102148: Shame and Dissociation in Complex Trauma Disorder

Emerging Insights from the Empirical Literature

About the Course:

This webinar will explore the emerging empirical literature on shame and dissociation in complex trauma disorders. Clinical and theoretical accounts have long noted the challenges in working with shame in individuals exposed to interpersonal violence, and more recent work espouses the importance of working with shame (e.g, Chefetz, 2015; Herman, 2011; Kluft, 2007). Empirical work is beginning to explore shame in complex trauma disorders and its link to both dissociation and relationship functioning (e.g., Dorahy et al., 2015). This webinar will explore that work after providing a basic, and necessarily limited, account of how shame is understood in the theoretical and empirical literatures. Interestingly, it will be noted that while shame is related to relationship outcomes like anxiety in intimate partnerships and fear of engaging in relationships, dissociation is also associated to relationship concerns. Several studies designed to progressively explore this issue will be discussed.



Publication Date:



Martin Dorahy, PHD, DCLINPSYCH (presenter)

About the Author:

Martin Dorahy, PhD, DClinPsych, is a clinical psychologist and associate professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. He has published in the areas of dissociative disorders and complex PTSD, addressing issues around their phenomenology, and cognitive and affective correlates. He is a fellow and Board member of ISSTD, on the Research Advisor Panel of the Cannan Institute (Brisbane, Australia), and a member of the Newsletter editorial Board of the European Society for Trauma and Dissociation. He maintains a clinical practice focused primarily on the adult sequelae of childhood relational trauma. In an ideal world he would be snow skiing and mountain biking much more than he does!

Course Objectives:

  1. Describe shame as outlined in the theoretical and empirical literatures

  2. Explore the correlates of shame and dissociation in complex trauma disorders

  3. Outline emerging empirical findings on the association between shame, dissociation and intimate relationship functioning in those with complex trauma disorders

Exam Questions

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