Full Course Description

Program Information


Session I - Introduction to the Treatment of Dissociation

  1. Determine three signs or symptoms of ‘complex trauma’ as it relates to case conceptualization.
  2. Differentiate dissociative compartmentalization vs. alterations in consciousness.
  3. Apply the Structural Dissociation model as related to clinical treatment.
  4. Determine signs of altered consciousness in traumatized clients.
  5. Discriminate symptoms caused by activity of trauma-related parts.
  6. Discriminate signs of voices found in dissociative disorder versus schizophrenic clients.
  7. Specify therapist interventions that increase patient ability to identify and determine dissociated parts to improve client level of functioning.
  8. Articulate role of mindfulness-based techniques in the treatment of dissociation.
Session II - Increasing Awareness of Dysregulated Parts and Dissociative States
  1. Determine signs of dissociative parts in the therapy hour.
  2. Determine manifestations of parts observed in physical presentation and facial expression in session.
  3. Differentiate characteristics of fight, flight, freeze, attach and submit parts.
  4. Utilize the term ‘blending’ as it applies to structurally dissociated parts for symptom management.
  5. Implement parts language as an intervention in the therapy of dissociative and dysregulated clients.
  6. Determine and analyze dissociative “switching” to improve client engagement.
  7. Utilize clinical strategies to increase internal communication in clients.
  8. Determine the therapist’s role in ‘coaching’ internal dialogue skills to improve treatment outcomes.
Session III - Working with Traumatic Memory in DID:  Implicit Memory and Animal Defense Survival Responses
  1. Determine the distinction between trauma-related explicit memory and implicit memory for purpose of client psychoeducation.
  2. Differentiate implicit memories versus situational emotional responses.
  3. Determine the complications of treating event memories with dissociative disorder clients to improve clinical outcomes.
  4. Utilize clinical strategies to determine the role of animal defense survival responses in dissociative disorders and their relationship to traumatic memory.
  5. Determine characteristic trauma-related internal conflicts found in trauma-related disorders as related to clinical treatment.
  6. Utilize clinical strategies to develop client’s ability to determine internal conflicts as struggles between parts to improve clinical outcomes.
  7. Determine indications and best practices for processing traumatic memories to inform the clinician’s choice of treatment interventions.
  8. Apply the meaning of the term “integration” in the treatment of dissociation as it relates to case conceptualization.
Session IV - Traumatic Attachment and the Treatment of Dissociative Disorders
  1. Apply the concept of “controlling strategies” as a complication of disorganized attachment to improve client level of functioning.
  2. Determine the implications of the controlling strategies in dissociative disorders as related to clinical treatment.
  3. Differentiate the interaction between traumatic attachment and self-destructive behavior to improve treatment outcomes.
  4. Articulate the effects of traumatic/disorganized attachment on the transference.
  5. Demonstrate uses of right brain-to right brain communication to address attachment-related issues.
  6. Utilize interventions for enhancing internal collaboration.
  7. Apply the use of the social engagement system (Porges) to improve client engagement.
  8. Facilitate increased access to states of self-compassion to improve client level of functioning.
Session V - Working with Regression, Aggression and Passivity
  1. Articulate the role of regression and aggression as survival responses to threat.
  2. Analyze personality disorder diagnoses in the light of research on disorganized attachment in clients.
  3. Specify verbal and somatic interventions for working with client dependency as related to clinical treatment.
  4. Demonstrate use of somatic and cognitive interventions to ameliorate devaluing and verbally aggressive behavior.
  5. Articulate the role of depression as an adaptation to trauma.
  6. Specify cognitive and somatic interventions for addressing chronic depressive states in clients.
  7. Determine how to address depression and passivity as a part to improve client level of functioning.
  8. Apply the use of positive re-framing in work with parts of the personality as it relates to treatment outcomes.
Session VI - Integration and Healing
  1. Articulate the traditional view of integration used in dissociative disorders treatment.
  2. Evaluate the complications of a focus on ‘integration’.
  3. Demonstrate interventions for increasing internal communication and cooperation among parts.
  4. Demonstrate internal collaboration as an alternative to traditional models of integration in a clinical setting.
  5. Determine how “healing” has been defined historically as it relates to clinical practice.
  6. Articulate ‘bottom-up’ approaches to healing that have developed over the past ten years.
  7. Determine the ‘negativity bias’ and its effects on psychological health and resilience in clients.
  8. Outline the role of self-acceptance and compassion in the healing process to improve clinical outcomes.


Session I: Introduction to the Treatment of Dissociation

  • What distinguishes ‘complex trauma’ symptoms from the symptoms of simple PTSD?
  • The Structural Dissociation model as a trauma model
  • Assessment and diagnosis of dissociative symptoms
  • Assessment questions and measures
  • Mindfulness-based techniques in the treatment of dissociation
  • Teaching mindfulness skills to fragmented individuals
  • Differentiating structurally dissociated parts of the personality
  • Using the language of parts

Session II: Increasing Awareness of Dysregulated Parts and Dissociative States

  • Treatment challenges in working with complex trauma and dissociation
  • Identifying signs and symptoms of dissociative parts
  • Differentiating the presence of fight, flight, freeze, attach and submit parts
  • Increasing dual awareness
  • Dissociative switching and “blending”
  • Helping clients increase their ability to “unblend” from trauma-related parts
  • Helping clients decrease dissociative “switching”
  • Distinguishing psychotic versus dissociative symptoms

