101920: Psychological Assessment of Dissociative Disorders - Part 1

The Process of Assessing Dissociative Patients and Their Profiles on Trauma Measures

About the Course:

This course is based on the Psychological Assessment of Dissociative Disorders
Clients with dissociative disorders (DD) usually present with a complex array of symptoms and comorbid conditions which can make it difficult to correctly diagnose these disorders. Differential diagnosis is further complicated because they often elevate on validity scales. This two part webinar will provide an overview of how to accurately detect dissociation and make valid differential diagnoses of dissociative disorders through psychological testing. This webinar is open to all clinicians but some familiarity with psychological testing would be beneficial.

Dr. Brand will describe ways to manage common assessment challenges such as mistrust, amnesia and conflicting and variable experiences of symptoms. She will review the behaviors exhibited by DD patients during psychological assessment, describe a method for obtaining valid assessment data from them, and review some of the trauma-specific tests (DES, TSI, MID, MDI) and interviews (SCID-D-R, DDIS) that are useful in making a differential diagnosis of DD for adults.


International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation

Publication Date:

March 16, 2009


Bethany Brand PhD

About the Author:

Bethany Brand earned her Ph.D. in Clinical/Community Psychology at the
University of Maryland, College Park in 1993. She became interested in
trauma in graduate school, which led to her completing her master’s thesis
with Frank Putnam, M.D. and her dissertation with Pamela Alexander, Ph.D.
In 1998, she accepted a professorship at Towson University where she continues to work as an
Associate Professor in the Psychology Department. Dr. Brand has won
several teaching awards including the Maryland Psychology Teacher of the
Year. She has written numerous articles and book chapters on topics related
to trauma. Her research focuses on assessing and treating trauma disorders.
Dr. Brand is currently the primary investigator on a prospective, longitudinal
international treatment outcome study of dissociative disorders. She
supervises postdoctoral fellows in psychological assessment at Sheppard Pratt Health System and has a private practice in Towson, Maryland.

Recommended For:

This ISSTD course is recommended for mental health and allied professionals, including: Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Marriage and Family Counselors, plus any other professional whose work involves providing service to individuals suffering from trauma and dissociative disorders and other academics whose studies include chronic trauma and dissociation in its many varied forms. It is appropriate for an intermediate level of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. List the behaviors exhibited by DD patients during psychological assessment.

  2. Describe a method for obtaining useful assessment data from dissociative patients.

  3. Discuss some of the trauma-specific tests (DES, TSI, MID, MDI) and interviews (SCID-D-R, DDIS) that are useful in making a differential diagnosis of DD for adults.

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