Kathy Steele MN CS

CV

Registered Professional Nurse License RN064448

Education

  • MN | Emory University | Atlanta, GA | 1983
  • BSN | University of South Carolina | Columbia, SC | 1978
kathy-steele-300x300

Job Titles & Positions

  • Metropolitan Psychotherapy Associates | 1988 - Present
  • Editorial Board | Journal of Trauma and Dissociation | ISSTD | 2008 - Present
  • Adjunct Faculty | Emory University, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing | Atlanta, Georgia | 2014 - Present
  • Core faculty | International Congress on Trauma and Attachment | 2014 - Present
  • Editorial Board | Frontiers in Psychotherapy of Trauma and Dissociation | ISSTD
  • Member | Complex PTSD Treatment Guidelines Task Force - a joint project of ISSTD and Division 56 | American Psychological Association | 2010 - 2018
  • Clinical Consultant | Crime and Trauma Assistance Program | Mt. Carmel Health | Columbus, Ohio | 2015 - 2018
  • Clinical Director | Metropolitan Counseling Services | 1995 - 2016
  • Member | DSM-V Task Force on Dissociative Disorders | ISSTD | 2008 - 2013
  • Member | Task Force for Adult Treatment Guidelines for Dissociative Disorders, Revised and Updated | ISSTD | 2009 - 2011
  • President | ISSTD | 2008 - 2009
  • Editor | Publications of Interest Column, Dissociation Newsletter | ISSTD | 2001 - 2008
  • Board Member | Committee membership includes Calendars (Chair), Finance, Organizational Liaisons, and Certification Task Force | International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies | 2001 - 2007
  • Editorial Board | Journal of Psychological Trauma | 2000 - 2005
  • Program Chair | 2002 Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation | Baltimore, MD. | 2001 - 2002
  • Clinical Consultant and Trainer | Survivor Programs of the Georgia Council on Child Abuse, Inc. | Atlanta, Georgia | 1988 - 2000
  • Board Member | ISSTD | 1997 - 2000
  • Fellow | ISSTD | 1997
  • Clinical Director | Posttraumatic Stress and Dissociative Disorders Program | CPC Parkwood Hospital | Atlanta, Georgia | 1991 - 1995
  • Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist | Grady Memorial Hospital | Atlanta, Georgia | 1985 - 1987

Awards

 Publications

Training, Workshops, Seminars

Overview

Kathy Steele is a psychotherapist, consultant, educator, and author in the field of trauma and dissociation, with a private practice in Atlanta, Georgia.

We can see that in her earlier authored works, she is quite open to speaking about organized ritualistic abuse and mind control. For example, in her article Sitting with the Shattered Soul from 1988, she wrote:

I'm not referring to 'simple' battery, incest, and neglect. I'm referring to what is now being called 'creative' abuse, creative in the euphemistic sense of being exceptionally sadistic, bizarre, horrendous; sometimes ritualistic, organized, and pre-planned. Survivors recount experiences of being buried alive, physically tortured in unimaginable ways, sexually mutilated and abused, bound and gagged, starved, force-fed (sometimes even involving cannibalism), sleep-deprived, systematically degraded and humiliated, drugged, brainwashed, left alone in utter darkness.

She also co-authored Guidelines for Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder in Adults, Third Revision in 2011 with many other well recognized conspiracy therapists. On page 55, Organized Abuse gets its own section, with the intro as follows:

A substantial minority of DID patients report sadistic, exploitive, and coercive abuse at the hands of organized groups. This type of organized abuse victimizes individuals through extreme control of their environments in childhood and frequently involves multiple perpetrators. It may be organized around the activities of pedophile networks, child pornography or child prostitution rings, various “religious” groups or cults, multigenerational family systems, and human trafficking/prostitution networks. Organized abuse frequently incorporates activities that are sexually perverse, horrifying, and sadistic and may involve coercing the child into witnessing or participating in the abuse of others. Because adequate parental care and nurturing is often protective against involvement in organized abuse, individuals brought up in orphanages or related institutions may be particularly vulnerable to repetitive abuse from multiple perpetrators.”

