COMMUNICATIONS ISSUES Communication issues come in all shapes and sizes. The first
that must be dealt with, and which will never fade away, are the issues between the victim and their therapist. The victim and therapist do not start this marathon to communicate at the starting point. They must work hard just to get to where most people begin. This is because the victim has been betrayed by every important person in their life. Trust is the foundation for communication, and before the therapist can establish a shaky trust in the victim’s mind, little deep communication will occur. The victim must establish internal communication lines. This is equivalent to trying to get a city of people to all like and talk to each other. The answers to how a multiple can communicate with so many diverse people should be used to help society at large. The same answers that multiples have been discovering for their internal work, could help society at large. Along with developing better internal communication is the task of developing common goals and learning how to control a system’s internal switching. Common goals and control over one’s switching are major positive steps. Initially, an alter system will not have these. To develop cooperation in switching will also relieve some of the tension that comes from alters competing for the body. The next area of communication problems is in the area of what alters present themselves when the therapist wants to work, and which alters does the therapist work with. The temptation is to get rid of troublemaking alters, but sometimes the troublemaking alters are the ones the therapists really needs to work with. The standard hour-long therapeutic session does not promote communication with an alter session. Traditionally, alters will appear as the session is closing, perhaps subconsciously hoping that their important appearance will force the therapist to extend the therapy time. Many therapists stick to their time schedules, and simply advise the alter to appear at the next session. Many opportunities to develop lines of communication are lost due to the limitations of the traditional one hour session. Many alters only show up at special occasions, so a support person who is around the system for long periods of time is in a strategic position to really facilitate some good communication developing. The programmed multiple’s system will almost overwhelm the therapist when they find out that they have a listening ear. The therapist will have an entire city of people wanting to give their opinions and to voice their concerns. The needs of the alter system are so great, that it is no wonder that many therapists have terminated their clients because they feel overwhelmed at the system’s need to be heard. What is breaking is a dam that has held back in silence decades of severe abuse. In the best interest of the overwhelmed therapist and the overwhelmed victim, we suggest support teams deal with programmed multiples, because the issues really demand that much help.