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Gift From Within - PTSD Resources for Survivors and Caregivers


A Special Note from Joyce, Director, Gift From Within.

Dear Friends:

This is Gift From Within's 20th year as a nonprofit organization for survivors of trauma and victimization. I have seen so many changes in the last 20 years and most of them have been for the good, but I still see areas that need work....particularly the stigma surrounding PTSD.

I want to thank Dr. Frank Ochberg, GFW's best friend and trauma expert and founder.

When I founded GFW in 1993 most people asked what is PTSD and why does it need an organization? My response was that I help people learn about posttraumatic stress disorder and I help family members understand it. Today people are familiar with the term, even if they do not fully understand what it means for a trauma survivor. Most people realize now that PTSD is not just the result of war and combat, but can be caused by many other traumatic situations in everyday life. I'm glad people understand this, although I wish it had happened earlier.

Today many fine organizations exist to help victims of crime, abuse and war, so I feel that I am in good company. I have learned a lot over the last 20 years and have made such good friends, many of whom have gone through trauma and are not only making good recoveries, but helping others in similar situations. That is why I named our organization Gift From Within. You help yourself and then you take that gift and help others.

I do hope I have made a difference. I will continue as long as I can. When we first started I had a full time job and worked on GFW (before the Internet) on weekends. If you can help by giving us a donation it would be very much appreciated. If you are unable to donate, I understand. Times are tough for many of us. And of course, most of the resources we make available on are free to share with others.

I am proud of what we have accomplished and want to continue to provide credible educational materials for all the survivors and their loved ones. Your courage, honesty, and compassion continue to inspire me to keep going forward.

Warm regards, Joyce

Please email Joyce at if you would like to leave a comment.


Thank you very much for all the information on, and also for maintaining the
GFW website. Although I have never commented or contributed to the site, I have found it very helpful. There are times when I feel very isolated due to PTSD and have gone to your website and found comfort and validation.

Your website and your facebook page always remind me I am not alone in this disorder. I can review the symptoms and listen to Frank ( sorry.. I kind of feel like I know him and I love his calming voice) , Dr. Ochberg, and know I'm not crazy.

I'm sorry I can't donate, I wish I was in the position to do just that ..... to you and many others.

Please know you are greatly appreciated. Thank you again.

Of course you have and continue to make a difference as does Dr Frank Ochberg!!! I am so blessed to have been a part of this for so long... When my friend Jodi first told me of it I was so hurt and broken and truly did not know if I could recover AND what I was broken from I didn't even have a name for!!!!

I didn't know there was a name for the reason I had at the time 20-25 nightmares a night or why I could lie on my bed staring at my ceiling thinking nothing and not sleeping and yet hours would go by as if it had been seconds. Not knowing what it was, was nearly as traumatizing as having it!!!

Gift From Within, Joyce, Dr. Ochberg and Jodi all gave words to my symptoms and hope to my heart for better days. I remember some of the earlier years... I would reach to people on the PTSD journey that were further along than me and they could give me insight and hope to move through the current pain... And I loved when I was at a point to reach my arm and hand backward to help pull others forward encouraging them they they too could move forward! It's not a perfect journey or easy, but hope, support and knowledge makes it much more manageable and less scary!!! Today I still have some symptoms... Very few... Very mild compared to those first years! I love being able to tell others suffering with PTSD that and watch their face light up as they consider the hope they can get this far too!!! Many, many, many thanks and such deep appreciation to Joyce and Dr Ochberg!!! Joyce, you did not mention where/how to donate I would like to be able to do so this year!!!! Love to you.

Cindy Lou


I think my weekly/daily phone calls made you a bit bananas some days. Joyce know that Cindy Lou and I are grateful for you. You really have seen me grow up. I wouldn't be the same with out you in my life.


I thank you, Joyce Boaz and Dr Frank, it has made a huge difference in my life being a member. I am never alone.

Connie S Kirkpatrick

I have been working with trauma survivors for 40 years, and I have been teaching trauma-related graduate courses for nearly 25 years. The "Gift From Within" website offers the most incredible resources for survivors that I have seen! I only wish that I had had such a powerful tool for use with clients in the earlier days of my clinical work. In all my trauma-related courses, I make sure that my master's and doctoral students know about this site for their own eventual work with trauma survivors.

Dr. Lisa Lopez Levers
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Last updated by on 25 March 2014