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Webinars From Survivorship

October 16, 2009

Survivorship recently started having Webinars. Survivorship has many wonderful resources and I highly recommend it to those who are seeking to understand Ritual Abuse (RA) so that they can support a survivor they know and for survivors who need support.

Webinars are a wonderful way to attend a seminar in the safety and comfort of your own home. Many survivors are not yet ready to meet other survivors face to face. This allows them to “get together” without having in person contact. While it tends to be more affordable due to not having travel expenses, you do have to phone in, so long distance charges might be a factor for some.

In a Webinar, you are given a phone number in a registration email, along with a sign in number. When the time comes, you call the number and dial in your sign in number at the prompt. At that point, you are connected. If the presenter has already signed in, you are on the phone with them. If not, you are put on hold with music while you wait.

You are also given a link for the internet so that you can see the slides that the presenter is using. After you are on the phone, you go to the link and login with the number you were given in the registration email. At that point you are allowed to type in the name you wish to use in the seminar. You are not mandated to use your real name. That is a feature that helps many to feel safer and more comfortable.

Another nice thing is that the software also has a chat window. This is great for those who are uncomfortable with speaking out loud or who are still struggling to find their voice. Some presenters are OK with the chat window. Some are not. It depends upon the presenter. Sometimes, the chat window can be distracting.

Although I can type pretty fast, I preferred speaking. It is faster and more convenient for me, especially if I am struggling to find the right words to say. This is one reason that someone listening to the recording might find me fumbling a bit…looking for the words to say what I am trying to say. But saying it, for me, is powerful. I don’t often get a chance to talk about my experiences with others. Hearing my voice speaking things and having others listen and hear…and “get it”. Wow! I cannot really explain how empowering…how validating that is…especially when others are sharing their experiences.

When I read what others have written, even though the sharing may be intimately personal, I still lack the dimension of sight and sound. I cannot see their expression or hear their tone. All I have are written words on a page. Being able to hear someone’s voice is so much more personal…so much more real. So, being heard and hearing others are two things that, for me, are very empowering and validating.

Survivorship has held several Webinars now. I have been privileged to attend two. Their first, and my first, I wrote about here. It was done by Jeannie Riseman on the subject of flashbacks. Jeannie is a retired therapist who works a LOT with  Survivorship. As a member of Survivorship, I have had interactions with Jeannie. I have always been very impressed by her compassion and levelheadedness…unlike some other therapists I have interacted with online.

My second Webinar was on forgiveness. It was led by Bonnie Brazill-Davis of Speak Out Services. In the Webinar she told her story, giving a general overview of her abuse experiences. As she did so, she walked us through the different aha moments that she had that helped her to find the ability to forgive her abusers. I really appreciated being able to hear her voice over the phone as she shared. As I mentioned previously, that was very powerful in itself.

I hope to attend future Webinars and hope that others will, too.

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