The Double-Bind: Dissociation vs Mindfulness in bonding, attachment, traumatic injury and repair


Christine presents a short video about her upcoming Australia and New Zealand tour

 "Join me in an inspiring journey of discovery about the ways in which mindfulness teaches us how to provide profound healthy care to ourselves and clinical populations, including the most injured".     Christine Forner

The “world” of dissociation and the psychotherapeutic health related “world” of mindfulness are diametrically opposed. One is dedicated to teaching and understanding the ability to be mindfully aware of the present moment with non-judgement. The other teaches how to work with and, tries to understand, being not present in a variety of ways.

Instead of non-judgement, clients experience this lack of presence accompanied by deep feelings of shame, guilt, rage, unfathomable betrayal and terror.

In exploring the differences, we learn about the biomechanical and neurobiological places that both human responses originate. Like oil and water, the more we understand why these two areas of human functioning do not mix the more we understand about the greater human condition. The more we conceptualize why mindfulness and dissociation are rival brain activities, a clearer picture is illuminated about what we need as a species for optimal living.

As a therapist it is imperative to understand the impact that relational and other severe injuries have, which in turn require dissociation to hide or cover up. Mindfulness offers inspiration and hope in healing these devastating injuries.

In this two-day training we will explore the function and processes of dissociation and learn why mindfulness is so terrifying yet fundamental to healing. We will take a tour of the most primitive and most expansive areas of humanity in order to learn how to bring quality and peace to our own, as well as our clients, life.

The information in this workshop can be incorporated into any modality or any theoretical framework, because in essence we are discussing basic human functions, regardless of cultural influences.

Within this two day workshop information will be delivered via lecture, case studies, experiential exercises, and demonstrations.

Program Outline

Day One

What is mindfulness: A general overview

What is mindfulness: Neurobiology

What is mindfulness: A theory of human development and attachment

Day Two

What is dissociation: A general overview

What is dissociation: Neurobiology

Both days interweave and explore the intersection between dissociation and mindfulness, including:


Learning Objectives


1)      Describe the basic neurobiological underpinnings of dissociation and mindfulness

2)      Identify the best and most troublesome practices for individuals who have experienced complex trauma’s

3)      Discuss the importance of applying mindful care to those injuries that are hidden with dissociation

4)      Summarize the theory of dissociation and mindfulness in order to utilize mindfulness without harming the

         client that dissociates

5)      Differentiate the difference between service and mindful care, in order to understand dissociation and

         complex trauma from an attachment perspective