Treating Trauma-Related Dissociation: Practical Approaches to Integration
Though much is written about the necessity of working with dissociative parts in order to promote integration of the self in Dissociative Disorders, there is little published information on exactly what to do in the therapy room. This workshop will offer practical, in-depth skills on how to understand and work with dissociative aspects of self, using integrated psychotherapy approaches. Participants will learn to work systemically to support the individual as a whole person. We will explore common conflicts and fears in clients that prevent them from integrating, and learn ways to address dissociation effectively. Participants will also learn how to help clients improve communication, cooperation, and compassion among dissociative parts as aspects of the whole person, and help the client develop skills to improve functioning and the capacity to reflect on inner experience. Common inner relational dynamics and conflicts among dissociative parts will be explored, along with ways to address these. We will discuss practical, step-by-step approaches to work effectively with particular types of dissociative parts. These include child or infants, oppositional, dismissing, acting out, angry, terrified, non-verbal, “dead,” inanimate, “spiritual,” and perpetrator-imitating parts of self. The lack of realization that underlies these varied manifestations of self will be explored. Special issues of working with a client who has severe amnesia for current experiences will be discussed. Various approaches to integration will be examined. Case examples and role play will illustrate particular approaches and interventions, along with video excerpts from actual sessions. Participants are encouraged to bring cases they would be willing to role play.