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Wading Through Mud: Fragmented Minds, Dissociation and Psychosis: Video Course

Wading Through Mud: Fragmented Minds, Dissociation and Psychosis: Video Course

In the presence of repeated traumatic experiences in which there is no escape, including child sexual abuse (CSA), sibling sexual abuse (SSA), relational trauma or domestic violence; dissociation becomes the default setting, making it hard to remain present in the body. While dissociation is in essence an adaptive response to complex trauma it can lead to a range of dissociative disorders in adulthood, including:

  • Depersonalisation
  • Derealisation and
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

Video course packs, including all notes are available immediately on booking. The access links are part of your ticket. Online video access remains available for 1 year from the date you receive the video course.

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$164.72

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Course Credits

CPD: 5 / CE: 5

Speaker(s)

Christiane Sanderson

Course length in hours

5 hrs of video content

Full course information

As dissociation separates the mind from the body, impairing the integration of experiences and feelings in conscious awareness, it hijacks emotional and cognitive functioning. This gives rise to a range of clinical manifestations including:

  • Amnesia and memory lapses, trance like states and slowed down responses
  • Rapid shifts in mood and behaviour, confusing shifts in access to knowledge, memory and skills
  • Disturbances in sense of self, auditory and visual hallucinations, and imaginary companions

As our clients emotionally shut down, they become disconnected and often experience a deep sense of emptiness, numbness or deadness, which can make them seem unreachable, even in therapy.

They also tend to experience their surroundings as unreal, as though they are in a dream or fog and feel as if their body belongs to someone else. As they become increasingly disconnected from their body they become out of contact with their of emotions, bodily sensations and somatic states, leading to a lack of self-awareness, and concomitant lack of control over their body or behaviour.

This ‘separation’ of mind and body can significantly diminish the client’s ability to create a coherent narrative of trauma, or make sense of what has happened, and is happening to them. In essence, trauma generated dissociation can be chronic and become a default setting, resulting in a disconnection with reality, interpersonal relationships, behaviours and a disconnection within the self.

To enable practitioners to gain a deeper understanding of dissociation, we will examine the nature of trauma generated dissociation, how it manifests in practice, and how it differs from psychosis and schizophrenia. The workshop will highlight the need for accurate assessment and formulation, and how best to work with survivors suffering from dissociation or DID using a trauma informed practice model that emphasises stabilisation, boundaries, pacing, processing of trauma and working with different parts of the personality to aid integration.

The training day will be of interest to counsellors and psychotherapists, health professionals such as psychiatrists, clinical or counselling psychologists, community mental health teams, social workers, safeguarding officers and those in the criminal justice system such as police, probation and prison offices, as well as solicitors.

Specifically, we will discuss:

  • What is dissociation and its link to childhood abuse and complex trauma
  • The role of trauma generated dissociation in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) and Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD)
  • The continuum of dissociation from everyday dissociation to Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
  • How dissociation differs from psychosis or schizophrenia
  • The symptoms of dissociation in depersonalisation, derealisation, dissociative fugue and Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • The role of shame in dissociation
  • The impact of dissociation on the sense of self, self-identity and relationships
  • The hallmark signs of dissociation in session and how to manage these
  • How to Identify the triggers to dissociation
  • The lived experience of dissociation
  • The role of grounding, stabilisation and integration
  • The challenges faced by practitioners when working with dissociative disorders
  • Somatic Countertransference and the practitioner’s own capacity to dissociate

© nscience UK, 2022 / 2023

What's included in this course

What you’ll learn

To enable practitioners to gain a deeper understanding of dissociation, we will examine the nature of trauma generated dissociation, how it manifests in practice, and how it differs from psychosis and schizophrenia. The workshop will highlight the need for accurate assessment and formulation, and how best to work with survivors suffering from dissociation or DID using a trauma informed practice model that emphasises stabilisation, boundaries, pacing, processing of trauma and working with different parts of the personality to aid integration.

Learning objectives

  • Describe the role of trauma generated dissociation in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) and Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD)
  • Discuss the continuum of dissociation from everyday dissociation to Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and how it differs from psychosis or schizophrenia
  • Describe the symptoms of dissociation in depersonalisation, derealisation, dissociative fugue and Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Describe the hallmark signs of dissociation in session and how to manage these
  • Discuss Somatic Countertransference and the practitioner’s own capacity to dissociate

About the speaker(s)

Christiane Sanderson BSc, MSc. is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton, of London with 35 years of experience working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sexual violence. She has delivered consultancy, continuous professional development and professional training for parents, teachers, social workers, nurses, therapists, counsellors, solicitors, the NSPCC, the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Committee, the Methodist Church, the Metropolitan Police Service, SOLACE, the Refugee Council, Birmingham City Council Youth Offending Team, and HMP Bronzefield.

She is the author of Counselling Skills for Working with Shame, Counselling Skills for Working with Trauma: Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse, Counselling Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 3rd edition, Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse, The Seduction of Children: Empowering Parents and Teachers to Protect Children from Child Sexual Abuse, and Introduction to Counselling Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma, all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She has also written The Warrior Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Sexual Violence; The Spirit Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Religious Sexual Abuse Across All Faiths and Responding to Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: A pocket guide for professionals, partners, families and friends for the charity One in Four for whom she is a trustee. Her next book, The Taboo of Sibling Sexual Abuse: Working with Adult Survivors is out soon with nscience publishing house.

nscience UK is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. nscience UK maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

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