Diagnosis and Treatment of Complex Trauma and Dissociative Disorders - The Standard Course Parts I & II
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Overall Course Objective: At the end of this experience, participants will have sufficient knowledge to be able to diagnose Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS), and will have essential knowledge and skills needed to conduct individual psychotherapy to treat these illnesses.
The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation has successfully completed eight years of the ISSTD Professional Training Program and over 2500 participants have made use of this program.
Course Format: Part I and Part II are two separate courses. It is recommended that you take the courses in succession. Each Part is comprised of eight 2.5 hour sessions of literature discussion, lecture, and discussion of your cases.
The current version of the course was revised in 2013 by Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D. and Shielagh Shusta-Hochberg, Ph.D.
Educational Materials: Participants are required to purchase assigned text books and will be provided carefully chosen selections from a variety of scientific journals and other textbooks for each section. The syllabus for the course will be provided upon registration.
Disclaimer: This course provides an introduction to a variety of specific techniques that are applicable to stage-oriented treatment of complex trauma and dissociation. Nevertheless, this course is not adequate training in hypnosis or EMDR. If you plan to use these modalities, you should seek additional, specialized training, in those modalities.
Standard Course Part I - Session Topics and Objectives
Session 1: Beginning the Treatment: Putting the Essentials in Place
Session 2: Diagnostic Basics
Session 3: Initial Steps: Pacing and Phase-Oriented Treatment
Session 4: Boundaries
[The Course Directors assume participants are very familiar with the concept of interpersonal boundaries. This topic is stressed here because: Often having been subject to severe boundary violations in their early lives, many dissociative patients are vulnerable to repetitions of the violations of their personal boundaries, and sometimes they may be prone to violate other’s boundaries; they may lack adequate understanding of how therapeutic boundaries are designed to protect them.]
Session 5: Transference and Countertransference
Session 6: Organization of the Personality
Session 7: Treatment Techniques and Theoretical Approaches
Session 8: Clinical Approaches to Working with Persecutory Alters
Session 1: Diagnostic Issues, Part II: Complex Trauma and Dissociative Disorders: Differential Diagnosis and Comorbidity: Depersonalization Disorder, Schizophrenia, Eating Disorders, Borderline Personality Disorders, Narcissism, OCD and other Anxiety Disorders, Depression
Session 2: Stabilization, Affect Management, and Containment
Session 3: Disorganized Attachment and Dissociative Disorders
Session 4: Fragmentation and Memory Disturbance
Session 5: Understanding the System of Personality Organization, Part. 2: Subjective and Objective: Etiology, Mapping, and Neurobiology
Session 6: Transference and Countertransference, Part 2: Enactment, Projective Identification, and Dissociative Attunement
Session 7: Treatment Techniques and Therapeutic Approaches, Part 2: Hypnosis, EMDR, Somatic Approaches
Session 8: Working with DID: Integration and “Where do We Go from Here in the Mental Health Field?”
Modules to Meet Your Training Needs: Chronic complex trauma, child and adolescent trauma and dissociation, basic and advanced training in adult dissociative disorders are available in face-to-face and online formats.
Intro, Standard, Advanced, Child & Adolescent Courses Available Online. Online/Distance Learning modules utilize the same curriculum as the in-person courses. Continuing Education credit is available for these online/ distance learning courses. Information Regarding Online/Distance Learning
See important information below regarding registration.
Continuing Education Credits
Continuing Education Sponsor:
CE Learning Systems is a co-sponsor of this event. To earn continuing education credits, participants must purchase credits separately. Participants will need to complete an evaluation and a post-test (online courses only). CE credits are available in the U.S. and Canada.
ASWB - CE Learning Systems, (Provider #1020), is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of State Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education ACE program. ASWB Approval Period: 02/23/2013 - 02/23/2016. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social workers participating in this course will receive continuing education clock hours.
APA - ISSTD's Continuing Education Co-sponsor, CE Learning Systems, is approved by American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CE Learning Systems maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
Prior to 2010 Continuing Education (CE) credits were provided by the Institute for Continuing Education.
This fee includes copyright fees and course materials. You will receive course materials when registration is complete. All fees are in U.S. Dollars. CE credits are available for purchase through our CE co-sponsor, CE Learning System, Inc. Students will receive an email directly from the CE co-sponsor with information on the cost of credits and the process to obtain them.
Registration Requirements and Registration
Receiving Approval to Register: ISSTD is interested in the success of this program. To ensure the highest standards in our profession, we require each potential participant to call and speak with the instructor in your area (if two instructors, speak with at least one, if registering for the online program, contact ISSTD Staff
If your instructor agrees with your participation in this program, they will tell you to register. If you register without prior consent of an instructor, we cannot guarantee your instructors approval and your registration fee may be refunded to you, minus an administrative fee of $45 for handling of improperly submitted registration materials. Applicants must be licensed clinicians, or if you are a graduate student, a letter from your Department Chairperson giving permission for your participation in this program must be sent to your faculty person.
Course sites which have two faculty listed will have one course co-taught by both faculty. To begin the registration process, use the information on the Faculty Page to contact the faculty member in your area for permission to register. Calendar of Programs with Instructors Contact Information
REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS: IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ:
Registration is limited to 12 persons per site and varies per hybrid/online course. Participants must be licensed professionals, and students must also receive the approval of the local faculty to attend. Clinicians in training may attend with the written recommendation of the chairperson of their training program/department. Familiarity with treating a person with a major dissociative disorder is preferred in the Advanced and Master's level courses. Progression from Intro I to Intro II, through Standard I and Standard II is highly recommended prior to attempting the upper level courses. It is recommended that participants have contextual experience of dissociative processes to be able to take in more advanced course material in a meaningful way.
Members please remember to log in to receive your member discount. Contact Program Manager by email at email@example.com or call 703-610-9037 if you need your username and password or any additional registration assistance.
If you have a problem or a concern about registration, please contact the ISSTD Professional Training Administrative Director, Victor Welzant, Psy.D.
If you withdraw from any course less than 15 days prior to its local starting date, there is a $45 non-refundable charge. If you are sent course materials, prior to your notification of withdrawal from the course, regardless of the date of your notice, your refund will also be less the copyright fees. Registration is limited to 12 participants per location for in person courses and varies for hybrid/online courses. Once the course starts no new students can be accepted more than one week after the course begins. The course fee is not refundable if you withdraw from the course after two weeks prior to its start, unless an acceptable replacement for your registration is found, in a timely fashion, prior to the start of the course. Refund of fees, and acceptance at that time, is the decision of the course Directors. All materials used for this course are subject to copyright laws and are not for duplication or distribution by course participants. Fees must be submitted with registration, and must be submitted in US dollars.
ISSTD is thankful to the original course directors, Richard Chefetz, MD; A. Steven Frankel, PhD, JD; Donald Fridley, PhD; Elizabeth Howell, PhD; Annita Jones, PsyD; and Eli Somer, PhD as well as the many distinguished faculty members who have contributed and continue to give their energy and talents tirelessly to make this training program successful.
© 2017 ISSTD This course syllabus and bibliography are the copyrighted property of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD). Use of this material is prohibited without written permission from the ISSTD.