The Haunted Self: Understanding and Treating Trauma-Generated
Dissociation, With an Emphasis on Working With Dissociative Parts

Onno van der Hart


Warning: all webinars are recorded videos and you can review them as many times as you want for 12 months.


The webinars will be in English

Traumatic experiences can regarded as breaking-points, dividing one’s personality intodissociative parts functioning in daily life (ANPs) and  dissociative parts stuck in trauma-time(EPs).


The earlier in life the traumatization—often involving attachment trauma inherent inemotional, physical and sexual abuse--starts, and the more intense and frequent it is, the more complex this dissociation of the personality becomes, and the more phase-oriented therapy
aiming at increasing the patient’s/client’s integrative capacity should be the treatment of choice.


In principle, phase-oriented treatment consists of three recurring phases:


1 - stabilization, symptom reduction, symptom reduction, and skills training;

2 - treatment of traumatic memories;

3 - personality (re-)integration and rehabilitation.


In clinical practice, these phases may alternate with each other.


Therapy needs to include:

- a clearly-defined collaborative therapeutic relationship;

- a systematic plan of overcoming the various phobias which maintain the dissociation of the personality;

- the thoughtful application of a systems approach, involving working with dissociative parts also in the treatment of the
traumatic memories.


This webinar highlights, in particular, the challenges of working with
specific dissociative parts, including child parts (also pre-verbal parts), hostile and perpetrator-imitating parts, and perpetrator-idealizing parts.



In understanding the nature of trauma-generated personality dissociation as an extreme form of non-realization, participants will be able to:


1. recognize the basic division between apparently normal dissociative parts (ANP) and emotional parts (EP) and understand the survival roles of various dissociated parts in the context of the patient's personality;


2. understand how various phobias maintain the dissociation of the personality and know how to overcome them with the frame of the treatment oriented to the specific phase;


3. know how to use the collaborative therapeutic relationship in helping the patient to recognize, accept and collaborate with the parties;


4. develop a systemic approach in working with these parties, including secondary parties (including pre-verbal parties), hostile and imitating and idealized parties of perpetrators of violence;


5. use therapeutic approaches that stimulate the patient's imaginative capacity;


6. work for a collaboration of the dissociated parts in the difficult work of integrating traumatic memories;


7. understand the processes involved in the fusion of dissociated parts and the unification of the personality.




1-2.30 PM CDT (USA)

8-9.30 PM GMT+2 (EU)

Understanding trauma-generated dissociation

Trauma-generated dissociation of the personality involves an integrative impairment, in which experiences are not fully integrated in the personality as a whole.

Thus, the levels of integration are discussed, including the level of realization. Trauma-generated dissociation involves non-realization



1-2.30 PM CDT (USA)

8-9.30 PM GMT+2 (EU)

Dissociative parts, what drives them, and their manifestations

Distinguishing dissociative parts of the personality mainly mediated by daily life action (motivational) systems and those mainly mediated by the defense action system and stuck in trauma-time; identifying their manifestations in positive and negative dissociative systems; the need for adequate screening, diagnosis and assessment



1-2.30 PM CDT (USA)

8-9.30 PM GMT+2 (EU)

More on diagnosis and assessment. Treatment frame and plan

In addition: nature of therapeutic relationship; principles of phase-
oriented treatment, in particular overcoming the phobias that maintain dissociation of the personality, thus prevent integration and interfere with adaptive functioning; with an emphasis on overcoming the phobia of dissociative parts



1-2.30 PM CDT (USA)

8-9.30 PM GMT+2 (EU)

Overcoming the phobia of dissociative parts (continued)


Elaboration of a systems approach of working with dissociative parts: fostering acceptance and collaboration among dissociative parts; using particular symptoms as points of entry; the use of imagination, such as inner meeting place and inner safe places



1-2.30 PM CDT (USA)

8-9.30 PM GMT+2 (EU)

Overcoming the phobia of dissociative parts (continued)

Emphasis on overcoming the phobia of child parts, including pre-verbal parts; exploring resistances; helping the personality system to accept and to care for them; sometimes this involves creating an imaginary ideal parent figure



1-2.30 PM CDT (USA)

8-9.30 PM GMT+2 (EU)

Overcoming the phobia of dissociative parts (continued)

Emphasis on overcoming the phobia of hostile and perpetrator-imitating parts, and helping them to become positively-engaged parts of the inner system; this difficult work usually requires a long-term commitment of both patient and therapist



1-2.30 PM CDT (USA)

8-9.30 PM GMT+2 (EU)

Overcoming the phobia of dissociative parts (continued)


Dealing with the key issue of an often ambivalent relationship with the parents c.q. perpetrators, delegated to parts idealizing and parts hating them and keeping the traumatic memories of the abuse; further work on overcoming the phobia of traumatic memory, and how to prevent in advance that the integration of traumatic memories (phase 2 work) will be retraumatizing and further impair the patient’s integrative cacapcity.



A psychologist, adult psychotherapist, trained family therapist and researcher, Dr. van der Hart is Professor of Psychopathology of Chronic Traumatization at the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and a psychologist/psychotherapist at the Sinai Center for Mental Health, Amsterdam.


He is clinical consultant of the Center for Post-Trauma Therapy and Trauma Eduction, Helsinki and Oulu, Finland. Until recently Dr. van der Hart was Chief of Research at the Cats-Polm Institute—a research institute in the area of childhood abuse and neglect—in Zeist and a lead psychotherapist, specialized in the treatment of clients with complex trauma-related disorders, at the Mental Health Center Buitenamstel in Amsterdam.

Currently, Prof. van der Hart is working with colleagues Ellert Nijenhuis, PhD, and Kathy Steele, MN, CS, on a theoretical approach on trauma-related structural dissociation of the personality and treatment model which unifies psychiatric disorders with a traumatic stress origin. Their combined efforts resulted, among other things, in the publication of their book, “The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization” (New York/London: W.W. Norton & Cie, 2006), for which they received the Media Award of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.


- Participation in the live broadcast of the 7 live-webinars (10.5 hours of live training)


- Recordings of webinars that you can access for 12 months as many times as you want


- The slides and PDF


- Certificate of attendance

After registering, you will receive all the information to connect to live shows and to view the recordings.

For live broadcasts, we will use the Zoom platform.

Reserve your seat
Only 100 seats


$ 350

IPA - Istituto Psicologia Applicata


Sede Legale:

Via Vassalli Eandi 27

10138 Torino

Sedi Operative: 






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Centro Psicologia Clinica 011 0480006

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