Ivory Garden Programs
Ivory Garden Programs
Within the Ivory Garden mission and objectives as a nonprofit, charitable organization are several programs and events.
Ivory Garden's mission and objectives are as follows:
Ivory Garden is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization which provides programs and resources that support survivors and those who support survivors of childhood trauma, as well as raising public and professional awareness of the effects of childhood trauma:
1). Provide international forums, and chat rooms where folks who live with the effects of childhood trauma, as well as families, friends, mental health professionals, educators and other supporters can meet, share experiences, and find valid resources in safe and respectful environments.
2). Provide educational materials and opportunities to survivors of childhood trauma in order to further understand and promote healing.
3) Provide educational opportunities to those who support survivors of childhood trauma including: family, friends, mental health professionals, educators, and other interested parties.
4). Provide other needed services in support of the Mission, as determined by the Board of Directors of Ivory Garden.
The programs that have been designated based on the mission and objectives are as follows:
Ivory Garden Programs:
Trauma Survivor Peer Support Program
A private online support group for folks who have experienced childhood trauma and struggle with dissociative disorder - a safe community where survivors can discuss, learn, support each other, and chat.
This program allows for guest speakers to present workshops and presentations via the internet. All trauma survivors, professionals, and supporters are invited.
"Ivory Garden Hosts" Workshop Program
Online and live workshops geared for survivors of trauma, professionals, and supporters are presented by experts in their field. CEU's with certificates are made available through the NASW by Ivory Garden.
Trauma and Dissociation Event Hosting Program
Ivory Garden provides hosting for international, annual, educational fundraising events as well as smaller community events which fall within the mission and objectives of Ivory Garden as a nonprofit corporation. Presenters are carefully selected as highly qualified and able to relate to survivors, professionals, and supporters. CEU's with certificates are always available through the NASW provided by Ivory Garden.
Event Scholarship Program
Ivory Garden provides scholarships for attendance at hosted events based on financial need. This program benefits those who would otherwise be unable to attend. Scholarships are provided for all qualifying attendees including presenters based on need and available funds of this program.
Event Lodging/Travel Program
Because events are international, attendees and guest speakers travel from all over the world. We understand that travel and lodging expenses can be such that many are simply unable to attend. Our 'Lodging Program' is designed to provide guest rooms for speakers and attendees. Ivory Garden 'Event Travel Program' provides travel expenses for attendees. Both programs are dependent on donations and budget as well as the needs of individual grantees.
About Our Programs:
These programs are based on needs expressed by survivors of abuse, professionals who work with those who have experienced trauma, and other supporters who want to learn more about trauma related issues and trauma-informed-care. Through research and feedback, we know that hosted fundraisers, where experts on trauma and dissociation present, are the most beneficial avenue to educating diverse audiences. The interaction between all attendees creates an environment that removes the stigma of what can be termed 'mental illness'. Each attendee leaves the events with a new perspective which is shared with peers nationwide. Survivors learn that they are intelligent, significant, and understood by others. Professionals take away with them new and current research and models that they can use in their practice. Supporters learn to better understand how trauma affects survivors.
Online workshops, support forums, and webinars are important and beneficial and for that reason, we also provide them. They are more limited, because the personal interaction is simply nil. One person is delegating the hows and whys' things should be done. Ivory Garden is in the process of doing a workshop now that teaches coping skills. The attendance is about 20 people at the most.
Because Ivory Garden advocates for both professionals and survivors, we have been able to analyzed the effectiveness of online educational workshops/training programs that teach trauma-informed-care and/or therapeutic methods of treating and diagnosing survivor-clients with dissociative disorders. What we often hear from survivors is, "The people doing the training don't understand anything about trauma or how to treat it. They don't understand us." What we hear from professionals is, "The presenters have one agenda - theirs'. The workshops are too expensive, and we don't learn anything new." This is understandable since the workshops for clinicians don't include survivors of abuse. In fact, most exclude the very population that they pretend to understand. This only perpetuates the problem of stigma by training professionals to judge clients based on the information gained from the workshop they just attended. Clearly and despite diagnostic criteria, each person reacts differently to the effects of their personal experience of abuse. Thus, there is no 'magic' cookbook for treating abuse survivors and/or practicing trauma-informed-care.
The cultural notion that 'professionals' are able to judge trauma survivors as mentally ill has become antiquated. Many therapeutic practices, medication, and stigma of survivors is causing damage that can be irreversible. Trauma survivors are literally becoming re-traumatized by the professionals treating them. During Ivory Garden conferences, trauma survivors, professionals, and supporters work together, each learning about the others. Trauma survivors are strong, resilient, and intelligent. Professionals realize this and come to know them as people - to respect and relate to them. Supporters learn that all people care about each other - each having weaknesses and strengths. Mostly, survivors learn that professionals are not authoritative figures meant to control them. They can trust and know them as equals. Many mental health professionals reject this idea, because it goes against the very nature of 'boundaries' within the social work communities. Those very boundaries between clinician and abuse-survivor will eventually tear apart any trusting relationship that may have evolved.
Attendees of Ivory Garden hosted conferences will attest to how them sharing a weekend with such a diverse population of trauma survivors, clinicians, and supporters changed their lives and perception forever motivating them to learn more about trauma and how it affects people. Our programs are designed so that someday, these type conferences can be presented nationwide so that all can afford to attend. For now, Ivory Garden hosts them in Seattle and do our best to provide the resources to help as many as we can to be able to attend. We research the outcome of these conference carefully and have thus far found them to be beneficial to all who participate.
Please, feel welcome to look around this website and understand that we update it daily adding more information.
Again, we thank everyone who has been influential in making our programs a success. Your every effort allows for Ivory Garden to do more. If you have questions or wish to become more involved, please contact me.
Patricia Goodwin, President