Session One - From trauma to dissociation: Betrayal and memory
Session One – Content Level: Beginning and intermediate
From trauma to dissociation: Betrayal and memory
Clients with complex trauma have a high level of dissociation that interferes in present day life due to the past repetitive need to escape overwhelming situations in which there is no escape. One defense, Jennifer Freyd’s theory of Betrayal Trauma, wherein the child is abused by a trusted caregiver, will be likely to forget (develop amnesia for) abuse, in order to maintain the attachment to the needed caregiver, will be explored in this session. Further victim-perpetrator dynamics will also be discussed in this session. Time will be given to discuss case material as it relates to the readings.
1. Define dissociation and discuss its role as a defense in overwhelming situations
2. Explore the relationship between complex trauma and dissociative experiences
3. Define “betrayal trauma’ and discuss its role in the development of amnesia for complex trauma
4. Discuss the role of betrayal trauma and victim-perpetrator dynamics within betrayal trauma theory
5. Apply the above theories to cases in treatment
A. Courtois, CA, and Ford, JD (2013) Treatment of Complex Trauma: A Sequenced, Relationship-Based Approach. NY, NY: The Guilford Press. pp. 235 – 268 (Chapter 8).
B. Freyd, JJ (1994) Betrayal Trauma: Traumatic Amnesia as an Adaptive Response to Childhood Abuse, Ethics and Behavior, 4(4), 307 – 329.
C. Hyland, P., Shevlin, M., Fyvie, C., Cloitre, M. & Karatzias, T. (2020): The relationship between ICD-11 PTSD, complex PTSD and dissociative experiences, Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 21:1, 62-72
D. Gagnon, K.L., Lee, M.S., & DePrince, A.P. (2017) Victim–perpetrator dynamics through the lens of betrayal trauma theory, Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 18:3, 373-382
30 minutes: Introductions of instructors, students and discussion of class process
20 minutes: Discussion of Reading A – dissociation as a defense
20 minutes: Discussion of Reading C - relationship between complex trauma and dissociative experiences
20 minutes: Discussion of Reading B – adaptive response of traumatic amnesia in betrayal trauma
15 minutes: Discussion of Reading D – victim-perpetrator dynamics and betrayal trauma
75 minutes: Discussion of case materials applying the above readings to disguised cases
- 2.50 APAThe International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation maintains responsibility for this program and its content.