Full Course Description

Visualization Techniques for Body Wholeness

Disconnection from self in the context of traumatic experience is a survival strategy that allows victims to disown what is happening and disown the parts that are victimized. The cost of dissociation as an instinctive mental survival response is often lifelong internal conflicts, shame and self-loathing, difficulty self-soothing, and complications in relationships with others.  Without internal coherence or compassion, these individuals are vulnerable to suicidality and self-harm or substance abuse, often marginalized by the label of “borderline.”

Despite the feeling of being irretrievably damaged, all humans have a brain capable of visualizing or imagining experiences of acceptance, closeness, and comfort that evoke the same somatic sensations associated with early secure attachment.  Helping clients discover their split-off younger selves and imaginatively bring them “home” spontaneously leads to an internal sense of warmth and safety they have never known.  In this presentation, we will explore the therapeutic power of using somatic experience to foster internal attachment to clients’ most deeply disowned younger selves.

Program Information


  1. Determine signs of disowned parts and their internal conflicts experienced by clients  
  2. Employ visualization techniques that create a sense of closeness or attunement 
  3. Practice somatic interventions that foster an increased sense of compassion for dissociated parts 


Dissociation as a Survival Strategy

Visualization as a somatic strategy to foster a felt sense attunement

“Self-Compassion”: welcoming every part of the personality 

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 09/24/2020

Overcoming Suicidality & Unsafe Behavior

“CP,” a client with Dissociative Identity Disorder, is working on changing her relationship to chronic suicidal ideation and impulsivity.  In this session, she is helped to re-frame the wish to die as an expression of a suicidal part of her personality trying to control flashbacks and overwhelming emotions.  This helps her more clearly differentiate the wish to live despite the self-destructive impulses. She speaks frankly about the shame evoked by traditional approaches to suicidality and how it fuels the suicidal part to desperate measures.  By understanding the suicidal ideation as a communication from the suicidal part, she reports a growing ability to keep herself safe, no matter how intense the suicidal impulses.

Program Information

Target Audience

Counselors, Psychologists, Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists Addiction Counselors, Psychotherapists, Case Managers Other Medical Professionals, Nurse Practitioners, Nurses


  • Introduction of client
  • The Structural Dissociation Model
    • The Right and Left Brain
  • Fight or Flight
  • Attachment
  • Fight
    • Addiction, Self-Harm and Suicide
  • Flashbacks
  • The Fight Part


  1. Describe the themes of fight and flight responses.
  2. Discuss the Structural Dissociation Model.

Copyright : 01/01/2017

Part 1 | Mindsight, Trauma & Attachment

You work with trauma to make a difference.

But developmental trauma and disorganized attachment have profoundly negative effects on those who experience them -- and the signs and symptoms of dissociation can be difficult to recognize, even for clinicians.

And many people with trauma-related dissociation and dissociative disorders actively work to hide their struggles; stigma and shame driving their secrecy and barring them from sharing the full extent of their distress with you. Frightened and confused, many become “revolving door” patients, in and out of the mental health system when the root of their problems can’t be identified.

They are in desperate need of your help.

This recording will prepare you to effectively meet the clinical challenges involved in identifying and treating individuals across the dissociative spectrum.

Key Benefits:

  • Specialized methods for assessing clients with severe trauma who may be dissociating.
  • Maximize attunement with dissociated clients while maintaining therapeutic boundaries.
  • Step-by-step processes that effectively create and sustain an atmosphere of trust and safety.
  • Detailed guidance on therapeutic interventions to calm and ground dissociative clients.
  • Skills to help you prevent and manage suicidal crises.
  • Treatment techniques from Trauma Focused CBT, EMDR and somatic approaches.

Don’t miss out on this chance to add valuable skills and tools to your trauma practice and ensure those seeking your help don’t become “revolving door” patients.

Purchase this recording today and provide hope and healing to those with trauma-related dissociation and Dissociative Disorders!

Program Information


  1. Demonstrate how the relationship between developmental trauma and dissociation can inform clinical assessment and diagnosis of dissociative disorders.
  2. Articulate how the clinician can reduce the possibility of countertransference by regulating their reactions in-session.
  3. Design treatment plans that ground dissociative clients with relaxation techniques and mindfulness.
  4. Analyze the clinical implications of suicidal alters and connect this information to techniques that can help prevent and manage suicidal crises in severely dissociated clients.
  5. Develop strategies for integrating support systems into the lives of clients with Dissociative Identity Disorder, and communicate how this approach can improve treatment outcomes.
  6. Formulate treatment plans for trauma that are individualized to clients with dissociative disorders


Developmental Trauma, Symptomology and Risk Factors

  • The role of early traumatic stress and insecure attachment
  • Types of Dissociative Disorders and symptomology
  • Dissociative Amnesia, Depersonalization Disorder,
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Populations at risk for dissociative issues
  • The controversy – misconceptions and false memories