In Steele’s writings, you will find her using interesting vocabulary, such as “synthesizing” when referring to integrating traumatic memories and personalities. We can also discern from her writing that she does a lot of hypnotic memory work with her patients. For example, in her article The treatment of traumatic memories: Synthesis, realization, and integration on page 12, Steele writes “At the beginning of the synthesis session, the patient is guided into a state of intense concentration (i.e., hypnosis). Those alters who are required to synthesize their respective parts of the traumatic memory are brought forward, and others permitted to attend are also invited. By contrast, those who should withdraw are instructed to go to their safe places behind the pre-established protective barrier.” It is also troubling to see that Steele writes about altering memories using hypnosis on page 13 of the same article: “Sometimes realization of a traumatic event requires making the original trauma more acceptable (Janet, 1935). This can be done in two principal ways: either by changing the content of the traumatic memory itself, or by altering aspects of the already transformed narrative recall.

The first approach is called the substitution technique, and was originally developed by Janet (1889, 1898; cf. Van der Hart, Brown, & Van der Kolk, 1989; Van der Hart, Brown, & Turco, 1990). In it he suggested a completely different course to the original traumatic event. Thus, with his patient Marie, for whom the unanticipated first menstruation had been traumatic, he used hypnosis to regress her before it and gave her appropriate preparatory instruction. He then suggested that she would now "remember" her first menstruation as having occurred in a normal and painless way.”

In Her Own Words

Treating Trauma-Related Dissociation: A Practical, Integrated Approach

Understand the Role of Hypnosis, Trance, and Trance Logic in Dissociative Parts

“Dissociative patients are more often in trance than not, so the therapist who is trained in hypnosis can make use of trance to further integrative work (e.g. D. Brown & Fromm, 1986; Fine 1993, 1999; ISSTD, 2011; Janet, 1898/1911; Kluft, 1982, 1983, 1985b, 1988a, 1989, 1990a, 1990b, 1992a, 1992b, 1994b, 1996a, 2001, 2013; Phillips & Frederick, 1995; Spiegel, 1990; Van der Hart, 1991).However, the therapist must also help the patient to get out of trance and live in the present as much as possible (Kluft, 2013). Therapists are encouraged to learn clinical hypnosis, as they will have a much greater understanding of the phenomenon of hypnosis in dissociative patients and will gain many effective tools. Many of the case examples in this book include hypnotic language by the therapist.

There are some caveats regarding the use of hypnosis with trauma survivors in general, particularly around recovering dissociative memories (e.g. Allen, 2001; D. Brown et al., 1998; ISSTD, 2011; Kluft, 1996b). Trance can enhance emotional intensity and blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality. Thus, the veracity of memories recalled under hypnosis have been called into question. However, there are examples of both accurate and false memories retrieved with these techniques. All memory is a representation, not an exact reconstruction of events, whether it is recalled under hypnosis or not. And as Allen has noted, "an individual with a complex history of childhood maltreatment has memories spanning all levels of accuracy" (2001, p. 134). It is not the modality of hypnosis itself that is problematic in the treatment of dissociative disorders but rather its application by those who have insufficient understanding of the nature of memory, trance phenomena, and suggestibility (ISSTD, 2011). In the hands of a careful and well-trained therapist, hypnosis is a wonderful and powerful adjunct in the treatment of dissociative disorders, and often underappreciated.”

 

The treatment of traumatic memories: Synthesis, realization, and integration

 A Phase Model for the Treatment of Traumatic Memories 

Stage 1: Preparation

Page 6

“In addition, in working with victims of childhood trauma and with dissociative disorders, the following strategies should be employed: (1) identification of alters and their respective conflicts; (2) development of a reasonable degree of internal communication and cooperation among alters; (3)containment of traumatic intrusion phenomena; (4) development of ego strength in the host personality, as well as in the various alters; and (5) development of self-care capacities, i.e., capacities to tolerate affects, to self-soothe, to tolerate aloneness, and to regulate self-loathing (McCann & Pearlman, 1990); and (6) the introduction and use of hypnosis. The latter is for the purpose of enabling the patient to develop control over dissociation, for containment and affect modulation, for creation of a safe psychological space, internal communication, symptom relief and/or substitution, and for management of other dissociative crises.

