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Thursday, May 25th 2017 - Friday, May 26th 2017

Treating Trauma-Related Dissociation: A Practical, Integrative Approach

Kathy Steele, PhD
presented by Leading Edge Seminars

Location: Multi-faith Centre/Koffler House (569 Spadina Avenue, Toronto)
Time: 9:00 am to 4:40 pm
Fee: $430 + HST (before April 6, 2016); $450 + HST (after April 6, 2016)

Therapists can feel overwhelmed by the challenges and confusing presentations of clients who experience serious trauma-related dissociative disorders. This workshop will offer practical skills to work systematically with dissociative parts of a client in ways that facilitate integration rather than further dissociation. You will learn to help your clients establish both internal and external safety without rescuing and to set and maintain boundaries in session.

Drawing on psychodynamic, cognitive, emotional, and somatic approaches, as well as work from evolutionary psychology and neurobiology, Kathy Steele will present a sequential approach that supports the functioning of clients in daily life while increasing their abilities to engage in self-reflection.

You will learn how to develop a treatment plan based on your client’s needs and resources that is geared toward meeting goals established by you and your client. You will explore strategies to manage the many challenges of maintaining a therapeutic relationship with clients who avoid connection, and those who have strong dependency needs but are fearful of abandonment and rejection. Kathy will address trauma-related phobias, particularly the fear of inner experience, as a central organizing principle of treatment.

In addition, the workshop will cover how to understand and work with dissociative parts of the self in an integrative, paced, and sequential manner, with a special focus on working with regressed or hostile parts as aspects of the whole person. You will learn when to work with the person as a whole, and when to work with specific parts of the client, and ways to help the dissociative client steadily develop integration among parts of the self. The workshop will also briefly examine resistance as a form of protection, exploring relational ways to understand and resolve it.

Finally, Kathy will discuss the functions of chronic shame, particularly its central role in maintaining dissociation and dysregulation. She will introduce relational, top-down (cognitive), bottom-up (somatic), and imagery approaches to resolving chronic shame in the context of compassion.

Learning Objectives:

You will learn —

• Four specific skills to assess when building a treatment plan, based on the needs and resources of your clients
• How to conceptualize dissociative parts as an organization of the inner self
• Four methods for working with clients with dissociative disorders
• Strategies to maintain the therapeutic relationship when clients avoid connection or are fearful of abandonment and/or rejection
• Four interventions to effectively resolve chronic shame
• How resistance functions and the most effective approach to resolve it

About the Presenter:

Kathy Steele, MN, CS, has been in private practice in Atlanta for over three decades, and is Adjunct Faculty at Emory University. She has written or co-authored three books on complex trauma and dissociation. Her most recent book is Treating Trauma-Related Dissociation: A Practical Integrative Approach. She is a Fellow and a past president of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), and she has received numerous awards for her clinical and published works, including the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from ISSTD, an Emory University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006, and the 2011 Cornelia B. Wilbur Award for Outstanding Clinical Contributions from ISSTD. Kathy has also served on the International Task Force that developed treatment guidelines for dissociative disorders, and on the Joint International Task Force that has developed treatment guidelines for complex PTSD.


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