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A compelling true story of one woman’s battle with the aftermath of childhood trauma, which gives a gripping account of the often controversial and misunderstood condition of dissociative identity disorder (DID), formerly known as multiple personality disorder. This emotional but ultimately uplifting journey details the unforeseen twists and turns of the effects of therapy and how it can help in coming to terms with the past and its unsettling echoes in the present. Heartwarming and lucid, it’s an inspiring tale for all to read.
Through its clinical rigour, professional therapists will also gain insight into the various treatment options for DID, including the innovative use of energy therapy. The book contains 32 colour illustrations, including 24 drawings by The Girls.
Scroll down to watch her engaging video about the book or visit her website for more insights into The Girls Within and dissociative identity disorder.
Paperback, e-Book, Print & e-Book
Psychoanalytic Theory, Psychotherapy, Trauma & Abuse
Praise for The Girls Within
‘The tough subject is handled with extraordinary compassion, and written in a compellingly clear, warm style that will engage laypeople and psychotherapy professionals alike. …
The twelve-year connection between patient and therapist recounted here is a complex, looping, juddering rollercoaster ride; a journey readers will feel deeply invested in, and much compassion for.’
Joanne Owen, LoveReading.co.uk
The star of this book is an extraordinary, bright-spirited, and entertaining six-year-old girl, called Little Vivvi, who experienced shocking abuse from members of her family. Yet Little Vivvi lives within Vivian, a middle-aged woman who has struggled with DID for many years. The challenging process of psychotherapy is laid bare, as Little Vivvi wrestles with overwhelming memories of childhood abuse. Alongside talking therapy, energy treatment, which she calls Wooshing, is utilised to astonishing effect, becoming the enigmatic ingredient that finally enables Little Vivvi to find relief from the distress and fear that had dominated her existence.
As therapy seems to draw to a close, Izzy appears. A very sensitive, thoughtful and mature eight-year-old, Izzy too needs love, support and treatment to speak about her trauma. After overcoming her understandable distrust, Izzy enables an exceptional ending to the therapeutic journey, far beyond anything Vivian and her therapist, Gill, could have dreamed.
Little Vivvi and Izzy will make you want to laugh out loud as well as cry. Their story teaches so much about suffering, dissociation and survival. Their aim is to enlighten, inspire and offer hope to others through reading their incredible tales, which reveal the astonishing power of The Girls within.
Gill Frost started her career as a teacher and went on to be a counsellor and psychotherapist for 35 years. Her first therapeutic training and work experience was with RELATE, where she worked mainly as a couples counsellor for 10 years. It was at this point that Gill decided to study for a masters degree in psychodynamic counselling, at the University of Birmingham, in order to work at greater depth with individuals.
Gill’s degree opened up opportunities for her to work as a student counsellor and trainer at Warwick and Coventry Universities for several years. It also enabled her to return to the University of Birmingham as a clinical tutor and lecturer, on the same course where she had been a student.
It was over 20 years ago that Gill set up in private practice. During this time she worked with a growing number of clients who presented with childhood trauma and abuse. As a result, she became increasingly interested in dissociative disorders, including dissociative identity disorder (DID).
Gill benefitted greatly from workshops and seminars provided by individuals such as Valerie Sinason, Suzette Boon, and Carolyn Spring, who are experts in the field of DID. Additionally, Gill undertook training in an energy psychotherapy called advanced integrative therapy (AIT), becoming an accredited AIT therapist. Later, she also completed Level 1 of the internal family systems (IFS) training. Collectively, these experiences gave her the understanding and necessary skills to work more effectively with clients who were traumatised by early abuse. It also enabled Gill to write her book, The Girls Within.
Introduction: Distant memories – devastated lives
Part I: The comings and goings of Little Vivvi
1. First meeting
2. New room
3. Trauma treatment
4. Telephone talks
5. Greek tragedy
6. The aftermath
7. The problem with being a girl
8. Dark nights
9. Christmas 2013
10. Cabin fever
11. Preparing ground
12. Breaking news
13. The fallout
14. The three faces of Vivian
15. Just Angry
16. New boundaries
17. Increasing integration
18. The book
19. An exorcism
20. The fear of being alone
21. Role reversal
22. Mothers and daughters
23. Team work
24. Talk! Talk!
Part II: And then there was Izzy
25. Black shadows of the night
26. Striking a deal
27. Out of hiding
28. Belief after betrayal
29. Poor Baby
30. A slipped disc
31. Internal family systems
32. The joy of being inside out
33. Night terrors
34. A burning rage
35. Down to the wire
36. Beyond the chequered flag
Epilogue by Vivian
The last word from Little Vivvi
About the author
FIRING THE MIND MEMBERS