There are two important caveats regarding the application of hypnosis: (1) It must be implemented within the context of well-conducted psychotherapy and therefore should be used only by therapists with specialized training; and (2) particularly in the later phase of treatment, care should be taken to prevent the defensive use of trance to avoid painful issues.

During the earlier synthesis phase, however, hypnosis is particularly useful. Once treatment of traumatic memories has been initiated, the stage is set to prepare for the synthesis and realization/integration of traumatic memories. The preparation phase addresses: (1) safety factors; (2) issues of controlling or containing reactivated traumatic memories; (3) exploration of traumatic memories; (4) correcting cognitive errors and distortions; and (5) careful explanation and planning of synthesis sessions (Steele & Colrain, 1990).”

 

Controlling or containing reactivated traumatic memories

Page 7

“Traumatic memories do not usually emerge in a planned or controlled manner. They are often triggered by a reactivating stimulus. When the timing is not right for their synthesis, either in the overall course of treatment, or because the particular therapeutic session is too far advanced, these re-experiencing phenomena should be controlled or contained using any of the following techniques either alone or, still better, in combination: (1) identifying the reactivating stimulus and, when indicated, relating it to the original trauma; (2) removing the reactivating stimulus; (3) neutralizing the reactivating stimulus (involves teaching the patient to regard the trigger as belonging to two different contexts, the present neutral one and the past traumatic one, and helping the patient realize that the object itself holds no emotional charge); (4) promoting and emphasizing the safe present; (5) suggesting temporary amnesia for, or creating more mental distance from, the traumatic memory [for example, hypnotic interventions such as the movie screen technique, the use of adult observers, and the use of affective regulation techniques as described by Fine (1991) and Kluft (1989)]; (6) cue conditioning to help the patient return to the safe present (the patient can be trained to respond to a certain cue in returning to the present if he or she should get lost whilst reliving a traumatic memory); (7) screening traumatized alter personalities from the outside world; (8) introducing a co- or deputy therapist; and (9) medication and hospitalization as crisis intervention (Van der Hart & Friedman, 1992; Van der Hart et al., 1992).”

Correcting Cognitive Distortions

Page 9

“Thus, in a case of sadistic sexual abuse by the father, a female patient's "father-alter" had first to acknowledge that this was the part other personality which, by identifying with the abuser, had helped her to survive the trauma”

Stage 2: Synthesis

Page 10

“A century ago Delboeuf formulated this reactivation as follows: Using hypnosis the therapist "puts the subject back into the state in which his trouble manifested itself, and combats the same trouble with spoken words, but in a state of rebirth" (1889, p. 71; cf. Macmillan, 1991, p. 82).”

“While (re) experiencing the trauma, the patient enters an altered state of consciousness, and loses the sense of chronological time.”

Serial Synthesis

Page 11

“Sometimes the whole process must be repeated a number of times, so that all alters involved in the original traumatic event can make their respective contribution.”

Time distortions in dissociative identity disorder: Janetian concepts and techniques

“When a patient is re-experiencing a traumatic memory, it may be useful to hypnotically progress the time from the beginning of the memory, to the middle, to the end, and then ask the patient to move completely into the present.”

Phase-Oriented Treatment of Structural Dissociation in Complex Traumatization: Overcoming Trauma-Related Phobias

“Parts of the personality generally make a gradual move toward fusion with each other, becoming less distinct and autonomous as empathy, sharing, and more cooperative in daily life increases. There are several pathways to fusion following this gradual process: formal, planned fusion rituals, with or without hypnosis; spontaneous fusions immediately following synthesis; spontaneous fusions that occur outside of therapy; or gradual blendings of parts that become fusions naturalistically over time (e.g., Kluft, 1993b). Therapeutic work needs to continue to support these integrative steps, which may be disrupted by crises or the emergence of new traumatic memories.”

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube