This annotated list of selected papers, articles, books and other resources was primarily compiled for students studying ESTD-UK’s introductory foundation essentials online course “Understanding and Working with Complex Traumatic Dissociation”. It will be useful for anyone interested in working with clients / patients who experience complex traumatic dissociation. The online course is introductory and intended to provide a foundation in key concepts. Further training is needed in order to develop your practice along with appropriate supervision. The selected reading below can help you to develop your knowledge and understanding. It is also recommended that you join a professional bodies in this field i.e ESTD and/or ISSTD.
An additional note for anyone encountering clients with a history of organised abuse and mind control. All of the general resources on this and our main Resources page might need to be adapted for survivors with the above history. While the basic principles of work with dissociation remain the same, there are additional considerations when dissociative parts have been deliberately created by the perpetrators. This resource list does include sections specifically on Organised Ritual Abuse. It is essential to get both specialist supervision and peer support to work with this issue. The ISSTD has a special interest group for its members and Ritual Abuse Information and Support (RAINS ) is a UK peer network providing support.
Essential preliminary reading / watching
Herman, Judith L. ( 1992) Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence-From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. Basic Books. available in paperback).
A core text on the impact of trauma and the foundations of stage-orientated treatment.
Gerhardt, Sue ( 2004) Why Love Matters: How affection shapes a baby’s brain. Routledge.
A highly readable introduction to attachment theory & the impact of trauma and neglect. Also useful for psycho-education.
Steinberg, Marlene and Schnall, Maxine (2003) The Stranger in the Mirror – Dissociation – The Hidden Epidemic. Harper Collins.
A straightforward introduction to the key signs and symptoms of dissociation with case studies. Based on DSM-1V criteria but remains relevant & addresses many myths. Useful for professionals and survivors alike.
A Logical Way of Being (2011) First Person Plural in association with ESTD UK and others
Award–winning educational audio visual resource on dissociation with comments on attachment. Available as physical DVD or MP4 download
European Society for Trauma and Dissociation, ESTD
European Society for Trauma and Dissociation, UK network , ESTDUK
First Person Plural – dissociative identity disorders association, FPP
International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, ISSTD
BICTD (British Institute for Child Trauma and Dissociation)
The Pottergate Centre for Dissociation and Trauma
Clinic for Dissociative Studies
Complex Trauma and Dissociation Clinic
Sensory Motor Psychotherapy – Janina Fisher
Sensory Motor Psychotherapy Institute
Papers and Articles
Perspective of experts by experience
Carol B. ( 2010a) Confusing/Challenging Things My Therapist Said To Me. TAG Newsletter, April 2010, 13-14.
Carol B. (2010b) Reflections on an Ongoing Therapeutic ‘Relationship’. Interact, Jnl of TAG, 10,1, 31-34.
Tortoise ( 2012) Therapy room push-pull. Multiple Parts, Vol 2, No 1 Jan 2012, 25-29
Goodwin, M. ( 2010) Attachment, trauma and new tights: Life with DID. Interact, Jnl of TAG, 10,1 March 2010, pp 11-21.
Brand, Bethany L. Sar, Vedat ; Stavropoulos, Pam ; Krüger, Christa ; Korzekwa, Marilyn ; Martínez-Taboas, Alfonso ; Middleton, W. Separating Fact from Fiction: An Empirical Examination of Six Myths About Dissociative Identity Disorder. Harvard Review of Psychiatry: July/August 2016 – Volume 24 – Issue 4 – p 257–270
Aquarone, R., Goodwin, M. & Richardson, S.( 2017): Holding the parts as one, Therapy Today, 28, 10, 26-29.
Brand, B. (2001). Establishing safety with patients with dissociative identity disorder. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 2(4), 133-155.
Chu, J. A. (1988). Ten traps for therapists in the treatment of trauma survivors. Dissociation, 1(4), 24-32.
Kluft, R. P. (1993). The Initial Stages of Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Multiple Personality Disorder Patients. Dissociation 6(2-3), 145-161.
Children & Adolescents
ESTD Children and Adolescent Committee (2017). Guidelines for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with dissociative symptoms and dissociative disorders.
Anonymous, Miller, A., Richardson, S., Buck, S. & Ross, L.( 2016) Working with extreme abuse. Therapy Today, 27, 3, 14-19.
Richardson, S. (2011) Knowing what we are not supposed to know: Evolving the received wisdom to inform practice with survivors of ritual abuse and mind control. Interact, Jnl of Trauma and Abuse Group, 11,1, 4-13.
Audio Visual Learning Resources
No Two Paths the Same: Living and working therapeutically with dissociative identity disorder. First Person Plural in association with ESTD UK and others. Available as physical DVD or as MP4 download
Extends and follows on from the “A Logical Way of Being” above with the focus on treatment.
Dissociation in Children and Adolescents: Assessment & Treatment: produced by BICTD in collaboration with ESTD and FPP this is one of the most comprehensive courses available on assessing and treating children who have suffered complex trauma. It is a hybrid online / face-to-face course which makes use of multiple formats, to ensure the practical aspects of assessment and treatment are applied in the safest way possible.
Perspective of experts by experience
Lady Xenia Bowlby and Deborah Briggs (2014)( eds.) Living with the Reality of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Karnac.
Brings together first hand accounts and professional insights into the gifts and challenges of living with DID.
Jade Miller: Dear Little Ones (2015). © Jade Miller.
A trilogy written by an SRA survivor to help her own young parts. Uses child appropriate language and talented illustrations to explain DID.
