Q: I am a recovering abuse victim (drug addict...etc) and I want to counsel people. Where do I start?
A: Start by getting a Master’s degree in counseling. Don’t take me wrong here, I can totally respect the challenges you have overcome in your life and I fully understand the conviction, courage and strength that it took for you to overcome them. However, it is very important for you to understand that even though you have a wealth of experience for you to draw on; it does not mean that you are ready to help others. There is a difference between someone helping you overcome the difficulties in your life and you helping someone else do the same. It is actually the complete opposite of what you went through.
There is also a big problem today with certain “rehab” programs that think they are helping people overcome addiction when what they are really doing is switching one addiction with another. Some of these are programs that are centered on religion. What happens in some of these programs is that drugs or alcohol are replaced with something that is generally viewed by society to be a good thing (like Christianity) and the addict is encouraged to become addicted to the religion while giving up drugs.
The problem is the addiction is still there, it is just focused on something else. This may be considered “detoxification”, but it should not be considered “rehabilitation”. True “rehabilitation” is achieved when the person is able to function in society without being forced to become dependent on anything or anyone but their own coping and social skills. Forcing them to become “dependant on religion” and calling it “rehabilitation” does not achieve that goal and is, in my opinion, a morally bankrupt idea.
Q: "Why don't you run a forum where abused or depressed people can get help?"
A: The short answer is, I simply do not have the time to dedicate to such a forum, I would not want anyone else giving “advice", “counseling”, or "speaking" in the name of DACA, and quite often those types of forums do more harm than good.
The long answer is that in all the forums I have seen like this, those trying to help spend more time “helping” someone who is simply seeking attention and not really in true need of help for depression or abuse. It is sad to say, but most of these forums are full of people who simply fake their abuse stories and it is obvious to those of us who are educated in this field. Most of the other “help” that is sought on such forums is teen-aged dating advice and I am simply not interested in that.
It is also inevitable that someone who has no clue how to counsel others will try to offer everyone some very bad advice and many times no one else will speak up to correct them. Once again this goes to me having limited time to go behind these people and try to fix their mistakes. I am also very skeptical as to the effectiveness and quality of help that can be offered on a message board. Sure, you see a lot of people saying they were helped like this, but as I said before, these forums are full of people who fake their needs. There is a necessity for personal interaction when someone is being counseled and you cannot monitor a person’s body language on a text based forum. You have no clue if they are saying one thing when they truly mean another, and that is frequently the case in counseling sessions.
During my time on those forums I also got more than my fill of people who say they want help with “an addiction to cutting” and then every post they made was simply “threatening to cut” because then everyone else on the forum would fall all over themselves to "offer support" to the cutter.
If someone truly needs help with an addiction to self harm, there is next to nothing that a text forum can do to actually help them. They would need to check into an inpatient program at a clinic where they can be physically removed from anything they can cut themselves with. I have a serious doubt that anyone with a real addiction is going to be swayed by people they have never really met and who all go away as soon as they turn off their computer. If you want to know more about cutting, you can read my article on the subject.
Q: "Where did you find all the information on the DACA website and how do you know it is accurate?"
A: The information on the DACA site is gathered from various government, law enforcement and child advocate agencies along with what I have learned while perusing my Master's Degree in child abuse counseling from E.T.S.U.
Q: "I heard that you are directly associated with (insert person or organization here) is this true?"
A: Darkness Against Child Abuse is run by Shadow Villanueva who has done some work in the past with his ex-wife Anajiel and with Red Vamp and Don Henry. The only person who currently represents DACA in anyway is Shadow Villanueva
Q: "An "expert" told me that you have false information on your website."
A: There are a lot of people who think that they are “experts” on almost anything simply because they get online and search the internet for information. I call these people “graduates from the University of Google” because they love to argue the information they find online against people who actually are experts on the subject. The problem with this is that there is a ton of misleading information on the internet and even if they manage to find accurate information, many times they take it out of context and the person who has no experience in the field does not know the difference.
One example of this was a 14 year old girl who started a “counseling” group on Vampire Freaks and she went around telling everyone that she was “an expert in psychology” and boasted about “knowing almost everything there is about schizophrenia”. As it turns out however she didn’t know the difference between “schizophrenia” and “brief psychotic disorder” (which I had to set her straight on after she tried to diagnose someone on the forum). The reason for this is because most professional and academic websites don’t really go into that kind of specific detail because they are designed to offer general information on the disorder and are not designed for people to read them and then say “I now know everything”.
To sum up the problem- there is a difference between “experts” who have earned a college degree and have experience working in the field and “experts” who have simply performed random internet searches. That difference is most often those who work in the field have an intimate understanding of the information, know how to put it all into context, and know how to actually use the information in a practical way. These are things that simply can not be learned from "Google searches".
Q: "Will you put my banner on the DACA website?"
A: You will find that the only banners appearing on the DACA website are those affiliated with DACA or those to well established child advocate organizations.
There will be absolutely no other banners on the DACA site. The reason is simple: I can not vouch for the validity, accuracy, or integrity of any other website that provides any information on the occult, psychology, parapsychology or medicine on the internet. If I can’t personally stand behind the information on a website, I will not allow the banner on DACA, no exceptions.
Q: You have a bad person/organization/website linked on your "Supporters page."
I also want to note that I will not participate in any community politics, I don’t want to know why any one hates someone else, what they did to you at any gathering or why they kicked you off of their forum and no, I will not remove their link because of any of it, so PLEASE don’t ask.