Assessment of Dissociative Symptoms and Disorders
A one-day workshop with Dr Suzette Boon
London, 7 October 2016 (Friday)
Ambassadors Bloomsbury, 12 Upper Woburn Place, WC1H 0HX
As therapists, we witness often, that early and chronic emotional neglect, physical and / or sexual abuse can manifest in our clients as severe dissociative symptoms and disorders in adulthood. As a consequence of poor recognition of their dissociative disorders or symptomatology, such clients may spend many years in the health-care system without receiving adequate care and assessment. Their dissociative disorders are not easy to diagnose however for multiple reasons:
- Clients might not present with dissociative symptoms but may instead choose to hide or dissimulate these symptoms
- There is a lot of overlap in symptoms with other disorders such as personality disorders
- DSM-5 and ICD-10 differ with respect to classification and criteria
- Clinicians do not receive systematic training with regard to diagnosis and treatment of dissociative disorders and there is confusion about the concept of dissociation
- There is an ongoing polarized debate about the existence of dissociative identity disorder (DID) as a reliable and valid diagnosis
At this practical and therapeutically oriented workshop which would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, Dr Boon draws on her ground-breaking work on dissociative disorders and her long-standing clinical experience to help us:
- Gain a better understanding of dissociation and dissociative symptoms
- Use self –report questionnaires and diagnostic interviews such as DES, SCID-D and TADS-I
- Comprehend the differential diagnosis of dissociative disorders and chronic trauma-related disorders in DSM-5 and ICD-10 (11), including attention to false-positive diagnoses
With an aim of improving our diagnostic and assessment skills for dissociative symptomatology, Dr Boon explains how therapists can recognise the most prevalent symptoms and disorders, apply these learnings in clinical settings and allow for systematic assessment of complex traumatized clients.
About the speaker
Suzette A. Boon PhD, is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist. She is a trainer and supervisor for the Dutch Society for Family Therapy and the Dutch Society for Clinical Hypnosis. Since the late eighties she has specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of complex dissociative disorders. She has worked as a researcher at the free University of Amsterdam (psychiatric department). She translated and validated the Dutch version of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders (SCID-D) and received a PhD for her thesis “Multiple Personality Disorder in the Netherlands” in 1993. She has published several books, book chapters and articles both on diagnosis as well as treatment of dissociative disorders. She has developed a skills training manual for clients with complex dissociative disorder, the English version of which, with Kathy Steele, MN, CS and Onno van der Hart PhD has been published in March 2011 (Norton publishers).
She has developed together with Helga Matthess, a new semi structured interview for complex dissociative disorders and trauma related symptoms: the “Trauma and Dissociation Symptoms Interview (TADS-I)”. A validation study for this interview is currently in progress.
She is co-founder of the European Society for Trauma and Dissociation (ESTD) and was the first president of this Society. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) granted her the David Caul Memorial Award in 1993, the Morton Prince Award in 1994 and the President’s Award of distinction and the status of fellow in 1995 for her contributions to diagnosis, treatment, research and education in the field of dissociative disorders. In 2009, she received the Life Time Achievement Award and in 2011 the Pierre Janet writing Award for the book Coping with trauma-related Dissociation: skills training for patients and therapists.
9:30AM: Session 1: Recognizing dissociative symptoms
In the first session, we look at pathological dissociative symptoms and how these can be differentiated from other more common changes in consciousness such as absorption, daydreaming, highway trance and mild estrangement from oneself. Specifically, we consider:
- Pathological dissociative symptoms: psychoform and somatoform
- Other alterations in consciousness that are also present in other psychiatric disorders such as personality disorders, psychotic disorders and mood disorders
11:30AM: Coffee Break
12:00 noon: Session 1: first session to be continued
1:30PM: Lunch Break (a light lunch is provided as part of the seminar)
2:30PM: Session 2: From symptom to disorder: Diagnosis and differential diagnosis of dissociative disorders
Our discussion in the second session examines how therapists can recognize the symptom cluster of DSM-5 dissociative disorders and distinguish these from other psychiatric disorders, in particular personality disorders and imitated dissociative disorders
4:00PM: Coffee Break
4:15PM: Video presentations and Q&A
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