RCM is committed to supporting and training therapists, counselors, pastors and prayer ministers who endeavor to bring healing to those with special needs due to early childhood neglect and abuse, sexual violation, or other early traumas.
Frequently Asked Questions
RCM is a donation-based ministry, so your support is greatly appreciated.
Q: I am counseling with/ministering to/supporting an abuse survivor and I need help. Is it possible to speak with someone at RCM by phone?
A: You may call Sheila at 540-249-9119 or Email her.
Q: Who will benefit from your training resources?
A: While our primary focus is to equip therapists, counselors, and prayer ministers for working effectively to bring spiritual freedom, emotional healing, and wholeness to individuals who have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), our materials cover many aspects of inner healing that are applicable to a much broader spectrum of clientele, especially those who have suffered any kind of trauma. They are also invaluable for helping individuals working in any kind of social work or Christian ministry to be able to recognize dissociated individuals among the populations with which they work.
Those experiencing DID themselves will also benefit greatly from our materials, learning to understand their condition and what they must do to achieve healing and freedom. We strongly recommend that survivors do not rely solely on their counselors to know how to lead them to healing. They will be much more successful if they themselves know just what they need to do. This is particularly important because facilitators who are adequately trained in this field are often difficult to find. Visit our "Survivor Education" page for helpful resources.
Because spiritual warfare is a major part of working with DID cases resulting from ritual abuse, some of our materials are also very beneficial to those working in the deliverance field. We strongly recommend that all deliverance ministers be able to differentiate between demons and alter-personalities. Significant trauma can occur when deliverance ministers mistake alter-identities for demons. Deliverance is also much more complicated when DID is involved and should not be attempted without proper training.
Q: What subjects do your training resources cover?
A: Our resources cover every aspect of understanding and treating Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), including the complexities caused by ritual abuse. In them you will learn the identifying symptoms of DID as well as the dynamics involved; the role of conflict, denial, and false beliefs; how to differentiate Primary Identities from alter-identities and the importance of doing so; as well as treatment strategies for overcoming dissociation. You will learn the Biblical context for ritual abuse as well as the complications that mind-control programming, out-of-body/dimensional experiences, and spiritual bondages bring to DID that comes from this origin. The various aspects of memory, including traumatic, implicit, body, and the possibility of spirit memory will be explained. You will learn how traumatic memory is processed through the brain in a different manner than ordinary memory and how to distinguish true traumatic memories from imagination. You will find information to help you understand the emotional intensities and tendencies to self-harm that survivors often exhibit. Our resources are all written from a Christian perspective and also cover the critical issues of dealing with anger, hate, and forgiveness as well as understanding why God allows abuse and suffering in this world. The primary resources containing this key information are the Restoring the Shattered training series and the two books: Multiple Identities by Diane Hawkins and Dissociative Identity Disorder by Tom R. Hawkins with Diane Hawkins.
Preventing Shattered Marriages is a CD set that addresses the many areas of struggle that couples face when one of them has DID. The principles shared, however, are much more broadly applicable to marriages struggling for other reasons as well.
Our Cosmic Hierarchy series is not aimed directly at DID but is applicable to anyone desiring further training on the spiritual realm and the nature of the entities in it. It is invaluable for anyone involved in advanced spiritual warfare.
Other supporting resources address many of the peripheral issues that result from growing up in a dysfunctional family or a fallen world, which none of us can escape. They also include true accounts of individuals who have overcome DID.
Q: Where can I get a complete list of the resources that you offer?
A: You can go to the Products page on this website for a selection of our printed materials, DVDs, and CDs. For a complete list. You can also call the RCM office at 540-249-9119, or send an email requesting an free information package.
Q: Are you having a seminar in our area in the near future?
A: Because our entire training series is available in DVD format, we only have a limited number of training events. Check this webpage for currently scheduled events.
Q: Do you have any other training opportunities available?
A: Several times a year we will be offering the Tom Hawkins Memorial Internship Program. This will be an opportunity for those who are actively working with DID clientele to benefit from watching recorded ministry sessions conducted by Diane Hawkins. The opportunity for thorough discussion and Q & A will be led by his wife, Diane Hawkins. Go to Training Events to see the dates currently being offered for this and other opportunities. You may also contact our office at 540-249-1027 or Email us for further information.
Q: What credentials did the late Dr. Tom R. Hawkins carry in founding Restoration in Christ Ministries?
