In-Person Training

Working with Dissociation: Advanced Topics

AVAILABILITY: in-person only
DURATION: 2 days
COST: In-Person Delivery Cost: $595+GST per person, including tea, coffee and lunch
TARGET AUDIENCE: Mental health practitioners who are seeking advanced levels skills in working with dissociation including DID.


This training is for mental health practitioners who have prior experience working with clients with complex trauma and dissociative disorders, who are looking to hone their advanced level skills in offering parts work interventions.  Catherine’s approach to working with trauma and dissociation is grounded in neurobiology, and is therapeutically integrative, involving strategies from Internal Family Systems Therapy, the Model of Structural Dissociation, Schema Therapy, Coherence therapy and other evidence-based approaches.  She also synthesises wisdom from experienced clinicians, including Kathy Steele, Janina Fisher, Richard Kluft, and Frank Putnam, among others. The training is a mix of didactic and interactive experiential demonstrations, and Catherine includes insights from her own clinical work.

Please be aware that this advanced training assumes that participants can agree with the following:

  • I am confident of the boundaries that need to be in place to safely work with clients who dissociate.
  • I know what causes dissociative disorders and how they originate.
  • I know about the false memory debate and the controversies about dissociative disorders, and I could defend my work with dissociative clients.
  • I know how to assess for dissociation.
  • I am able to treat people with dissociative parts, and I can produce a psychological formulation of a person’s internal system of parts.
  • I am competent in managing risk in dissociative clients.

For those who are not so confident, they will likely get more out of this training by first doing an introductory training in dissociation, for example: (, or by reading a text such as Treating Trauma-Related Dissociation (Steele, Boon & van der Hart, 2017).

Detailed Content Summary

Day 1:

Morning Session 1:

Context of Therapy

  • Therapy for dissociation is relational and emotional
  • A close look at risks to the therapeutic relationship
  • Strategies to mitigate the emotional intensity and repair ruptures

Definition of Dissociation

  • A neurobiological and developmental contextualising of dissociative disorders
  • A look at trance and dissociation
  • Inner Wisdom and Inner Self Helper Phenomena

Morning Session 2:

What is a Part?

  • Detailed look at several therapeutic models of parts
  • A critique of models looking at strengths and weaknesses
  • Development of an integrative approach to parts work

After Lunch Session 3:

How do you do parts work?

  • Details on Accessing Parts
  • Details on Mapping Parts
  • A Strategic Guide to Parts Work

Afternoon Session 4:

General Principles of Parts Work

  • Straightforward, Non-technical Therapy
  • Equanimity and its Challenges
  • Unresolved Dialectics and Polarisations
  • Grounding Therapy in Neurobiology

Day 2:

Morning Session 5:

Phases of Therapy

  • A close look at the 3 Phases of Trauma Therapy with details on strategies in each phase
  • Richard Kluft’s 9 Phases of Therapy

Morning Session 6:

What Types of Part Exist?

  • Detailed look at functions and types of parts
  • Development of a parts inventory with treatment considerations
  • Problem parts in treatment with specific solutions, including:
    • Anger
    • Shame
    • Affect Avoidance
    • Recalcitrant Toddler Parts
    • Perpetrator Imitating Parts

After Lunch Session 7:

Memory Work in Dissociative Disorders

  • A detailed look at the timing and process of memory resolution work in dissociative clients

Afternoon Session 8:

Integration Processes

  • The how and why of integration in dissociative disorders


  • The role of hypnosis in treatment
  • Specific techniques to enhance dissociative treatment
Back to Training page