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Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  330 ratings  ·  24 reviews
This training manual for patients who have a trauma-related dissociative disorder includes short educational pieces, homework sheets, and exercises that address ways in which dissociation interferes with essential emotional and life skills, and support inner communication and collaboration with dissociative parts of the personality. Topics include understanding dissociatio ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published March 28th 2011 by W. W. Norton Company (first published March 14th 2011)
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 ·  330 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is like a textbook with an absolute ton of information. It was interesting reading about what people with a dissociative disorder experience. I was only familiar with a small number of the struggles involved.
I feel like I will never be through reading this book. I always return to it for grounding and direction. It has both basic and deeper, more insightful information about the experience of dissociation, IMO. Valuable companion on this journey.
Initially NO
Jan 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: crisis-healing
After almost getting back into this book, after leaving it because it annoy me, I only read until p 142. I had kept wondering why it wasn't something I wanted to read, until I got to this page and the line, 'psychiatric medications often help your brain function more effectively.' What utter hogwash. Not validating at all to psychiatric survivors and therefore unhelpful to those who find reality already traumatising. I really do see why I should bother reading any more unless someone thinks ther ...more
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation is the first skills manual specifically for individuals with complex dissociative disorders. It covers a wide variety of topics, including acknowleding your dissocation and dissociative parts, creating an inner sense of safety, coping with various emotions (such as anger and shame) and dealing with relationships. The book is ideally used in group therapy, but I used it on my own. Its practical advice and homework are very useful. This is a much needed book ...more
Aug 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Pretty basic guide for dissociation but good for those in therapy who are just learning this material the first time. Can't help but feel that if you are having these symptoms and your current therapist doesn't already know this information you should probably find someone more experienced as this seems common stuff to me.
Andrea Stoeckel
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one very big textbook for therapists treating trauma related psychological disorders: from occasional flashbacks to true dissociative disorders. The difference being that both patient and therapist are addressed and given examples and teachings to help strong boundaries (re)develop.

It’s taken me months to read this book. Each chapter challenges even the most intelligent person to learn and incorporate skills for both life skills and emotional tools to stay present and healthy. I like tha
Sep 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Generally useful as a guide for therapists and clients - especially for survivors who are new to their diagnosis. It provides a decent foundation explanation, and with the right therapist could be useful. However I found the book patronising and blinkered in parts, and seemed to have a single ideal. If this book was the only experience that a therapist had with complex Dissociative survivors then I think it would end up being irritating and unhelpful. As a help tool though alongside an experienc ...more
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
The only self-help book that has every really helped me. I recommend this for anyone suffering from dissociative identity disorder, or working through dissociated experiences from their past. It offers real tools for developing dialogue between parts and cultivating mindfulness in order to manage anxiety before dissociation occurs.
Angela Wade
Take your time going through - a little bit here, a little bit there. It will make a world of difference.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: trauma, psychology
This book is a manual for clinicians working extensively with this population. It contains lots of handouts and explicit lessons on coping with symptoms of dissociation. However, I suspect this book has limited usefulness because most patients are not likely to do many of these types of deep homework assignments and so the practical application is small.

That said, if you want to learn about dissociation and/or treat this population, it's probably a good book to read so you are familiar with the
Jan 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help, psychology
Good basic guide for clients and therapists who need a very practical guide in helping themselves through trauma-related dissociation.
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Three and a half stars. This is a wonderful starting point. I learned a lot from the first eight chapters, but leafed through or skipped entire other ones. I'm in a few 12-step groups that do use these techniques and address these topics, and have been for eight years. The information in the book does repeat and can blur, in a way. I don't recommend reading it in one sitting. I'm really glad I came across this. It's helping me have a plan to move forward, and I feel so much less alone.
Dylan Gauche
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An honest review would be too private, but suffice it to say that I found this book personally helpful. I've been borrowing it from the library for months now, taking it out again and again so that I could work through it all.

If you are in a place to read critically and safely engage with the content of the book, it has some really useful strategies and perspectives. I feel better equipped to understand my experiences and explain them to others, this being the first time I have really learned a
Fiona van Dahl
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
There's a lot of repetition, and covering things I now view as relatively basic psychology. However, this is still a very rare book, I'm glad I found and read it, and I'll be recommending it to anyone with similar interests.
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have a few challenging clients with DID, and a colleague recommended this book. Now I meet twice a week, and we spend time at the beginning of the week covering material from the chapter and at the end checking progress on homework and skills acquisition. This has really helped my clients and me to find hope for treatment of a disabling condition. My one gripe was that Section Two was too triggering to put early in treatment but works well if you do Section Three (sleep, exercise, structure, e ...more
Ivy Moser
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
A very comprehensive and gentle introduction and guide to a common and not very well understood outcome of trauma. If you are dealing with dissociation, this might be an excellent book, but you might want to work with a group or therapist before reading, as it is intense in places. Also, the advice is practical but at times rather CBT (Which is fine if you are a fan, but I am not).
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ein sehr gutes Buch mit einer hohen Informationsdichte, welches sich auch sehr gut für Betroffene eignet.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paljon asiallista ja hyvin muotoiltua tietoa ja apua sekä dissosiaatiohäiriöstä kärsivälle että lähipiirille.
Susan Kieffer
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very helpful. Probably the best book I've found for dissociation.
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ptsd
This was more for DID than for ptsd, but I found much of the teaching on dissociation to be helpful. Must post; library closing. Will update this review
C.E. G
Apr 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Pretty basic information but maybe good for an intro, and geared more toward DID diagnoses.
Peter Schmitt
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychotherapy
For a clinician, the ideas, concepts, and strategies introduced in the book can be useful. But, as it’s aimed at patients the later sections can feel like rehashes of earlier content.
Anita Taylor
Dec 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
It makes the assumption that you already have a normal non injured body, no sort of addictions, and a good sense of reality. Nor has Internal Family Systems been scientifically validated.
Roberta Fish
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Brandy White
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“Fear and anxiety affect decision making in the direction of more caution and risk aversion... Traumatized individuals pay more attention to cues of threat than other experiences, and they interpret ambiguous stimuli and situations as threatening (Eyesenck, 1992), leading to more fear-driven decisions. In people with a dissociative disorder, certain parts are compelled to focus on the perception of danger. Living in trauma-time, these dissociative parts immediately perceive the present as being "just like" the past and "emergency" emotions such as fear, rage, or terror are immediately evoked, which compel impulsive decisions to engage in defensive behaviors (freeze, flight, fight, or collapse). When parts of you are triggered, more rational and grounded parts may be overwhelmed and unable to make effective decisions.” 38 likes
“Changes in Relationship with others:
It is especially hard to trust other people if you have been repeatedly abused, abandoned or betrayed as a child. Mistrust makes it very difficult to make friends, and to be able to distinguish between good and bad intentions in other people. Some parts do not seem to trust anyone, while other parts may be so vulnerable and needy that they do not pay attention to clues that perhaps a person is not trustworthy. Some parts like to be close to others or feel a desperate need to be close and taken care of, while other parts fear being close or actively dislike people. Some parts are afraid of being in relationships while others are afraid of being rejected or criticized. This naturally sets up major internal as well as relational conflicts.”
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