The Private Forums

The purpose of the private forums (Sensitive Issues / Intimate Discussions) is to provide a secure venue for Members** to discuss issues of a sensitive nature and topics that are more likely to be triggering* (i.e. more so than the usual discussions in the Psych Café).

The private forums require Patron Membership for access. Posting in this area constitutes an acknowledgement that the person has read and agrees with these guidelines.

If you wish to have access you must agree to the spirit of this forum and respect its guidelines:

The private forums provide a safe place to discuss issues that are particularly difficult to talk about. They're intended to help folks feel less isolated in their struggles and receive support while working through them.

Topics might include issues related to self-injury and suicide, sex abuse, ritual abuse etc. For example, In the Sensitive Issues Forum a Member might share his experiences dealing with thoughts of suicide, or perhaps her despair in recovering from the suicide of a loved one.

On the subject of suicide, please note that even though I have created this Forum, I do not endorse or sanction anyone’s decision to suicide. As I see it, there is never a good enough reason for taking one’s life.

In order for this Forum to be of maximum benefit to all participants, these are the guidelines:

• It is prohibited to mention that you are intending to suicide using a certain method and citing a time and place.

• It is forbidden to encourage someone who is contemplating suicide to follow-through.

• It is forbidden to provide instructions or directions for a suicide attempt or direction in finding such information.

• Considering different methods of self-injury is prohibited.

Engaging in any of the above behaviours means an immediate loss of Membership.

Finally, as this is an unmoderated board, I rely on members to be sensitive and responsible to each other for how their comments might be received by the community.

By requesting access to one of the private forums you agree to honor these terms and adhere to the spirit in which they are intended.


*Some people know immediately when they get triggered. They experience a dramatic shift in their internal state. Among many possible symptoms, they feel tightness in the chest, a fast pacing heart rate, and possibly recall negative memories and/or have flashbacks.

Others can be impacted in a different kind of way. They might feel numb or disconnected from their emotions. It’s only later when the nervous system settles and when they are down in the dumps or anxious that they recognize the after effects of being triggered.

Either way, you need to understand that you alone are responsible for how you process the content of the discussions on the Forum. Neither other Members nor myself are accountable for how you feel as a result of reading the posts. It is important that you exercise good self care, if and when, you access this part of the forum, as you are the best judge of your capacities, and are ultimately responsible for dealing with any effects. The explicit intent of this forum is to help, not harm, those participating. This can only happen if each participant is willing to take responsibility for their own feelings.

** Registration in the private forums requires membership as a Patron. Note that a few registered Members of the PsychCafe who had joined prior to March 8, 2016 (before Patron Membership was implemented) and who were already participating in the private forums, were grandfathered in (on a case by case basis).

Practical Matters

Members of the private forums can access them through a link on the Forums page. 

When you sign up to get email notifications, you will also receive information on newly submitted posts in this Forum. Just so you know, these notifications won’t be included in the regular emails that go out to the larger Café community.


Online Crisis Counseling - contains the links to free Crisis Counseling lines.

Remember Forum Members, while offering support to others can be rewarding, it’s not unusual to occasionally have feelings of helplessness or being overwhelmed when working with the tough stuff that we have little control over. If this describes you, please be aware that you too deserve to receive support. These crisis lines are for you too.


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