A: Tom R. Hawkins, Ph.D., was a graduate of Multnomah School of the Bible, Cascade College (B.A. 1965), and Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1969; Ph.D., 1995). He ministered as a pastor for twenty-five years before founding Restoration in Christ Ministries in 1994. With a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies, he claimed no mental health credentials. However, from 1991 to 1993, he worked closely with mental health professionals in one of the few Christian in-patient Dissociative Disorders Units in the United States. He was a member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation from 1988 until his death in 2010 and was a founding member of the ISDM (International Society of Deliverance Ministries). He also served as treasurer for the Christian Society of Healing from Dissociative Disorders when it was active in the 1990s. Tom was a member of the AACC for a time but felt that since he was unable to represent dissociative issues there in an effective manner at that time, he would not devote further time and energies at this otherwise fine organization.
After his first wife died of cancer in 1976, he married Diane, who was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) in 1987. His interest in helping survivors of sexual and ritual abuse developed, first, out of his earnest desire to help her and, secondly, out of his compassionate heart of mercy that had already made him a sought after counselor in the various churches that he pastored. After a thorough study of the available literature and sitting under the teaching of many of the recognized authorities in the field did not provide answers for all the issues he was encountering, especially among the ritual abuse population, he and Diane began to develop some of their own ideas and strategies while remaining in close communication with other Christian therapists and prayer ministers.
The approach he developed recognizes the value of learning and applying the generally accepted treatment principles used by professional therapists and psychiatrists but also draws from his own broad range of experience and that of others in Christian ministry to address the significant spiritual dynamics occurring in DID, especially in cases of complex ritual abuse. As a result, Tom saw God bring significant hope and healing to many, many survivors. Consultations with Dr. Hawkins became in great demand by professionals, pastoral counselors, and prayer ministers throughout the USA and abroad. The training materials that he and Diane developed have gone into at least 37 countries.
Q: What credentials does Diane Hawkins carry as the current President of Restoration in Christ Ministries?
A: Diane W. Hawkins, M.A., is a graduate of Taylor University (B.A., 1969) and Wheaton Graduate School of Theology (M.A., 1973). She served as a missionary to Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) with TEAM from 1971-1976. After marrying Tom in 1977, she became a pastor’s wife, mother to Tom’s two children, and a ladies’ Bible teacher. She also extended her own Bible training by typing all of Tom’s Bible arguments and his dissertation for his Ph.D. degree. In 1987, after an 8-year search for understanding of symptomology that emerged in her life following marriage, she was diagnosed with DID. The following year revealed the presence of a ritual abuse history. Frustrated after 6 years of concentrated therapy did not seem to be bringing resolution, she began applying her own good mind to figuring out the dynamics that were going on in her life and learning all she could to overcome them. From 1995 to 2000, she and Tom learned critical concepts that enabled her to begin making real progress in her healing journey. She began participating in more and more of the teaching at the seminars that became a central part of RCM’s ministry. Her CDs of her personal journey and what God was teaching her reached as far as Siberia, where a missionary reported that it saved her life. While traveling around the country and overseas cut down on the frequency of her own therapy, in February, 2011, six weeks after Tom passed away, she came to experience wholeness.
From the beginning of Restoration in Christ Ministries in 1994, Diane played a major role in writing, speaking, and increasingly accompanying Tom is ministry sessions. God has given her gifts of discernment and teaching as well as a heart of compassion for other survivors, whom she has been mentoring and supporting for a number of years.
Q: How does the RCM approach relate to Theophostic?
A: Our approach includes what we call “Truth ministry,” which is an adaptation of the teachings of Basic TheoPhostic, which Tom and Diane learned directly from Ed Smith in the early days of his teaching. We use it in bringing healing to memories and truth to false beliefs underlying the conflicts that lie at the heart of DID. We do not believe that Theophostic alone is sufficient for attaining either sanctification or healing from DID. Other issues must also be addressed, such as sin and spiritual bondage, which can come from generational iniquity, parental/caregiver permission, and/or personal entrenchment in sin or involvement in occult activities and/or direct acts of allegiance to Satan.
Q: Does RCM recommend the use of regression, guided imagery, or hypnosis in the treatment process?
A: We do not recommend any of these means that involve the direction of a person’s mind by another individual. We prefer all information to come from the survivor without external guidance or suggestion. Frequently, in the process of treatment, survivors will report imagery on their own that reflects how their systems are organized, what is happening within them, or how God is working with various parts of them. We acknowledge that this can be helpful.
Q: How do we help clients increase their own capacity, especially single clients with not much support?
A: Capacity is really something different than support. Both make a difference in the healing journey. Capacity is the ability to tolerate negative emotional states while support is knowing that someone else is tracking with you and you are not alone on the journey.
