Sunday, March 01, 2009

Mental Health Meltdown Of Forum Support Staff At Caring Souls Forum Is Claimed



The Caring Souls Forum up till recently offered its 703 members a place where therapy and counselling professionals and others in such training could create some “support” (without offering formal therapy and counselling duties) but ethically it stood in a difficult halfway house territory of personal pain and personal disclosures and needs for deeper emotional answers , and it took risks within its key administrative ranks .

Those risks sadly were to recruit someone not suited to the role of being able to take stern public debate on an issue where many Caring Souls Forum members felt a very honest US female poster who had disclosed serious serial rape and abuse issues in her childhood was given contrary signals about whether to continue or not .

UserWatch knows there is a serious human need for people to gather on the internet and find fellowships of kinds which suit them and it is a reflection on our societies that in emotional terms we have poorly containing Offline human solutions .

State therapy services particularly, and even some private services are of very dubious quality in therapy terms. Empathic quality (the ability to feel with and into another's inner map) cannot necessarily be trained within some staff or practitioners who internally speaking are role playing the machine idea-end of “therapy” .

Its a common complaint of people who need help that they often encounter unseeing professionals who are contrarily practiced at a kind of distant alientated form of objectivity ..

Empathic objectivity which is interrelational is missing . So its within this larger social context that people find themselves bereft of a special human hearing in which they can work with and progressively unload lives of pain and abuse that have been developmentally chained and cut off. Caring Souls Forum it has to be said was succeeding in some of that empathic endeavour.

It has been claimed by the Caring Souls Forum Moderator, a poster named "Willow", who contacted Silvis Rivers on following the UserWatch story put there, that the Caring Souls Forum Support Staff – a poster named “Souls” went into "meltdown" . That is a tragic matter.

This is part of the email sent to Silvis Rivers by Willow on - it is presented below:

Because of some of the things going on recently in the forums... Souls had a complete meltdown... I know very little... and I don't know how much I should say without compromising her privacy..

I know that she started to break after some of the posts got a little out of hand. I saw one where she asked someone to stop using her name and another asking some people to leave the forums if they were not happy there... The following morning I was contacted by Fran and she told me Souls had sent her some very nasty emails and locked her out of the forum.

Since I am in the US... by the time I got on my computer many things had happened during the night... I am 5 hours behind the UK... At that time the forum had been locked down by Souls for many hours... I am glad she did that in a way... because it spared all the members from seeing some very disturbing things... Fran had been locked out as an administrator since the night before... all of the passwords had been changed and the email Fran and Souls shared had been deleted...”

Userwatch has a couple of things to say about “privacy” since the issue of concern over Souls privacy has been raised it is neccessary to address it .

Public interest overrides issues of privacy where harm and upset is caused in the public domain and where there is evidence of that . Critical views on this regarding the latest behaviour by the Forum Support staff Souls at Caring Souls Forum are necessary .

Userwatch has been approached by a number of the posters that went to Caring Souls Forum for harbour and some safe asylum - some are quite rightly complaining that their material is simply left without their choice to edit it , save it elsewhere or even delete it and make sure it is actually deleted .. There were private zones on the forum with private material in them which effectively are in the control of someone now who has shown some serious instability .

UserWatch has in its possession a picture claiming to be of Souls – the Forum Support at Caring Souls Forum.

That picture was apparently posted on a blog :


This was not a private blog – but it was made private late this February . However before that occurred, Google cached ( digitally stored) this blog . And UserWatch has some copies of the cached material . Some of that material was shown on Caring Souls Forum too .

So would this lady “Souls” decide to be reasonable , go and get some help - and give control back of the Caring Souls Forum to the main adminstrator “Fran” and let everyone heal the situation and move on ?

The ball we think is in that lady's court . Go and get some help, and leave everyone to form theirs . That is the right thing to do .

Meanwhile of Fran, we firmly believe she needs to account for herself to several hundred people in the US and UK and even Israel and other areas of the globe regarding her judgement on creating a risky situation and as she is a professional in the UK we hope should does this openly, and soon .

She can contact UserWatch


See also Interesting Link



Anonymous said...

At this time, I can only say that I do find comfort in knowing that Fran was also denied access to the CS forum, and I am saddened to hear of the emails to her from Souls. I understand Souls' sufferage with her condition, and I am empathetic to her plight, however, this serves for me as further evidence of the existing vulnerability in the LEADERSHIP of CS, and the importance of other such forums not to repeat the same mistake. CS was in my opinion, in a class of its own among online support as it did offer a safe asylum for others to come together and share with one another, support one another, and learn from one another. Had the importaqnce of having a stronger leadership been recognized sooner, this tragedy may have been avoided.

Funny, I toyed with the idea that Souls was behind the "shut down" as I know she handled much of the technical workings, however, I concluded that this type of power could not possibly lie in her hands alone. I admit my ignorance as to the workings between hosters and webmasters, but it may also be a good idea that webmasters put something into place that may prevent this from happening in the future. I mean, Fran was the ADMINISTRATOR, and it would seem that she should have been able to communicate with proboards and somehow override her "lock out" if not the entire shut down.

With respect still,


PatientGuard said...

On some of these Forum formats you will find that a simple password can be shared and its possible for any admin to change the passwords and notify any others .

It does however leave open some questions to the main admin as to how she is going to try to create remedy - the matter is not private it has come into the public domain and over time we will be pursuing it

UserWatch is aware though of the real quality of this Forum and seeks to create some lessons and hopes this Forum can ressurect itself.


Anonymous said...

"UserWatch is aware though of the real quality of this Forum and seeks to create some lessons and hopes this Forum can ressurect itself."

I am in agreement with this, Userwatch. The CS forum DID carry much quality and had the potential for being the template for other forums offering support to those suffering with emotional pains. This is not to say that the leaders were always right, but the allowance for discussion and to work through the difficulties of its evolution with its members serves for me as proof of the forum's overall sincerity in offering support and providng a place where others could connect. I am concerned that if the forum is unable to resurrect itself, it will send the message that other such forums should give up as well. Everyone deserves a second chance . . . .


PatientGuard said...

Anon .

We are concerned about other forums too where we are noting people are being hurt by a lack of accountability and ambiguous dealings . This is not the first time we are noting this - we have other material .

Forums for vulnerable people have been around for years and the time to start thinking about standards of their conduct and their safety is perhaps long overdue ..

The debate and issues is about awareness of safety - risk , and who runs forums and can take them down riskily and why, without warning.

UserWatch is pro-user-choice in terms of therapy/counselling service delivery in the UK and that means people we believe having assisted budgets so they can fact generate a culture of choice-quality driven therapy as opposed to being forced to becoming marginalised with Online resources only ..Some of us lobby politicians for this

So this matter serves to shows us that Online resources are in fact a sadly inadequate way to deal with a world of peoples in emotional pain. They have evolved as a poorly adaptive measure in a context of bad supply and poor quality .

That said we have brought about pressure for some accountability here because of many people contacting us .

The contradictions inside the admin set up at the Caring Souls Forum were made by those who ran it ..It may be it will not survive but lessons will be learned and people will evolve something else.