Program Information

Dissociative Processes and the Psychodynamics of Complex PTSD

Dissociative processes can create a bias on the developmental trajectory of a small child that fundamentally changes the capacity for interpersonal relationships, both the identification of emotion and its regulation, and have a wide spectrum of effects upon cognitive processes and the creation of meaning in our lives. This double-barreled affective-cognitive disturbance creates imperiled clinical relationships when considering that people were the problem, but people are part of the solution.

In this all day workshop, the psychodynamics that are created by dissociative processes are explored, along with associated chronic and intractable shame, negativity, and suicidality. The paradoxical importance of negativity and suicidality are emphasized and explored in depth. Lastly, there will be an emphasis on how to identify and then work with dissociative processes that are initially well-hidden. Video of some patients will be included for illustrative purposes. Participants are encouraged to bring their own casework for discussion.

Session 1: Psychodynamics of Complex PTSD
Session 2: Recognizing Dissociative Processes in your Casework
Session 3: Shame and Negativity
Session 4: Suicidality and its Management

Conference Objectives

Upon completion of this conference, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the difference between the words affect, feeling, and emotion as well as the clinical utility of distinguishing between them.
  • Explain the likely sources of negative therapeutic reaction in the treatment of a person with a complex dissociative disorder.
  • Describe a clinical stance that will slowly erode use of negativity and the negative therapeutic reaction.
  • Explain the value of a self-state psychology in working with negativity and the negative therapeutic reaction.
  • Apply the principles of the Karpman Drama Triangle to countertransference situations.
  • Summarize the components of Bromberg’s model of enactment in dissociative disorder treatments.
  • Recognize the difference between the origins of guilt and shame
  • Predict which patients in your practice are likely carrying hidden shame
  • Explain both short and long-term interventions to help relieve guilt and shame
  • Ask appropriate questions to discern depersonalization, derealization, amnesia, identity confusion, and identity alteration toward making a diagnosis of a dissociative disorder.
  • Understand and be able to apply the four basic patterns of infant attachment, secure, anxious-ambivalent, avoidant, and disorganized/disoriented to their adult cases and apply these to the clinical setting.
  • Recognize and name basic expectable patterns of transference in persons with a history of chronic child maltreatment.
  • Learn how to utilize countertransference reactions typical of trauma treatments as a guide to understanding what is happening in their patients.
  • Discuss the differences between emotions in the shame spectrum of experience and their personal and interpersonal correlates
  • Discuss how dissociative process impacts on the subjective experience of trauma.

Continuing Education

ISSTD's Continuing Education Co-sponsor, CE Learning Systems, LLC is approved by American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CE Learning Systems maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

CE Learning Systems (Provider #1020) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of State Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education ACE program. CE Learning Systems LLC maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 02/23/2016 – 02/23/2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social workers participating in this course will receive 6 continuing education clock hours.

CE Learning Systems and ISSTD are cosponsors of this program. The cosponsorship has been approved by NBCC. CE Learning Systems is an NBCC Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5951. The ACEP solely is responsible for this program, including the awarding of NBCC credit.

CE Process Info
A continuing education certificate for the event you attended will be obtained using the website, CE-Go. Approximately 3 days after the event, you will receive an email containing a link to CE-Go.   (This link will be sent to the email account you used to register for the event).
Upon accessing the CE-Go website, you will be able to:

  • Complete evaluation forms for the event (Mandatory to receive credit for each session)
  • Download your continuing education certificate in a PDF format

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the CE-Go process, please contact CE-Go at 877 248 6789 ext. 5,  or by email at