Selfhood and Dissociative Defences Understanding the Challenges


The Canberra Branch of the Clinical College of the APS, in association with the Cannan Institute, is pleased to convene the workshop:

Selfhood and Dissociative Defences:Understanding the Challenges

Adjunct Professor Warwick MIDDLETON, MB BS, FRANZCP, MD


Workshop Overview
This workshop/master class will offer a practical and clinically relevant overview of selfhood against the backdrop of compartmentalization, amnesias, automatons, reenactments, flashbacks, depersonalization/derealization and alternative identity states frequently seen in individuals with complex trauma syndromes/dissociative disorders. The workshop will offer as an orientating reference point, an analysis of
the defining characteristics of the abuse suffered by those where incestuous abuse continued into adult years as well as outlining the particular psychological challenges faced by those so effected.

The workshop will provide an overview of treatment options and the sorts of clinical challenges associated with the treatment of such individuals where the development of selfhood has been so impacted upon by pervasive ongoing incest. Such individuals form a reference point for the assessment of other individuals whose abuse was
perhaps not as enduring or as extreme. The clinical challenges represented by such patients are illustrated by selected representative clinical vignettes and case studies. It is envisaged that the workshop will incorporate substantial time to discuss issues
brought up by those attending. Background reading will be made available to enhance the learning/interactive opportunity.

Adjunct Professor Warwick Middleton is an internationally renowned clinician, researcher and author in the field of trauma studies. He is the Director of the Trauma and Dissociation Unit, Belmont Private Hospital, Brisbane. He is also Adjunct Professor, School of Public
Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Associate Professor in Psychiatry, University of Queensland. He has made substantial and ongoing contributions to the bereavement and trauma literatures and was with Dr Jeremy Butler author of the first published series in the Australian
scientific literature detailing the abuse histories and clinical phenomenology of patients fulfilling diagnostic criteria for Dissociative Identity Disorder. He chairs The Cannan Institute as well as its research and conference organizing committees. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Trauma
and Dissociation as well as being a regular reviewer for a number of psychiatric journals.

Plan for the Day
8:30 am - 9:00 am - Registration &
Morning Coffee.
9:00 am - 10:40 am - Complex trauma,
dissociation and dissociative disorders; an
overview of the current landscape,
including research directions and
controversies. An introduction to the
concept of selfhood and how it is to a large
degree defined by developmental trauma.
10:40 am – 11:00 am - Morning Tea.
11:00 am - 12:45 pm - An overview of the
particular issues of those victims of
childhood abuse where the trauma has
never stopped.
12:45 pm - 1:40 pm - Lunch.
1:40 pm - 3:10 pm - Selected
contemporary clinical challenges in
treating patients with DID/Complex trauma
syndromes. This session would be based
around selected de-identified case studies
and clinical vignettes.
3:10 pm - 3:30 pm - Afternoon Tea.
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm - What a society and
mental health care system would perhaps
look like if we put into practice what we
already know about the prevention and
treatment of complex trauma syndromes.
This includes an appraisal of trauma
informed care and the role trauma plays in
mental health and medical presentations
and ongoing morbidity.
5:00 pm - Close.

Registration Details
Pre-reading papers will be distributed prior to the Workshop. Additionally, selected readings,
including pre-readings will be provided to participants on the day.
The cost for the day’s training is $295.
To register for the training, please go to:
Places are limited, so register early. Hope to see you there!