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Introduction to Assessment and Treatment of Complex Dissociation

Before doing this course you are strongly recommended to complete our Course 1 – Introduction to Trauma-related Complex Dissociation. There are discounts for purchasing more than one course at a time.

This course 2 introduces the history of the field of dissociation and provides a foundation level introduction to the assessment and treatment of complex dissociative disorders, including Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS) or Other Specified Dissociative Disorder (OSDD)

It consists of six units of approximately 20 to 60 minutes each. On completion a certificate for 4 hours of CPD can be downloaded.

Presented by Rémy Aquarone, Analytical Psychotherapist and Director of Pottergate Centre for Dissociation and Trauma

Unit 1 – An introduction and history of dissociation
This unit provides an introduction to the history of dissociation spanning the early works of Pierre Janet, the cultural reasons for its near disappearance and its eventual re-emergence. It includes an initial description of the internal hierarchy of a DID system, assessment tools and the 3 stage model of treatment.

Unit 2 – Dissociation and Attachment
This unit looks at the innate need to attach, primitive animal survival responses, and the continuum from everyday dissociative experiences (alterations of consciousness) to mal-adaptive (pathological) dissociation.

Unit 3 – Foundation for Therapy
This unit explores the stabilisation phase of therapy and emphasises its the critical importance as the foundation of therapy as a whole. It also explores issues of the use of language, counter-transference, and some challenges for out-patient therapy services.

Unit 4 - Introducing Structural Dissociation of the Personality Model
This unit consists of two video presentations providing an introduction to the concept of the structural dissociation of the personality model. It looks at the role of “Apparently Normal Parts of the Personality” (ANPs) and “Emotional Parts of the Personality” (EPs) defined in this concept. The unit discusses the importance of establishing communication between parts, understanding the interaction between parts in the clients’ inner world and the need to develop the clients’ ability to maintain contact with the outer world. In relation to these tasks the role of therapist as facilitator and the importance of continuity of care is emphasised. It explores further the three phases of therapy and briefly discusses the issue of organised abuse.

Unit 5 – Screening Instruments & Developing an Outpatient Therapy Service
This unit looks at two evidence-based instruments to screen for dissociative distress, the DES (Dissociative Experience Scale) and SDQ20 (Somatoform Dissociation Questionnaire). It describes cost savings from setting up effective treatment protocols within the NHS for clients/patients who have a complex dissociative disorder. It also describes dissociative symptom levels found during an audit at an inpatient psychiatric service.

Unit 6 – Issues for Diagnosticians including Differential Diagnosis
This unit references the two diagnostic manuals – Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSMIV) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD10), including the changes to the section on Dissociative Disorders with the publication of DSM5. It looks at what the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) guidance for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD) says about complex dissociative disorders. It outlines the approach needed by therapists when working with clients/patients with a known or suspected trauma history. Explaining the importance of differential diagnosis, the unit presents statistics showing the proportion of wrongly diagnosed conditions such as Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder and other presentations in patients who actually have Dissociative Identity or similar complex dissociative disorder.

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