Dissociation 101: A Comprehensive Exploration into the Field of Dissociation and Complex Trauma


For many who first enter the field of dissociation and trauma, there is often not a great deal of information that describes the theoretical foundations and history of the dissociative field. This workshop is intended for students, emerging professionals and experienced practitioners who are interested in learning about the fundamentals of dissociation as a distinct response to trauma. The premise of this workshop is to cover essential information regarding dissociation and the dissociative disorders field. This course will cover 1) theories of trauma and dissociation, 2) the history of the dissociative field, including theories and treatment recommendations from the 1800's, through to the eighties, nineties and today, 3) The impact of the false memory "war", 4) finer details of current dissociative models (covering various theoretical foundations, e.g. Structural dissociation, dissociative symptoms/phenomena (the DSM), dissociative defenses 5) rate and prevalence 6) a breakdown of the dissociative disorders, 7) neurobiology of trauma and dissociation, 8) assessment and evaluation, and 9) current treatments. The goal of the workshop is to equip those who attend with enough information to take into their scholarly or new professional practices as well as have a solid foundation for the rest of the conference.

Target Audience


Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:

  • Participants, from first year student up to experienced clinicians, will gain a solid theoretical foundation regarding dissociative experiences. This class will be useful in all levels of professional and education experience
  • Obtain an excellent historical back ground that can assist with working with this population in the greater mental health fields
  • Assess whether a client is dealing with Faculty Dissociation (un-integrated psychological symptoms) or Multiplicity (more than one center of consciousness), or a combination of both and in turn evaluate their own skills and know whether it is ethical to work with the client or refer them elsewhere
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 6.00 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 6.00 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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Presenter: Christine Forner, BA, BSW, MSW, RSW
Presenter Bio: Christine has over thirty years’ experience working with individuals with Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, Traumatic Dissociation, Developmental Trauma, and Dissociative Disorders. She has specialized training in EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Psychotherapeutic Meditation techniques, and Neurofeedback. She began her career on a crisis line for teens and subsequently on the front lines working at local sexual assault centers, long-term therapeutic settings, and shelters for domestic violence survivors. Since 2011, Christine has worked in private practice, specializing in complex trauma and dissociative disorders. Christine teaches locally and at an international level on dissociation, complex trauma, and the intersection of dissociation and mindfulness.

She was the President of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, served on the board of the ISSTD since 2010, and was the ISSTD treasurer from 2011-2017. Christine is the author of Dissociation, Mindfulness, and Creative Meditations: Trauma-informed practices to facilitate growth (Routledge, 2017). As well as avidly working with those who have been hurt the most, Christine has dedicated her professional life to educating others on the logic, normality, and commonality of dissociation. The summation of her work is to educate practitioners about the vital importance of their presence, patience, and care with those who have been through the most severe and brutal injuries so that they receive treatment with dignity and compassion.

Presenter: Mary-Anne Kate, PhD
Presenter Bio: Dr Mary-Anne Kate has a professional background is in the development of national and EU policies and practices to improve quality of life outcomes for vulnerable client groups. Mary-Anne is a Scientific Committee member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and has recently been awarded the Chancellor's Doctoral Research Medal for her PhD on childhood maltreatment, parent-child dynamics and dissociation. Mary-Anne teaches therapists internationally and locally about trauma and dissociation. She is the lead author of the Dissociative disorders and somatic symptom-related disorders in Wiley's Australasian edition of Abnormal Psychology. Her previous roles have included a diplomatic posting to Cairo to manage Australia’s refugee and migration programmes for North Africa; policy development to improve the regulation, education and training of Allied Health Professionals in Scotland; coordinating Australia’s National Integrated Settlement Strategy for migrants and refugees; and policy development for Europe’s most influential think-tank on immigration and equality issues to improve the socio-economic situation of migrants and refugees in Europe.

Available Credit

  • 6.00 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 6.00 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.


ISSTD Member cost:
Your Price:
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"Your Price" above reflects your price based on your membership status. In the checkout process you will be asked to specify your career level and may be eligible for further discounts based on your selection. 

  • ISSTD defines a student as those enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree or certification in the mental health field and who have an interest in trauma and dissociation. 
  • ISSTD defines an emerging professional as mental health professionals who have completed an advanced degree and are in the first three years of their career (or first three years after graduation for researchers).
  • If you do not fall into one of the above categories please register as Professional/Retired. 

These prices are for Tier I countries. For a list of countries by Tier click here. If you are located in a country that falls into Tier II-VI please contact ISSTD at cfas@isst-d.org to receive the appropriate discount code.