What People are Saying about Gift From Within

From Support Pals:

“It is difficult to convey to the average non-traumatized person how frightening, disorienting, and upsetting it is to experience intrusive flashbacks to horrors of the past. For one who is suffering or who has suffered from PTSD there are times when the only thing that can help ease the tension of the day is an understanding friend. Gift From Within provides that understanding and support to hundreds of survivors daily by giving them the means to connect with each other. As a result PTSD sufferers and survivors provide for themselves the support and acknowledgement that in some ways they are the only ones qualified to provide.

For me, being able to talk with other people who know what it is like to react to an innocuous statement with strong emotion, who understand uncalled for tears and uncontrolled shaking, who can sympathize with extended sleepless nights — well this is the gift. The essence of Gift from Within.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.”Ann G.

“Gift From Within has been very helpful to me. The literature has enabled me to better understand my condition and the pen pal service is a special benefit.”
Iris S., PTSD Survivor

“GFW how has it helped me? How hasn’t it helped me? I contacted Gift From Within as a frightened young person-thinking that I was alone in my own personal nightmare called childhood sexual abuse. By having other pen pals and frequent phone calls, I knew that I wasn’t alone that regardless of what my abusers told me. Now I feel capable to help others- 3 years later.” Jodi G – college student

“Gift From Within has been a blessing in my life. It has helped me heal emotionally by allowing me to meet people who have been hurt as I was. Knowing that I am not alone in the healing process strengthened me and gave me the courage to continue on. I would talk to people who were further along in the process and they could encourage me that I would make it over the mountain. And then I could be of help to those just beginning to heal by encouraging them. I am appreciative for GFW and thankful for it.” Cindy Lou, age 21

“If it wasn’t for Gift From Within – and the education and support my daughter and I received for our struggle with post traumatic stress disorder – we would not be survivors today. The e-mail/pen pal support is great!” Barb F., SC

“GIFT FROM WITHIN is a light in the darkness of PTSD. The website and the nucleus of pen pals are wonderful opportunities to gain support and a deepening knowledge of the human trauma healing process. GFW helps break the isolation, shame, suffering and ignorance around PTSD and the vexing neurobiology of trauma memory recall. It is truly a gift PTSD sufferers can give themselves! “ Fran in Berkeley

“Over the years I have had many subscriptions to child abuse and incest publications. I’ve also been published, particpated in public readings, been a coeditor in publications. I’ve found all helpful but none of the above comes close to breaking the personal isolation I felt your pen pal network service has. Today is Thanksgiving and I wanted to let you know how thankful I am for your pen pal service.” Lynne L.

“I am a survivor of childhood physical and sexual abuse, and as an adult, I have survived an emergency surgery with morphine blackout, a relationship with a Psychopath with getting put into a witness protection program with him and fearing for my life every day, a very traumatic and earth shattering medical diagnosis, rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence.

I found Gift From Within right out of trauma, three years ago. It is jam packed full of every resource a survivor needs for recovery.

I listened to the audio CD: Sage Advice for Trauma Survivors and Caregivers with Dr. Frank Ochberg. That audio CD alone made me realize so much and I’m three years out from trauma. I forgot the basics. The world throws so much at me and I get lost in all of the opinions. It has validated me when I need it the most. It let me know that I’m not alone.

I have also ordered and watched with my husband: 1. Living with PTSD: Lessons for Partners, Friends and Supporters and 2. Recovering From Traumatic Events: The Healing Process

The DVDs made me cry. My husband said he got a LOT out of them. He specifically said, “I got a lot out of both of those. PTSD doesn’t seem so mysterious anymore. It really helped that someone, a doctor, spoke to me to teach me what PTSD is.”

The videos, indirectly, have led us to ask my new CBT therapist to have my husband come in a couple of my sessions to teach us how we can manage PTSD as a couple. We would’ve never thought of that before.

He even said, “Well, I want to come in there to one of your sessions with you. I’m worried that you won’t be able to express everything you are going through to your therapist, but I know it because I see it clearly.” He said that because Dr. Ochberg explained how survivors with PTSD have a difficult time expressing their pain.

I had no idea that he could tell the difference in me. This will be what helps me manage the flashbacks and triggers….I never thought I could have this kind of feedback from him. It really helped me because I feel he took it even more seriously after the videos. My husband has always been wonderfully supportive, but now, when I am going through an emotional flashback, he is noticing what it is.

He sees it when I don’t. He touches me now and tells me that I am safe because Dr. Ochberg taught him that. It helps me SO much. When he touches me and tells me I’m safe, I can feel the difference in my environment. I can feel present. This helps me feel and I can cry. I can cry and it’s safe to cry. That never used to happen. I used to dissociate right afterward or crash into a depression because I felt so ashamed and didn’t understand what was happening to me.

