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ATTUNING TO DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER (DID) : Core features, foundational principles, and implications for clinical practice.

Pam Stavropoulos, PhD - UniMelb, Grad. Dip. Psychotherapy (JNI) , Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment, Fulbright Alumni, Clinical Member PACFA .
7 Hours
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Access for 3 month(s) after program date.

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Notwithstanding the large evidence base which attests to the reality of Dissociative Identity Disorder (Dorahy et al, 2014; Brand et al 2016) myths and misconceptions about DID continue to circulate. Confusion within as well as outside the mental health field about the status, etiology, and impacts of DID impedes recognition and effective treatment of it. This two-part webinar introduces the nature and core features of DID, dispels common recurrent myths surrounding it, and presents key principles of effective therapy for it. Building on knowledge of how healthy developmental trajectories are disrupted by childhood trauma which generates the need for coping strategies, it locates DID as a multifaceted dissociative coping system which while initially protective becomes debilitating and disabling if the underlying trauma is not addressed.

Please note that DID is a sophisticated and intricate mode of self-organization, effective therapy for which requires clinical experience and skills which this webinar does not provide. Rather the aim is to equip therapists with basic knowledge of this widely misunderstood coping system, to recognize the potential but also limits of standard therapeutic modalities in relation to it, and optimal ways of proceeding (including appropriate referral) where necessary.

To the extent that the self is non-unitary and `[w]e all have parts’ (van der Kolk, 2015) basic understanding of the differences between healthy multiplicity and the dissociative trauma-generated self-states of DID is important for all clinicians irrespective of clientele and modality - Pam Stavropoulos


Pam Stavropoulos, PhD - UniMelb, Grad. Dip. Psychotherapy (JNI) , Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment, Fulbright Alumni, Clinical Member PACFA .'s Profile

Pam Stavropoulos, PhD - UniMelb, Grad. Dip. Psychotherapy (JNI) , Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment, Fulbright Alumni, Clinical Member PACFA . Related seminars and products

Pam Stavropoulos PhD is a Sydney based educator, consultant and psychotherapist. A former Fulbright Scholar and twice winner of the Pierre Janet Writing Award for the best clinical, theoretical or research paper in the field of dissociation and/or trauma, she is a member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) and co-authored the nationally and internationally endorsed Practice Guidelines for Clinical Treatment of Complex Trauma (2019, 2012). Formerly Head of Research with the Blue Knot Foundation, Pam has held lectureships at the University of New England and Macquarie University, from which she left her tenured position to study and practise psychotherapy, and is a former Program Director of the Jansen Newman Institute, Sydney. The author of Living under Liberalism: The Politics of Depression in Western Democracies (2008) she has written research reports in the community health sector and is a clinical supervisor who specialises in complex trauma-related issues.  

Registration Details

Registration fee:  $199 

Recorded version available to view for 3 months after event. 

Attendance Certificate for 7 hours of interactive training.  

Additional​ viewer: $99 

Watch the event with the Primary Participant as part of a group (on same device)

Attendance Certificate for 6 hours of interactive training.


This seminar provides 7 hours for CPD points.   

Reminders will be sent prior to your live webcast event with a link to your account at where you will see your purchased webcasts. 

You will need a steady internet connection, and a device such as a computer, tablet or phone upon which to view and participate.


Learning objectives of this training:

  1. Ability to describe the core features of dissociation and the combination of these which denotes the complex form of personality organization known as DID
  2. Recognition of the need to attune to dissociation in all clinical practice and why a continuum model is helpful in identifying its various forms
  3. Appreciation of the relationship between coping strategies to protect against childhood trauma and the subsequent health challenges in the context of DID if the underlying trauma is not addressed
  4. Understanding of what is meant by `structural’ dissociation and the factors which can give rise to it
  5. Ability to distinguish the contrasting paradigms of the `Trauma’ and `Fantasy’ models of DID and why evidence supports the former rather than the latter
  6. Understanding of the non-unitary `state’ theory of personality, the differences between trauma-generated self-states and the states of healthy developmental trajectories, and the implications of these differences for effective psychotherapeutic treatment of DID

How will participants benefit from attending this presentation?

  1. Clarification of one of the most misunderstood mental health constellations and the high stakes of dispelling misconceptions about it
  2. Understanding of the treatment implications of differences between `healthy multiplicity’ (`w]e are all multiple to some degree’; Putnam, 2016) and the trauma-generated structurally dissociative self-states/parts of DID
  3. Enhanced capacity to attune to dissociative trauma-generated self-states and to formulate appropriate therapeutic interventions including referral where necessary



(3.5 hours with short break)

Myths and misconceptions: addressing Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

The nature of multiplicity, different forms of dissociation, and the benefits of a continuum model

Development disrupted: dissociative coping in the context of overwhelming early life experiences

The non-unitary self and the state theory of personality (Putnam, 2016)

Trauma impacts, the brain, and memory: `Forgetting to remember’ (Silberg, 2013), `Defensive exclusion’ (Bowlby [1981] 2006), `Good me’, `Bad me’ and `Not me’ (Sullivan, 1953 in Howell, 2005)

`Structural’ dissociation

The Trauma vs Fantasy Model


(3.5 hours with short break)

Understanding `the parts part’ (Fisher, 2017); important differences between healthy multiplicity and trauma-generated dissociative self-states (Kluft, 2006)

The limits of `standard’ parts work in the context of structural dissociation and DID

Immediate and ongoing psychotherapeutic challenges: stabilisation, safety, and grounding

Engaging multiple self-states

Key principles for working with DID: helpful concepts and techniques (informational only)


Target Audience

Therapists who seek to expand their understanding of the challenging mode of self-organization described as DID

Assumed knowledge / experience required of potential seminar participants:

Prior knowledge of the nature of complex trauma, key features of trauma-related dissociation, and the relationship between coping strategies for early life stress and subsequent symptoms is beneficial but not essential. The training will introduce this foundational material from which focus on the mental configuration of self-states known as DID will proceed.


Webcast Schedule

Day 1 : 2nd June'22

Morning Session
  9:00am - 12:30pm (includes a short break at 10:30am)

Day 2 : 9th June'22

Morning Session
  9:00am - 12:30pm (includes a short break at 10:30am)

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