Things I Wish I Had Been Told About Working with Trauma and Dissociation
Many of us entered the field of complex trauma and dissociation with a notion that helping our clients get better meant resolving traumatic memories. While this is true for most clients, it is far from being sufficient to support both therapists and clients through the challenges of complex treatment. There is little preparation to help therapists understand and cope with the intense emotions that arise in themselves, the overwhelming urges to act and do something to relieve the suffering of a client; the frustrations and impasses; the need to hold intolerable knowing and feeling; the resistances and defenses of the client; the aggression and entitlement of some clients; and vicarious traumatization and burnout. We will explore several specific areas that are helpful for therapists, including recognizing prognostic factors and resistance, managing dependency, shame, and aggression; maintaining therapeutic boundaries; treating dissociative parts as aspects of one person, and most importantly, learning to ride the waves of our own tendencies and strong emotions. Principles of treatment and of self-care will guide our discussion.
This sessions was originally presented as a live webinar in February 2021.
Potential to Distress: No
Upon Completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:
- Identify areas in which they struggle with clients who have experienced complex trauma and dissociation
- Name at least four principles of treatment that support good psychotherapy for complex trauma and dissociation
- Discuss the value of clear and predictable boundaries in the treatment of complex trauma and dissociation
Presenter: Kathy Steele, MN, CS
Presenter Biography: Kathy Steele, MN, CS has been in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia since 1985, and is an Adjunct Faculty at Emory University. Kathy is a Fellow and a past President of the ISSTD, and is the recipient of a number of awards for her clinical and published works, including the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from ISSTD. She has authored numerous publications in the field of trauma and dissociation, including three books, and frequently lectures internationally on topics related to trauma, dissociation, attachment, and therapeutic resistance and impasses.
- 1.50 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.
- 1.50 ASWB ACEThe International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), #1744, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ISSTD maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 08/20/2021 – 08/20/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 1.50 continuing education credits.
- 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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