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Abuse by Proxy and Instructor Bias

Not all abuse of persons with dissociative disorders is direct. Neglect is a form of abuse, and can be passed on to plural persons by proxy through educators, academic community leadership, clinical supervisory staff, continuing education trainers, and occurs in addition to direct lack of sufficient training.

There is very strong bias across the industry, even within the organizations that are set up to inform people about dissociative disorders and perform continuing education for therapists interested in dissociative disorders (DDs).

These issues can happen directly regarding DID, any related disorders, subjective experiences of the client population, cultural aspects of DID or plurality (like fictives which is simply introjects inspired by fictional sources — introject is the industry term, we didn't make up or invent "introjects" — we just talk about nuances from a lived experience angle). Often these issues also come up regarding folks in the community who have chosen to help educate their peers and post videos or support groups for helping people get support and figure out what's going on in their life.

  • Materials regarding DID and/or dissociative disorders may be repressed or not presented at all in academic settings or training programs by biased instructors and trainers, thus leading to under-informed professionals.
  • Supervisors and institutions (by way of written or unwritten policy) may repress this information as well. They direct their staff not to cover it whether or not the instructor is willing to educate their students about dissociative disorders.
  • Instructors may deliver materials about dissociative disorders with their biases against it, thus teaching bias to their student population against scientific evidence. So snide offhand comments, derision, eye-rolling, and various direct aggressions & micro-aggressions along with the topic teach bias to the student base. Comments such as never having seen a "True" case, derisively mentioning industry debate on the topic (which actively constitutes continuing said debate), and so on.
  • Biased supervisors may pressure case workers, peer support specialists, nurses, and other staff in contact with people with DDs to be neglectful in their care of persons with dissociative disorders (saying they're faking it, they're not to spend so much time with them, giving orders contradictory to proper care for a trauma client, etc.)
  • Outdated materials, theories, studies, models, and treatment modalities may be disseminated to students as opposed to the latest information and evidence-based practices.
  • Bias-confirming films, video clips, news stories, and media images may be distributed or required by instructors. They may encourage dismissal of social media representations of the disorder intended to be disseminated as grassroots peer support through the community. They may armchair diagnose or fake-claim people who are not their own clients.
  • Equal time or more time may be given to the critiques and biases against dissociative disorders than to the considerable body of evidence that supports their existence.
  • Bias may cause professionals, clinical supervisors, etc. to push persons with DDs out of therapy or out of a care environment, whether because they're thought to be faking it, malingering, or because their trauma is "too much" for the setting to handle.
  • This entire list can be repeated for victims of SRA/RA and other and specific subsets of the community, such as comorbidities, or various expressions of plurality, creating even more bias against additional experiences (and whether they are true) and interfere with professionals delivering the level of assistance a client requires.
  • Nearly all training programs deliberately eliminate the peer population from participating. Whether it's degree programs, training programs, continuing education, industry conferences, etc. they all violate "Nothing About Us Without Us." These classes/trainings/environments happen without the ability for someone with the disorder to speak up and say "Actually, no, this is how it works." or "Well, the subjective experience is like this." These echo chambers are generally not open to the actual experience, peer representation, or even student objection. Sometimes even non-peer professional students who object to the bias, misrepresentation, outdatedness, derision, fake-claiming, etc. are eliminated from the environment.

These biases and complete educational/informational blackouts can be passed along in degree programs, trauma trainings, certification programs, continuing education programs, and more — or found in any clinical or supportive environment. It can easily become self-perpetuating and create a causation chain of bias and oppression, and much poorer outcomes & service delivery for clients.

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