Co-existing personality disorders in clients who have complex trauma and dissociation can complicate the treatment, and often lead to therapeutic impasses. We will explore practical ways to assess for the most common personality disorders and plan treatments that address major defenses and conflicts that overlap with trauma.
Typically, behavioral challenges should be addressed early in treatment. We will also discuss the emotional, cognitive, and relational challenges of working with these clients, who may be especially affected by childhood trauma and neglect due to temperamental vulnerabilities.
The necessity of clear, consistent boundaries, the avoidance of power struggles, and the management and therapeutic use of countertransference will be discussed.
Participants will be able to:
1. Assess for basic personality disorders and related defenses by exploring clinical presentations and history.
2. Employ a collaborative relational approach that focuses on shared treatment goals with clients who have personality disorders.
3. Name at least three interventions to work with challenges in the following domains with clients who have personality disorders and complex trauma and dissociation:
Kathy Steele, MN, CS, has been in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia for over three decades, specializing in the treatment of complex trauma, dissociation, attachment difficulties, and the challenges of complicated therapies. She is an adjunct faculty at Emory University, and a Fellow and past President of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.
Kathy teaches internationally and consults with individuals, groups, and trauma programs. She has received a number of awards for her clinical and published works, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from ISSTD.
Kathy has published both journal articles and book chapters, and has co-authored three books, including:
Kathy presented for Delphi in 2020 and 2021. Both of Kathy’s webinars are available On-Demand
Photo Credit: Martin Mills
– Martin Luther King Jr.