Also, he said he liked how one of the videos explained PTSD in three simple categories and it was nice to hear all that I go through in a video. Hearing PTSD in three categories helped me make sense of the exhaustive list of symptoms that I deal with during episodes.

Oh and one more thing, when my husband said, “The videos make PTSD real to me”, it has helped me. I have had more than a few flashbacks in one day because I’m starting to remember more. Because he said that, I am able to remind myself that it’s real.

Sometimes, I am in so much pain thinking that it’s not real and that I’m just crazy. I hear myself talking to myself now, telling myself that it’s real and that I’m not crazy because someone I trust is telling me that too–live and in person.

This is incredible. The discussion about PTSD is so important and I’m so glad that I ordered these educational materials. Thank you so much!”

From Professionals:

“I am the Director of Health Services for Jefferson County Schools. In that position I co-coordinate Crisis response and thus was on the scene on 4/20/99 at Columbine HS and coordinated a massive crisis response to the school staff, student and parents. As you can imagine–we had hundred victims and numerous helpers. I hooked up with Frank several months later and he told us about the video and sent us a copy. We then ordered several more. It provided excellent information during the emotional recovery time after the violent shooting at our school. Our crisis responders worked long hours at such an intense level and we found the video a helpful tool in validating our feelings and giving us support. We continue to use it, two years later.” Betty Fitzpatrick, R.N. M.S., Director, Health Services, Jefferson County Schools

“Gift From Within is a gift from the heart to all survivors of trauma. The quality of the incredibly compassionate and effective videos is exceptional, GFW’s dedication is priceless.” Euan Bear, Safer Society Program & Press, Author of Adults Molested As Children: A Survivor’s Manual for Women & Men

“The video provided great material for supervision and for understanding the dynamics of PTSD after the January earthquake. We have shown it to our interns, licensed staff and clients. It validates their feelings as few other experiences could. Thank you for making available this excellent and timely tape.” Ariel T. Kelly, L.C.S.W., Executive Director Family Service Agency of Burbank

“Gift From Within is like a light house for ships lost at sea. Always there to provide direction and reassurance.” Charles Figley Ph.D, Florida State University

“Gift From Within helps survivors of trauma, their families and the professionals that treat them with multimedia information and support. This excellent network of caring people provide another dimension of assistance in the recovery process beyond the therapists’ office.” Dr. Angelea Panos, Marriage and Family Therapist

“This is an era in which we have been exposed to multiple horrors–devastating floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes; airplane crashes, bus and car accidents, and chemical spills; wars in which numerous civilians are killed, injured and/or tortured (for example, in the Middle East, Western Europe, the former Soviet Union, Cambodia, South America and Africa); violence that makes a political statement (for example, New York Trade Center; Tienamen (sp?) Square; the Oklahoma bombing; chemical terrorism in a Japanese subway) and ongoing violence in our inner cities which sometimes resemble war zones. Refugees come to this country for relief from the devastation of war. Sometimes they are disappointed to find themselves again exposed to danger. One weekend in 1992 the death toll due to violence in Los Angeles was compared to the number due to war in Bosnia. There were more deaths in Los Angeles that weekend. Millions of adults and children have been traumatized by their experiences during these natural disasters, severe accidents, war and other violence. For many of them, life is disrupted, the sense of safety and confidence is undermined, and suffering is intense. Gift from Within provides the gift of information and assistance to trauma victims and to those whose aim is to assist their recovery. It is an important service in a field in which we are continually learning.” Dr. Kathleen Nader, Texas

The Video, “When Helping Hurts, points the way to prevention and treatment of compassion fatigue. I wish I had copies of this video to use during my work in Bosnia and Africa. It is now an essential part of my first aid kit.” Geoffry D. White, Ph.D. Recipient of the California Psychological Association 1998 Humanitarian Award 1995 and 1996 Recipient of the EMDR Humanitarian Services Award for Disaster Relief in Croatia and Sarajevo

“…superb training materials for clinicians who seek to understand the nature of PTSD and posttraumatic therapy.” John P. Wilson, Ph. D., Cleveland State University, in Psychotherapy, Winter 1993, “Video Review”

“I’ve been working as a firefighter and paramedic for over thirty years. At the Academy, I’ve been teaching police officers and sheriffs. It gives me great satisfaction.

When disaster and tragedy strikes we need to ask the question, who takes care of professional emergency workers? We are vulnerable because of the compassion we give to those we care for.

Gift From Within’s video, When Helping Hurts: Sustaining Trauma Workers is the best tape on the market to help us all deal with our hidden pain.

We need to set the highest standards of prevention, self care, and peer support during these disastrous deplorable events in our lives, and this quality tape will improve our understanding and quality of all Emergency care workers.

My highest admiration for the producers of this marvelous video tape.”

Frank McMahan, Instructor, CCSF; City College, San Francisco