Capacity is a difficult thing to address. It is ideally built between mother and baby shortly after birth as mother synchronizes with baby’s negative emotions while making eye contact with baby and then gently leads baby back to peace and joy. This helps neural pathways to form in the child’s brain so that the child will develop the capacity for handling negative emotions and getting back to peace and joy on their own. When this has not been adequately accomplished in infancy, it is possible to do it later but it is more difficult. You basically have to do the same thing with your client. Whenever they are in a negative emotional state—anger, despair, sadness, pain, etc.—you need to validate the client while making eye contact with them. They need to know that you truly understand them and have met them in their negative emotion. Then while retaining eye contact you need to lead the conversation in a way that gradually introduces other ways to look at the situation and bring their state back to peace and joy. Teaching on capacity comes from Jim Wilder of Thrive (www.thrivenow.org). Obviously this takes a very committed relationship with the person. Capacity can also be built when Jesus speaks truth to a person in deep negative emotions and the truth brings a change of emotional state.
When capacity is low, you have to determine what the survivor can handle in a given session and limit the heavy work per session to what they can handle. It is also very important whenever memory work is done to make an extra effort to assure the person of your presences with them as well as to be sure to process the memory with the primary presenter and not just the alters. Asking the primary presenter, “What would it mean if this is true?” and addressing the truth of the beliefs that are expressed will lessen the degree of overwhelm or overload that they feel.
Questions from Survivors
Q: I was diagnosed with DID several years ago. I struggle as to whether DID is real or whether I am just influenced by something demonic that causes me to believe lies and act in different ways at times. I’ve read about DID and have had many questions answered about why I have lived life the way I have, but I continue to find myself struggling with accepting it. I am also concerned because DID is not mentioned in the written Word of God
A: I am glad that you have read some about DID and feel that it does explain some things about the way you have experienced life. For a demon to be causing fluctuations in the way that you act, perceive life, and think about yourself, others, and the environment, it would have to have a profound hold on you (virtually “possessing” you). This can only happen if you have given Satan legal access to yourself through some major event in your life. Even if something like that did occur in your past, if you are a born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, we do not believe that a demon can take any kind of control of your life without permission by some part of you. Demons can harass you externally in trying to get you to believe lies, but you must actively decide whether to accept them or not. This would not happen passively without your assent.
Coming to grips with a diagnosis of DID can be intimidating for various reasons. Not understanding it is a big one. Many believe that it is a mental illness, like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. While it is often treated within the mental health community, it is not a true mental illness. It differs in that it is not caused by any abnormality in the brain. Instead, it is a complex coping mechanism that God provided for young children who are subjected to overwhelming trauma. For this reason it is also completely curable with the right kind of understanding and facilitation, if the person is sufficiently motivated and willing to undergo significant therapy.
To ascertain just what is hindering your acceptance of the diagnosis, I would suggest that you ask yourself, “what would it mean if I had DID?” This will help you understand your fears. Then you can check out whether your fears are based on reality.
As far as DID being mentioned in Scripture, the closest possibility occurs in Isaiah 61:1, which Jesus Christ Himself quoted in Luke 4:18 in talking about Himself and His mission in coming to earth. Among other things, He said that He had come to “bind up the broken-hearted.” Obviously, this refers to those who have been deeply wounded, not in a physical sense but in a way that deeply affected the very core of their beings. The Hebrew here could also be translated as the “shattered in soul,” which could potentially allow for those whose trauma was so devastating that it resulted in the soul being divided, as in DID.
Q: I was born into a Pentecostal family. I went through SRA when I was about 6 or 7. In my teens, I was deeply vested into revival and everything that went with it and pursued God as much as I could about it. God never bothered to heal me of any of my past trauma so that I would go out into life whole. Why? If He loves me, and I did everything that I knew how to do, why didn’t He care enough to make up for the stuff I didn’t know? I would have listened. I discovered that a Christian can have a demon all by myself, and accepted it. Something that my denomination still doesn’t believe. I am not upset at God for having allowed it to happen or such, but, am upset at Him not caring about any of it afterwards. I have lost much. Very much in life because of my past abuse. An insurmountable amount.I am disappointed with God, not with the abusers.
A: God’s ways and thoughts are higher than our thoughts, so we will never fully understand why God does or does not do things. However, the way that I see it is that DID is not an illness. There is no malfunctioning of the body to correct in order to heal it in some miraculous way. Rather, DID is a coping mechanism to deal with overwhelming traumatic events. Therefore, God will not take away this coping mechanism until we no longer need it. The intolerable psychological conflicts caused by the traumas that a person experiences are what causes dissociation to occur. This actually is a gift of God to help young children maintain some kind of mental and emotional stability in spite of being grievously mistreated. In order to make the essential benefits that dissociation provides no longer needed, the person must identify and resolve the intolerable conflicts caused by the trauma. God is very willing to help in doing this. For the most succinct overview of the process we have found most efficient to work with God in bringing this healing, I recommend the DVD entitled The Primary Identity Approach Simplified available on our website.
