How and Why Dissociative Processes Are Key to Noticing Dissociative Disorders
A focus on diagnosis of dissociative disorders distracts clinicians from the more important and more useful discernment of what dissociative processes are active in a given patient "in the moment" and how this provides an entry point into the subjective experience of the patient. Dissociative processes help a person to hide their mind without noticing they are doing so. The clinical task is to be casually vigilant about noticing discontinuities, abrupt changes in world-view, affectivity, somatic experience, memory, transferential constellations, attentiveness, and other markers of changing mental capacity. In this brief workshop the dissociative processes and their manifestations will be explored and participants will learn to understand how to build diagnostic clarity from the "small stuff" of conversation.
At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:
- Describe three observable signs of active dissociative process
- State three questions you can ask, but previously haven't, to assess whether dissociative processes are contributing to your patients' problems
- Name three assessment tools that may be helpful in assessing dissociation
- Name one primary function of dissociative processes
- State three areas of subjective experience that may be discontinuous due to the activity of dissociative processes.
Presenter: Richard Chefetz, MD
Presenter Bio: Richard A. Chefetz, M.D. is a psychiatrist in private practice in Washington, D.C. He was President of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (2002-3), Co-Founder and Chair of their Dissociative Disorders Psychotherapy Training Program (2000-2008, and is a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology. He is also a faculty member at the Washington School of Psychiatry, the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis, and the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis. He is a Certified Consultant at the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and is trained in Level I and II EMDR. Dr. Chefetz was editor of “Dissociative Disorders: An Expanding Window into the Psychobiology of Mind” for the Psychiatric Clinics of North America, March 2006, “Neuroscientific and Therapeutic Advances in Dissociative Disorders,” Psychiatric Annals, August 2005, and “Multimodal Treatment of Complex Dissociative Disorders,” Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 20:2, 2000, as well as numerous journal articles on psychodynamic perspectives on trauma, dissociation, and clinical process. He recently published a book with Norton (2015), in their Interpersonal Neurobiology series, Intensive Psychotherapy for Persistent Dissociative Processes: The Fear of Feeling Real, http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Intensive-Psychotherapy-for-Persistent-Dissociative-Processes/
- 1.50 ISSTD Certificate ProgramThis program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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- 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.
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