This presentation will offer an integrative approach to stabilization in clients with dissociation, ranging from Complex PTSD, DDNOS, and DID. Since childhood abuse and neglect interfere with normal development across wide areas of functioning, clients are generally not yet able to integrate traumatic memories. Instead they suffer from flashbacks, intrusions from, or switching to, child parts that are overwhelmed and not oriented to the present, have serious unresolved inner conflicts, and struggle with daily life. Thus, early treatment is most effective when it focuses on supporting the client to overcome developmental deficits, using a phase-oriented, relational model. There are many helpful models for treating trauma, but many of them do not include ways to address the underlying dissociative organization of the client’s inner experience. We will focus on an eclectic, integrative approach to stabilize dissociative clients, which incorporates many therapeutic approaches I have found helpful over 30 years of experience. I use a wide variety of relational, cognitive, mindfulness, affective, somatic, ego state, psychodynamic, EMDR, and hypnotic techniques. A demonstration of some of these techniques and their positive effects will be shown in a video of a session with a client who had DDNOS.
Kathy Steele, MN, CS is Clinical Director of Metropolitan Counseling Services, a psychotherapy and training center, and is in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a past President of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. She frequently teaches about trauma and dissociation around the world, and has authored or co-authored numerous publications in the field. Kathy has received several awards for her work, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. She is co-author of The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation of the Personality and Treatment of Chronic Traumatization (2006) and Coping with Trauma-related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (2011). She is currently writing a practical clinical manual on treatment, resistance, and impasses in dissociative disorders with Suzette Boon, Ph.D. and Onno van der Hart, Ph.D.
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