and work to move forward with our mission statement and goals.
Again, a big thank you to all who care and support our endeavors.
If you have questions or input, you are welcome to email me.
Pat Goodwin, MA, President, Ivory Garden
You may mail donations to:
Donations can be mailed to:
1802 A Street SE, Suite 166
Auburn, WA 98002