Hearing Voices and Cultivating Internal Dialogue
An important goal in dissociative disorders treatment has always been the achievement of co-consciousness. An antidote to amnestic barriers that prevent information exchange and often contribute to high-risk behaviors “behind the back” of the client, co-consciousness has many clinical benefits. By facilitating the client’s ability to recognize the parts’ voices, points of view, and belief systems as differentiated from their own, it increases the degree to which clients can maintain continuity of self over time. When clients know whose thoughts they are hearing or whose impulses they feel, rather than feeling possessed by mysterious forces, that knowledge contributes to their impulse control, good judgment, and, most importantly, their safety. Co-consciousness also offers the system an opportunity to develop internal empathic connections between parts and an increased sense of community or inner attachment.
In this webinar, we will address the challenges of helping DID clients establish co-consciousness in the face of trauma-related habits of secrecy, internal conflicts between parts, and mistrust or avoidance of each other. Using techniques drawn from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, ego state therapy, and Internal Family Systems, therapists who work with DID will learn ways of overcoming phobic or dismissive reactions to the parts, to observe their communications, and to cultivate internal dialogue not only in words but also through the body. Lastly, we will focus on how to cultivate “earned secure attachment” in clients by increasing internal compassion for wounded child parts.
At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:
- Describe survival-related need for alienation among parts in DID clients
- Differentiate characteristics of voices in DID clients vs. schizophrenic clients
- Identify manifestations of parts’ activity and communications
- Utilize an internal dialogue technique, the Four Befriending Questions, to increase internal communication
- Identify interventions for increasing internal “selves”-compassion
Presenter: Janina Fisher, PhD
Presenter Bio: Janina Fisher, Ph.D. is Assistant Director of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, former president of the New England Society for the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation, and a former instructor, Harvard Medical School. A writer and lecturer on cutting edge trauma treatment, she is co-author with Pat Ogden of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Attachment and Trauma and author of numerous articles as well as the forthcoming book, Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Internal Self-Alienation.
- 1.50 ISSTD Certificate ProgramThis program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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