Single Paper or Case Study

Calendar Abuse: The Impact of Anniversary on RA Survivors

Sunday, March 25
3:30 PM - 3:50 PM
Location: Wilson

Calendar Abuse


In 1994 I used the term “calendar abuse” to try and categorize the traumatic responses I identified in patients or heard on help-line calls on specific dates in the calendar that had mainstream and occult meaning.  Clinically, as a UK National Health Service psychoanalytic psychotherapist I was bewildered to discover that many of the most frightened calls I received were at Halloween (October 31st), Christmas, Easter,  full moons, solstices and equinoxes. Although the individuals, children and adults that I worked with came from all over the UK and from different backgrounds and levels of intellectual capacity, they shared a certain similar kind of terror. I began to investigate the historic meaning of these dates to discover their religious and psychological meaning. When vulnerable children and adults associate traumatic experiences with particular dates, either through perceived deliberate intent or not , a negative link has been set in motion that might last for years.  Recognising and identifying the dates can be a step in aiding the client to loosen toxic ties. It was possible for fear to be lessened by anticipating the impact of the date,



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Valerie E. Sinason

Clinic for Dissociative Studies
London, England

Valerie Sinason is a poet, writer, child and adult psychotherapist and adult psychoanalyst. She was a Consultant Psychotherapist at both the Tavistock Clinic and St Georges Hospital in the UK pioneering work in intellectual disability, sexual abuse and trauma. She was President of the Institute for Psychotherapy and Disability and one of its founders. She has lectured nationally and internationally and is an Hon Consultant Psychotherapist at the University of Cape Town Child Guidance Clinc and was made an Honorary member of POMS in Sweden. She was given a lifetime achievement award by the ISSTD in 2015. She founded the Clinic foe Dissociative Studies in 1998 and retired clinically in December 2016. She has published over 150 papers and 15 books, largely on disability and abuse and dissociation. "Attachment Trauma and Dissociation" and "Trauma, Dissociation and Multiplicity" were her two most recent edited books for Karnac and "Shattered but Unbroken" with Amelia Van Der Merwe and "Holistic Living with DID" with Patricia Frankish (Karnac) are the most recent. She received the lifetime achievement award from the ISSTD in 2018


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Calendar Abuse: The Impact of Anniversary on RA Survivors

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