Session III: Working with Traumatic Memory in DID: Implicit Memory and Animal Defense Survival Responses

  • Memory systems:  explicit and implicit, voluntary versus involuntary
  • The role of procedural memory in complex trauma
  • Helping clients differentiate implicit and procedural memories from situational responses
  • Dissociative compartmentalization as a complication in memory processing
  • Loss of a sense of time and place due to fragmentation
  • Re-thinking the role of witnessing client’s traumatic experiences
  • Discuss indications and best practices for processing traumatic memories in this population       
Session IV: Working with Regression, Aggression and Passivity
  • Traumatic attachment and animal defenses
  • The “controlling strategies” in individuals with disorganized attachment
  • Regression and aggression as controlling strategies driven by trauma-related parts
  • Working with regressive states and child parts
  • Aggression in therapy: devaluing and self-destructive behavior
  • Working with verbally abusive and devaluing parts
  • Depressive states as an adaptation to trauma
  • Interventions for addressing chronic depressive states
Session V: Traumatic Transference in the Treatment of Dissociative Disorders
  • Stimulation of the attachment system in therapeutic relationships
  • Effects of traumatic/disorganized attachment on the transference
  • Why some clients become more dysregulated rather than less
  • Co-regulation and right brain-to right brain communication
  • How therapists can use contingent co-regulation in treatment
  • Internal attachment versus self-alienation
  • Using the social engagement system
  • Rupture and repair: visualization techniques for repairing childhood attachment failure  
Session VI: Integration and Healing
  • ‘Integration’ as the goal of dissociative disorders treatment
  • What does it mean to be “integrated”?
  • The evolution of treatment models for dissociative disorders
  • Identify interventions for increasing internal communication and cooperation among parts
  • Markers of progress in fragmented individuals
  • How should clients and therapists define “healing”?
  • Self-acceptance and compassion in the healing process
  • Best practices in trauma treatment

Target Audience

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

Bonus: Trauma Defined: Bessel van der Kolk on The Body Keeps the Score

Researchers are increasingly finding that the body is the key to trauma treatment. Trauma is about the body becoming immobilized, feeling helpless or numb. Often traumatized people either don’t feel their body at all, or they feel it all the time.

In this compelling one-hour discussion, world’s leading trauma researcher and author of the The Body Keeps the Score, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk discusses his research and the influences on his life work with trauma. During the hour, he succinctly and descriptively draws the picture of trauma, the brain, and how various treatments work (and don’t) on the trauma client.

This hour will leave you, and those with whom you share this information, with the best understanding on the nature of trauma, its impact on the brain, how our brains work and most of all, the important new treatments that promise hope to those suffering from PTSD and trauma.

Bessel has spent 40 years working with and learning from traumatized clients. In this video, he shares insight into a bold new paradigm for healing from trauma. You won’t want to miss this personal account of Dr. van der Kolk’s work.

Program Information


  1. Evaluate how trauma influences the activity of the key areas of the brain and how that dictates behavior patterns in clients.
  2. Articulate the clinical research surrounding the effectiveness of yoga, mindfulness meditation, and theater in healing trauma in clients.


The Latest Clinical Research Surrounding:

  • The impact of trauma on brain activity
  • Neurofeedback, EMDR and “body work” on symptom reduction
  • The effectiveness of movement, mindfulness and theater activities in trauma treatment

Target Audience

Addiction Counselors, Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Nurses, Psychologists, Social Workers and other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 09/02/2014

Bonus: Overcoming Trauma-Related Shame and Self-Loathing with Janina Fisher, Ph.D.

Shame has an insidious impact on our traumatized clients’ ability to find relief and perspective even with good treatment. Feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy interfere with taking in positive experiences, leaving only hopelessness. This 60-minute recording was webcast live from the office of Dr. Janina Fisher and introduces shame from a neurobiological perspective—as a survival strategy driving somatic responses of automatic obedience and total submission.

Learn to help clients relate to their symptoms with curiosity rather than automatic acceptance, discriminate the cognitive, emotional, and physiological components of shame, and to integrate somatic as well as traditional psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral techniques to transform shame-related stuckness.

Program Information


  1. Discriminate the clinical implications of physiological and cognitive contributors to shame.
  2. Determine cognitive-behavioral, ego state, and psychoeducational interventions to address shame in clients.


The Neurobiology of Shame

  • The role of shame in traumatic experience
  • Shame as an animal defense survival response
  • Effects of shame on autonomic arousal
Shame’s Evolutionary Purpose
  • Shame and the attachment system
  • Rupture and repair in attachment formation
Making Meaning of Shame
  • Feelings of disgust, degradation, and humiliation are interpreted as “who I am”
  • Cognition and the body
  • Internal working models predict the future and determine our actions
Working from the “Bottom Up”
  • The role of procedural learning and memory
  • Physiological effects of mindful dual awareness
  • Using mindfulness-based techniques to inhibit self-judgment
A New Relationship to the Shame: Acceptance and Compassion
  • Re-contextualizing shame as a younger self or part
  • Bringing our adult capacity to our childhood vulnerability
  • Healing shame through compassionate acceptance
The Social Engagement System and the Healing of Shame
  • Social engagement and the ventral vagal system (Porges)
  • The incompatibility of shame and social engagement
  • The therapist’s own social engagement system as a healing agent

Target Audience

Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Case Managers, Addiction Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, and other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 12/09/2013