Clinical Assessment Tools for Trauma and Dissociative Disorders

  • Adult Attachment Interview
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences Questionnaire
  • Dissociative Experiences Scale
  • Identifying co-occurring disorders
  • Avoiding false negatives and false positives in diagnosing DID

Problems and Solutions in the Treatment of People with Dissociative Disorders

  • Maximize attunement with clients who are dissociating
  • Getting client buy in
  • How to establish trust and cooperation
  • Manage issues that can interfere in therapy
  • Compassion fatigue
  • Modulating your own reactions
  • The dangers of vicarious trauma
  • Identify and address implicit biases
  • Maintain therapeutic limits and boundaries
  • Engagement of alternate identities in DID

Therapeutic Techniques that Develop Stability and Safety for Dissociating Clients

  • Calming practices to ground the dissociative client
  • Conscious breathing
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Mindfulness
  • Working with clients facing continued abuse
  • Techniques to manage suicidal crises – account for the suicidal alter
  • Don’t let “crises of the week” keep you from reaching treatment goals
  • Build support systems with WRAP plans (Wellness Recovery Action Plan)

Specific Trauma Work for Dissociative Disorder Treatment Plans

  • Differences in working with DID clients
  • The role of resourcing in trauma
  • Calm clients and create personal safety with TF-CBT
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Somatic approaches – connect memory to the body

Limitations of the Research and Potential Treatment Risks

  • Feasibility of randomized prospective double-blind placebo-controlled studies
  • Ethical, financial, and logistical constraints
  • Trauma, disorganized attachment and research data
  • Potential risks in treating trauma and Dissociative disorders

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Case Managers
  • Therapists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Crisis Intervention Specialists
  • Nurses

Copyright : 09/25/2018

Part 2 | Dissociation & Dissociative Identity Disorder Diagnosis

Copyright : 09/25/2018

Part 3 | Dissociation & DID Treatment

Copyright : 09/25/2018

Part 1 | The Vagal System

After experiencing trauma, our clients often dissociate from their bodies aiming to escape intense sensations and emotional pain. They then increasingly react to inner and outer cues linked to behavioral patterns that are below conscious awareness.

Even after treatment, clients who have experienced severe or sustained trauma, are often overwhelmed by residual symptoms and are trapped in reactivity to triggers. Safe-embodiment skills, carefully introduced, sequenced, and titrated, can move clients beyond the life-diminishing cycles of avoidance and re-traumatization.

In this live online training, you will learn an array of skills designed to create the safety needed to work with the body and with fearful parts of the self. You will learn how to help clients identify, befriend, and shift autonomic states and parts of the self that otherwise perpetuate avoidance and reactivity.

In both virtual and in-person therapy sessions, you will be able to offer embodied trauma-resiliency tools designed to strengthen vagal tone and the motivation to incorporate these vagal toning strategies into their daily lives. Integrate and sequence dialogue with parts of the self with gentle movement and breath, increasing your client’s self-efficacy, steadiness, and ability to choose rather than react.

Watch Debra, an experienced international presenter, in this day of experiential learning as she shares embodied Polyvagal Theory applications. Conclude the day with new tools for trauma recovery and vibrant resiliency.

Program Information


  1. Analyze how the primary tenets of Polyvagal theory can be applied to trauma treatment through embodied contemplative practice.
  2. Demonstrate how compassion-based interventions shift vagal states and shame-based trauma reactions.
  3. Demonstrate inner dialogue with disowned aspects of the self for building a secure attachment to the self.
  4. Demonstrate two breathing practices for calming fight/flight, energizing the body, and focusing the mind.
  5. Integrate simple movements to relieve anxiety and shift from shut down.
  6. Develop cultural sensitivity through individualizing treatment.


Apply Polyvagal Theory in Trauma Treatment

  • Vagal States & Autonomic Hierarchy
  • Neuroception – how the traumatized nervous system interfaces with the world
  • Re-establish effective co-regulation – a biological imperative
  • Utilize prosody or voice
  • Provide trauma-informed psychoeducation on intermingled vagal states
  • Build Recovery & Resiliency Through Smart Vagal Activity
    • Subcortical resilience
    • Eye movements to build resiliency
    • Resourcing – Map vagal states and pivotal practices
Shift & Re-Shape the Traumatized Nervous System with Embodied Contemplation
  • Energizing Breaths to Stimulate Safety in Social Connection
    • Skull shining breath
    • Ocean sounding breath
  • Calming breaths to stem anxiety
    • Three-part breath
    • Shining moon breath
  • Movements to Awaken the Shut-Down Nervous System
    • Gentle back-bending movements
    • Standing stretches to focus mind/body
    • Goddess posture – Breath plus movement
  • Movements to Calm Fight/Flight
    • Easy forward bending
    • Simple sigh & stretch
    • A dance with the hands - Mudras
  • Face-to-Heart Connection Through Sound & Movement
    • Call & response chant
    • Walking meditation to awaken compassion
    • Loving kindness imagery
Calm & Rewire the Traumatized Nervous System
  • Identify vagal state triggers and resets
  • The five senses – A return to the here and now
  • Deep relaxation to support safe connection
  • Adapt and individualize trauma treatment with cultural sensitivity
  • Apply Polyvagal Theory to racial healing
  • Extend resiliency building to implicit memory, body memory, and procedural conditioning
The Polyvagal-Wise Trauma Therapist
  • Explore ahimsa or non-violence with self and clients
    • Self-compassion to negotiate fight/flight from inner critic
    • Build safety and connection between sessions
  • Right action & ethics for strengthening ANS resiliency
  • Mirror through matching the client’s vagal states
  • Shift self and client back into connection