Even if past trauma did not cause dissociation, the emotional pain, behavioral dysfunctions, and other effects that may be ongoing are based on the beliefs that the person carried out of these events. Again, these beliefs need to be identified and adjusted to align with truth. Here too, God is very willing to help in this process, and you will find that the truth that He brings is truly the truth that will set a person free. Since our beliefs are part of our free will, God doesn’t automatically change them without our involvement. For cases not involving DID, the process for working with God to bring healing is best described in the CD entitled Trauma Recovery through Conflict Resolution, also available on our website.
Q: Since I was diagnosed with DID, the shifting of personalities (what I call “ways of being”) has become more pronounced, which is causing me a lot of struggle over the past months. I find myself having more difficulty in controlling the “shifting to other ways of being,” and I become almost dysfunctional at times in my normal life of church activities, managing job responsibilities and generally maintaining sufficient stability in my daily life. It seems that life is getting more and more difficult as each year passes in regard to stability and functionality.
A: What you are describing is not unusual. Once the system has been “discovered,” it is no longer so strongly invested in keeping the multiplicity of “selves,” or “ways of being,” a secret from you. Your desire to keep the situation from creating instability in your life is a very legitimate one. We have found that survivors are able to stay much more functional if both they and the facilitator of their therapeutic journey are aware of the difference between Primary Identities and alter-identities. Once this is recognized, then emphasis can be put on identifying, unifying, and strengthening the Primary Identities so that they can handle life. These are the parts that are most strongly connected to the person’s true identity and are usually perceived to be the age of the body, as opposed to alter-identities, which are usually frozen at the age at which they were formed. Focusing therapy on these identities is the most direct route to maintaining/regaining control of your life. When the Primary Identities have been strengthened by resolving their issues and conflicts, the alter-identities and their issues are much less apt to intrude into daily life. This approach to working with DID is found in our Restoring Shattered Lives Seminar series. These resources will also teach you how to bring true healing to memories and resolution to the internal conflicts responsible for the dissociation, which is the long-term solution to eliminate dysfunction in your life.
Q: I have been counseling with someone who is unfamiliar with DID. Instead of getting better, I seem to be getting worse, so I have tried to put my “craziness” (as I call it) back “in a box” to distance myself from it and more easily maintain stability in my daily life. Over the last year and a half I have been seeking the Lord for healing and seem to take five steps forward and three back. I never know when something will throw me into chaos again. Is this a common experience?
A: Approaching the resolution of DID without knowing the dynamics involved and what must be done to overcome them can be like ripping open a feather pillow. You don’t want to do that without a clear plan for what you are going to do with the released feathers. We certainly understand the problem of finding a counselor who is well trained in this field. This is why I am emphasizing the need for survivors themselves to become thoroughly educated to understand DID, what must be overcome in order to get well, and how to do that. When you know what you are doing and why and the path ahead, the journey is not nearly as “chaotic.” While you will not be totally immune to times of crisis, triggering, or upset, you will understand much better why these things are happening and what to do about them, thus being able to resolve them much more quickly. If you have this education, then you will also be much more apt to be able to work safely with a counselor who is untrained in this area but willing to learn about DID. We strongly recommend the following resources to give you this education: Restoring the Shattered DVD set and Multiple Identities.
Q: Have you ever known of anyone being healed without going to counseling? Due to past experience, the thought of going to counseling again is difficult to consider.
A: First, although it is likely that the Lord has healed someone completely without help from another person, we don't have any clearly documented examples of this happening. If you mean without going to "professional counselors," as opposed to lay counselors and prayer ministers, then the answer is "yes." Many are coming to healing through the assistance of non-professional helpers who are informed of the latest insights in bringing resolution to DID. You will be most empowered, however, in any of these situations if you yourself become educated about DID and what needs to be done to bring about healing. Then you are not putting yourself in a place of dependency on another person. You can enter into a facilitating relationship from a position of much greater strength. In this way you take responsibility for your own healing. The following resources on this website will give you the education that you need: Restoring the Shattered training series and Multiple Identities.
Q: Have you ever counseled anyone that had a part of himself that knew the Lord and then another part that didn’t?
A: Yes, this is very common with DID. It is important to understand that salvation is a matter of our spirit coming into life through Jesus Christ by accepting His death on our behalf. When a person is dissociated, it is often the case that not all of him is on board when this decision is made. Some parts may just be ignorant of the need for this salvation decision; others may be actually opposed to it. This does not affect the person’s salvation but is more a matter of sanctification, or bringing one’s complete mind into submission to Christ. Sanctification is a lifelong process for all of us but can be a much more complex process for those who are divided.
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