Dissociation 101: For Students, Emerging Professionals and Those New to the Field

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 workshop will cover:

  • Theories of trauma and dissociation
  • The history of the dissociative field, including theories and treatment recommendations from the 1800's, through to the eighties, nineties and today
  • The impact of the false memory "war"
  • Finer details of current dissociative models (covering various theoretical foundations, e.g. Structural dissociation, dissociative symptoms/phenomena (the DSM), dissociative defenses
  • Rate and prevalence
  • Breakdown of the dissociative disorders
  • Neurobiology of trauma and dissociation
  • Assessment and evaluation
  • 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.This workshop is designed to demystify dissociation and provide participants with a broad based understanding of it as a response to overwhelming stress. 

This workshop will cover: 

  • What is dissociation: Common theories 
  • How common is dissociation: Rate and Prevalence 
  • The history of dissociation and the ISSTD: The story that has taken 150 years to emerge 
  • Neurobiology of dissociation: The field of trauma and dissociation is expanding daily 
  • All of the Dissociative Disorders: Breaking down the DSM 
  • Treatments for Dissociative Disorders: Common and not so common 

Timed Outline
90 Minutes - Aetiology of dissociation and the dissociative disorders
90 Minutes - Diagnosis of Dissociative disorders
90 Minutes - Models of Dissociation
90 Minutes - Treatment of Dissociative Disorders

This session was originally presented as a live conference session in May 2020.

Target Audience


Learning Objectives

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

  • Discuss the importance of a solid theoretical foundation regarding dissociative experiences
  • Discuss the importance of understanding the historical back ground of the dissociative field in working with this population in the greater mental health fields
  • Discuss 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
  • Obtain neurobiolgical information to assist with their clinical and educational experiences
  • Distinguish between complex trauma, post traumatic stress disorders and dissociative disorders
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 6.00 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 6.00 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
ISSTD Member cost:
Your Price:

Presenter: Christine Forner, BA, BSW, RSW, MSW
Presenter Bio: Christine Forner (Ba, Bsw, Msw, Rsw) has been in the healing profession in one form or another since the age of 16 where she worked on a crisis line for teens. Christine spent the first part of her career in the front lines working at local sexual assault centres, long term therapeutic setting and shelters for domestic violence survivours. Since 2011, Christine has worked in her own private practice, which specializes in complex trauma and dissociative disorders. Christine has over thirty years of working with individuals with Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, Traumatic Dissociation, Developmental Trauma and Dissociative Disorders, with specialized training in EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Psychotherapeutic Meditation techniques, Neurofeedback and Havening. Christine teaches locally and at an international level on the issue of dissociation, complex trauma, and the intersection of dissociation and mindfulness. Christine is the current President for the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. Christine has also served on the board of the ISSTD since 2010 and was the ISSTD treasurer from 2011-2017. She is the author of Dissociation, Mindfulness and Creative Meditations: Trauma informed practices to facilitate growth (Routledge, 2017). The summation of her work is to educate practitioners about the vital importance of their presence, patients and care with those who have been through the most severe and brutal injuries so that they get treated with dignity and compassion; something every human deserves to experience.

Presenter: Mary-Anne Kate, PhD
Presneter 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, including migrants, refugees, and people with trauma histories and mental health issues. Mary-Anne is currently teaching on the Mental Health Masters program at Southern Cross University and hold an adjunct research position at the University of New England. Mary-Anne is a Scientific Committee member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) and has recently been awarded the Chancellor's Doctoral Research Medal and the David Caul Award for her PhD on childhood maltreatment, parent-child dynamics and dissociation. Her previous roles have included a diplomatic posting to Cairo to manage Australia’s refugee and migration programmes for North Africa and policy development for Europe’s most influential think-tank on immigration and equality issues.

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:
Please login or register to take this course.

"Your Price" above reflects your final price based on your membership status and career level. 

  • 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.