Phase Oriented Therapy for Complex Trauma-related Disorders: an overview
A one-day workshop with Dr Suzette Boon
London, 8 October 2016 (Saturday)
Ambassadors Bloomsbury, 12 Upper Woburn Place, WC1H 0HX
All therapeutic approaches for individuals suffering from complex trauma-related disorders need to be aligned with the client’s individual capacity for managing intense affects while recognising the myriad psychic defenses that the client may be deploying to manage traumatic memories and triggers. Over the years, a phase-oriented approach has shown proven efficacy in such situations. While the stages of a phase-oriented approach are easy to list, therapists need an acute understanding of the synchronization of affect with each stage and the relative therapeutic time that each stage requires depending on specific situations.
At this illustrative and therapeutically oriented workshop which would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, Dr Boon draws on her innovative work on complex trauma and her long-standing clinical experience to help us comprehend:
- The three phases of therapy: (1) stabilization and symptom reduction; (2) treatment of traumatic memories, realization of the past (3) integration and rehabilitation
- Stabilization techniques for clients with complex dissociative disorders
- Working with dissociative parts
- Working with angry and sadistic parts, and self-destructive behavior
- Dealing with difficulties in the therapeutic relationship in phase I; specifically considering the unique transference and countertransference challenges
- The prerequisites for moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2 including the regulation of intense emotions
Explaining phase-oriented therapy with a specific focus on Complex Dissociative Disorders, Dr Boon explains how therapists can apply these learnings in clinical settings and allow their clients to move towards an acceptance of themselves and their bodies. The workshop provides an overview of the phase-oriented approach and specifically delves deeper into Phase 1 techniques using video vignettes and demonstrations.
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: Understanding the phase-oriented approach
In the first session, we look at the settings that offer potential for a phase-oriented approach including situations with Complex Trauma manifestations. Specifically, we consider:
- Overcoming the challenging task of obtaining a therapeutic alliance with clients who have a complex trauma history (in particular with those who exhibit dissociative disorders)
- Overcoming the phobia for inner experiences and dissociative parts
- Developing acceptance and collaboration amongst dissociative parts
11:30AM: Coffee Break
12:00 noon: Session 2: Phase 1: Stabilization
Our discussion in the second session examines how therapists can assist clients with Phase 1. We consider:
- Developing a working alliance with hostile and destructive dissociative parts
- Techniques for regulating emotions and for dealing with triggers
1:30PM: Lunch Break (a light lunch is provided as part of the seminar)
2:30PM: Session 3: Symptom reductions in practice
We further build our understanding of Phase 1 and look at practical therapeutic applications through case vignettes. Our discussion specifically considers:
- Getting stuck and unstuck during the therapeutic process
- Transference and countertransference considerations in the phase oriented approach
- Self-care for the therapist
4:00PM: Coffee Break
4:15PM: Plenary Discussion
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