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Case Managers
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Physicians
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 08/18/2021

Part 2 | Polyvagal Perspective on Trauma

Copyright : 08/18/2021

Part 3 | Reshape the Traumatized Nervous System

Copyright : 08/18/2021

Advances in treating trauma-related dissociation

ln this course, Kathy Steele identifies what dissociation is, the challenges one faces when working with dissociation regarding the dance between attachment and defense; and the role of the therapeutic relationship as a stabilizing factor. Attachment strategies, the basic principles in working with parts, and a systematic approach to working with parts will also be discussed and evaluated.

Program Information


  1. Differentiate between dissociative parts and ego states.
  2. Analyze attachment strategies, investigate the principles of working with parts, and justify the use of a systemic treatment approach for improved clinical outcomes.
  3. Evaluate the role of trauma-related phobias and other factors that contribute to maintaining dissociation.


Working with Women 

What is Dissociation? 

  • Dissociative Parts vs. Ego States 

The Attachment Dilemma 

  • Attachment vs. Defense 
  • The Therapeutic Relationship  
  • Dependency, Attachment, & Interdependence  

Attachment Strategies 

  • Managing Relationships 
  • Defending Against Relationships 
  • Dissociative Attachment Cycle 

Working with Disorganized Attachment 

  • Basic Principles in Working with Parts 
  • What Maintains Dissociation? 
  • Trauma Related Phobias 

A Systematic Approach to Dissociation 

  • Working with Parts in an Integrative Fashion 


Copyright : 11/05/2020

Hope and light are on the horizon to help clients overcome the challenges of healing and releasing the pain of relational trauma.
The highly acclaimed Transcending Trauma explores a unique, compassionate, and evidence-based approach to resolving complex and dissociative trauma. In this transformative book Frank Anderson, MD, masterfully details an IFS path to therapy that allows clients to access their inherent capacity for healing – called Self-energy – while also helping them welcome, as opposed to manage, the extreme emotions frequently associated with trauma.

Included are clinical case examples, summary charts, current neuroscience research, and personal stories that will enable your clients to reclaim self-connection, experience self-love, and regain the ability to connect with and love others. Designed with clinicians in mind, this book offers a comprehensive map to complex trauma treatment that will enable readers to:

  • Learn how to stay calm and steady in the presence of extreme symptoms
  • Discover a different approach to resolving attachment trauma
  • Gain confidence when addressing shame, neglect, and dissociation
  • Understand the neurobiology of PTSD and dissociation
  • Integrate neuroscience-informed therapeutic interventions
  • Effectively address medication and common comorbidities
  • Incorporate IFS with other models of treatment

Consciousness and Dissociation: Toward the Restoration of the Self

Psychological trauma and childhood attachment disruptions are often associated with emotion dysregulation, altered states of consciousness, dissociation, and a perceived loss of one’s sense of self. This lecture will examine the neuroscience and the related brain/mind/body correlations underlying four dimensions of consciousness: time, thought, body, and emotion. This lecture will assess how to restore the self through the integrated experience of these five dimensions of consciousness in the aftermath of trauma. 

Program Information


  1. Analyze the effects of trauma on psychopathology and its relationship to attachment.
  2. Appraise 4 dimensions of consciousness that are often impacted by trauma-related psychopathology: time, thought, body, and emotion.
  3. Evaluate the clinical and neurobiological implications of each dimension of consciousness. 


Psychiatric Comorbidity of Chronic Early Trauma

  • Attachment Dysregulation
  • Window of Tolerance

The Four Dimensions of Consciousness Impacted by Psychological Trauma

  • Consciousness of Time
  • Consciousness of Thought
  • Consciousness of Body 
  • Consciousness of Emotion

Emotion Process & the Reptilian Brain

  • Periaqueductal Gray (PAG)

Implications for Therapy

  • Top Down vs. Bottom Up Processing
  • Having vs. Being an Emotion
  • The Default Mode Network as a Model for the Sense of Self
  • Shame & Negative Evaluation 
  • Self & Other
  • From Trauma to Recovery 

Target Audience

  • Psychotherapists 
  • Counsellors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Addiction Counsellors
  • Psychiatrists
  • IAPT Practitioners
  • Nurses
  • GPs
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 04/16/2021