Recognizing Dissociative Processes in Your Casework

To recognize dissociative process in your patients requires a shift in the clinician’s attention to take in not only the foreground specificity of what the patient says and does but to add the much more diffuse and somewhat vague background presentation of “how the patient is and how they communicate” what they are trying to convey and not convey. Objective measures and assessments are important, and it’s also true the clinician’s emotional and intellectual agility are put to work to recognize what the patient’s mind prefers not to know as it unconsciously hides from itself and the patient. Affirming the relative rarity of the classic presentation of an alter system in Dissociative Identity Disorder, this Webinar thoughtfully and playfully presents a useful perspective on recognition of what is typically hidden in plain sight during clinical assessments. Building on the basics of clinical interviewing, Dr. Chefetz will present what additional knowledge and perspective is useful in discerning dissociative experiences in your casework and how to talk about it with your patient in the spirit of respectfully opening a psychotherapy to consideration of the role of dissociative process in influencing the implicit rules in the politics of having a mind of one’s own.

Target Audience


Learning Objectives

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

  • Describe the normal tension between association and dissociation and how the balance between them contributes to mental coherence.
  • Discuss why discerning depersonalization is critically important in assessing dissociation.
  • Describe how dissociative process influences memory and the questions that are important in discerning dissociative disturbances of memory
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
ISSTD Member cost:

Presenter: Richard Chefetz, M.D.
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 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. He is the author of Intensive Psychotherapy for Persistent Dissociative Processes: The Fear of Feeling Real, (2015) W.W. Norton.

Available Credit

  • 1.50 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.


ISSTD Member cost:
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 to receive the appropriate discount code.