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Beyond Linear: Embracing the Complexity of Dissociation in Trauma Therapy

Beyond Linear: Embracing the Complexity of Dissociation in Trauma Therapy

Two parts of himself were having a conversation:

“You’re in shock.”

“You can’t afford to be in shock.”

You were meant to think of yourself as ‘I’ when talking to yourself. ― Jack Grimwood, Moskva

Dissociation is a subjective construct (meaning different things to different people based on how they experience it). Sometimes it can be adaptive, sometimes maladaptive and sometimes it can be both at the same time! A lot of our research into working with Dissociation so far has treated it as a linear model. With newer research, however, we are realizing that our viewing of Dissociation has so far been much too linear to incorporate all the complex nuances it can manifest at the same time.

Times on both days:
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, London UK

12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, New York, USA

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There is no known commercial support for this programme.

This course does not qualify for CE credits.
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$185.13

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Course Credits

CPD: 6 / CE: N/A

Speaker(s)

Dr Jamie Marich

Course length in hours

6 hrs of video content

Location

Online streaming only

Full course information

Lived experiences of clients show them being in a simultaneous state of hyper- and hypo- arousal if two or more of their experiences are activated simultaneously. Similarly, they can very quickly drop from a hyper to hypo state characterized by a serious dissociative collapse without passing through the middle window. Latest research in neuroscience and evidence-based approaches shows that activation and collapse is not always a one-dimensional, linear process, rather a continuum on a circle. When triggered; fight, flight, freeze and fawn can all pull a client in different directions at the same time, much like being spread out in a spider web.

This training workshop, which would be especially relevant for counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists across modalities – provides an opportunity for professionals working with PTSD, complex trauma and single-instance trauma, to add practical skills to their therapeutic repertoire. The aim is to enable practitioners to explore more creative ways of working with dissociation and help them become more embodied, so they can facilitate post-traumatic growth for their clients. Dr Jamie Marich draws on the latest findings from neuroscience and evidence-based approaches, and the growing body of lived experience knowledge from the community of people living and thriving with dissociative disorders. As the author of Dissociation Made Simple (2023) which featured a large-scale phenomenological investigation, Dr. Jamie is passionate about setting the record straight on dissociation. In this workshop, she will:

  • Debunk the myths surrounding dissociation and provide us with a practical and sensitive orientation to how the dissociative mind works
  • Especially draw attention to strategies suggested by expressive arts and mindfulness-focused practices and evaluate their potential for therapeutic work
  • Provide us with a primer on working with grounding skills in stabilisation and preparation phases of trauma work
  • Help us expand our knowledge of conceptualising and healing dissociation within a trauma-focused clinical practice
  • Provide an overview on the theory of structural dissociation and help with the exploration of our own dissociative profile and system of parts

She will share strategies for translating this knowledge to practice settings and making the best clinical decisions possible, particularly in treatment planning, case conceptualization and working with extreme emotional distress.

Specifically, the webinar will:

  • Define dissociation in a trauma-focused manner and explain the multi-faceted manner in which signs of dissociation may manifest
  • List and discuss five common myths about working with dissociative clients in psychotherapy
  • Explain the theory of structural dissociation and utilize at least two metaphors to explain it to a client
  • Describe one’s own dissociative profile as an individual and translate this learning about the self into better understanding the internal world of a dissociative client
  • Implement at least three strategies from expressive arts therapy and mindfulness-informed approaches into early phases (Stabilization/Preparation), particularly for grounding and building awareness, and in later phases (Closure) for safely concluding and linking sessions
  • Apply at least three strategies learned through the previous objectives for enhancing case conceptualization and managing abreactions
  • Apply expert consultation in conceptualizing difficult cases with dissociation components (from a variety of theoretical perspectives)
  • Decrease overall apprehension and increase personal confidence in working with dissociative clients in professional settings

Learning Objectives:

  • Define dissociation in a trauma-focused manner and explain the multi-faceted manner in which signs of dissociation may manifest
  • List and discuss five common myths about working with dissociative clients in psychotherapy
  • Describe one’s own dissociative profile as an individual and translate this learning about the self into better understanding the internal world of a dissociative client
  • Implement at least three strategies from expressive arts therapy and mindfulness-informed approaches into early phases (Stabilization/Preparation), particularly for grounding and building awareness, and in later phases (Closure) for safely concluding and linking sessions
  • Apply at least three strategies learned through the previous objectives for enhancing case conceptualization and managing abreactions
  • Apply expert consultation in conceptualizing difficult cases with dissociation components (from a variety of theoretical perspectives)

© nscience UK, 2024 / 25

What's included in this course

What you’ll learn

This training workshop, which would be especially relevant for counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists across modalities – provides an opportunity for professionals working with PTSD, complex trauma and single-instance trauma, to add practical skills to their therapeutic repertoire. The aim is to enable practitioners to explore more creative ways of working with dissociation and help them become more embodied, so they can facilitate post-traumatic growth for their clients. Dr Jamie Marich draws on the latest findings from neuroscience and evidence-based approaches, and the growing body of lived experience knowledge from the community of people living and thriving with dissociative disorders. As the author of Dissociation Made Simple (2023) which featured a large-scale phenomenological investigation, Dr. Jamie is passionate about setting the record straight on dissociation.

Learning objectives

  • Define dissociation in a trauma-focused manner and explain the multi-faceted manner in which signs of dissociation may manifest
  • List and discuss five common myths about working with dissociative clients in psychotherapy
  • Describe one’s own dissociative profile as an individual and translate this learning about the self into better understanding the internal world of a dissociative client
  • Implement at least three strategies from expressive arts therapy and mindfulness-informed approaches into early phases (Stabilization/Preparation), particularly for grounding and building awareness, and in later phases (Closure) for safely concluding and linking sessions
  • Apply at least three strategies learned through the previous objectives for enhancing case conceptualization and managing abreactions
  • Apply expert consultation in conceptualizing difficult cases with dissociation components (from a variety of theoretical perspectives)

You'll also be able to...

Develop the ability to interpret and modulate the body’s nervous system (sensory and autonomic) to regulate arousal levels in clients and for safer trauma therapy

Identify and acquire recovery options and strategies for trauma clients inappropriate for trauma memory processing, particularly for those who don’t want to and those who decompensate or dysregulate from memory work

Also develop the ability to interpret and modulate the body’s nervous system (sensory and autonomic) to regulate arousal levels for professional self-care

About the speaker(s)

Dr Jamie Marich began her career working for humanitarian aid in Bosnia-Herzegovina from 2000-2003. As the founder of the Institute for Creative Mindfulness, she travels internationally, speaking on topics related to EMDR therapy, trauma, addiction, expressive arts therapy, mindfulness, and yoga while maintaining a private practice in her hometown of Warren, OH. She is the developer of the Dancing Mindfulness practice and regularly trains facilitators to take this unique practice into both clinical and community settings. Dr Marich is the author of several books on trauma recovery: Process Not Perfection: Expressive Arts Solutions for Trauma Recovery (2019), EMDR Therapy & Mindfulness for Trauma-Focused Care (2018, with Dr Stephen Dansiger), Dancing Mindfulness: A Creative Path to Healing and Transformation (2015), Trauma Made Simple (2014), Creative Mindfulness (2013), Trauma and the Twelve Steps (2012), and EMDR Made Simple (2011). She considers herself outspoken and freely shares her own experiences in recovery from dissociative disorder.

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