Book 1 : About Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Can help younger personalities understand that they are part of a group and that they have choices and are valued and that now things are different to how things were.
Book 2: About Parenting
About healing from hurtful parenting.
Book 3 : About Being Whole.
About what recovery from DID might look like.
Overview of treatment
Allen, J.C( 2001) Traumatic Relationships and Serious Mental Disorders. Wiley.
Identifies the role of trauma in a range of mental health diagnoses and key elements of treatment.
Boon, Suzette, Steel, Kathy and van der Hart, Onno ( 2011) Coping with Trauma-related dissociation – Skills training for patients and therapists. W W Norton.
Highly useful and practical for psychoeducation and skills development as a foundation.
Bryant, D, Kessler, J. & Shirar, L. (1992 The Family Inside: Working with the Multiple. Norton.
Two therapists with their client reflect on her therapeutic journey and the use of creativity alongside better understanding of the myriad gaps in her childhood development. A practical, reassuring read.
Chu, J. (1998) Rebuilding Shattered Lives: The Responsible Treatment of Complex Post-traumatic and Dissociative Disorders. Wiley.
Readable and insightful re the ‘roller coaster’ of practice, ways to address its many challenges.
Hart, Otto van der, Nijenhuis, Ellert & Steele, Kathy ( 2011) The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumtization. Norton.
Details the structural dissociation model and its implications for treatment. Not an easy read but a useful reference for an approach which has become a foundation model.
Howell, E.F.( 2011) Understanding and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Relational Approach . Routledge.
A primer covering all aspects of dissociative processes and its treatment.
Steele, K et al ( 2017) Treating Trauma-Related Dissociation: A Practical, Integrative Approach. Norton.
A clear and concise approach to treatment based on the model of structural dissocation and which extends the content of the skills training manual .
Van der Merke, A & Sinason, V. ( 2016) ( eds.) Shattered but Unbroken: Voices of Triumph and Testimony. Karnac.
More insights from leading professional in the field based on the testimony of survivors. A more complex read which addresses key issue and debates.
Freyd, J. ( 1966) Betrayal Trauma The Logic of Forgetting Childhood Abuse. Harvard.
Freyd, J. & Birrel, P. (2013) Blind to Betrayal Trauma: Why we fool ourselves we aren’t being fooled. Wiley.
Both of these books explain clearly the impact of trauma on memory in the context of attachment trauma.
Levine, Peter ( 2015) Trauma and Memory: Brain and Body in a Search for the Living Past: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Working with Traumatic Memory.
Looks at memories, if they should all be believed on face value and what role has the body in storing them.
Trauma and the Body
Levine, Peter (1997) Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma. North Atlantic Books.
Offers hope to therapists and survivors that positive change is possible and that humans carry the strength and natural capacity to achieve this
Rothschild, B. (2000) The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment. Norton.
A practical introduction to body–orientated therapy and its use in calming emotional dysregulation.
Scaer, Robert C. (2001) The Body Bears the Burden – trauma, dissociation and disease. Haworth Medical Press.
Looks at the relationship between mind, body, and the processing of trauma: the neurological process and the visual presentation of the impact of stress and trauma.
Children and Adolescents
Silberg, J. (2013). The Child Survivor: Healing Developmental Trauma and Dissociation. New York: Routledge.
A comprehensive overview of the treatment of children and adolescents who have developed dissociative symptoms in response to ongoing developmental trauma. Case examples to illustrate hard-to-manage clinical dilemmas are presented.
Waters, F.S. (2016) Healing the Fractured Child: Diagnoses and Treatment of Youth with Dissociation. New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Presents theoretical constructs that support an understanding of dissociation. Describes a detailed and careful assessment process, and offers creative techniques for children and their families to help children heal from chaotic, traumatizing experiences.
Wieland, S. (2015). Dissociation in Children and Adolescents Theory and Clinical Interventions (2nd Ed.). London: Routledge.
A useful and practical resource for therapists working with dissociative children and adolescents. It’s also helpful for addressing intergenerational trauma
Haines, Steve ( 2015) Trauma is really Strange. © Steve Haines.
Explains in a comic book format how trauma changes the way our brains and bodies work. Describes dissociation, how trauma shuts down normal processes and how to overcome it. Also useful for adults.
See also: Stories enjoyed by and/or which have been therapeutic for complex trauma survivors who have D.I.D.
An annotated list of children’s stories which can be used with children/adolescents and child parts of adult survivors.
Organised Abuse see also http://endritualabuse.org/ – a website full of helpful papers and information on key issues
Bryant, D & Kessler, J. (1996) Beyond Integration: One Multiple’s Journey. Norton.
A sequel to the The Family Inside looking at therapeutic issues of overcoming separateness for survivors of ritual abuse.
Epstein, O.B., Schwartz, J. & Wingfield Schwartz, R. ( 2011) (Eds.) Ritual Abuse and Mind control: The Manipulation of Attachment Needs. Karnac.
A collection of papers which open up this subject from an attachment perspective.
Miller, A. ( 2012) Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control. London
A clinical text written specifically for this area of work by an experienced practitioner. Provides essential information and tools.
Miller, A. ( 2012) Becoming Yourself: Overcoming Mind Control and Ritual Abuse. Karnac.
Adapts the material in the above book for survivors. Also very useful for professionals an adjunct to the above text and for use in therapy.
Sinason, V. (ed.) Treating survivors of satanist abuse.
A pioneering work which says ‘Yes, it exists’ and is realistic about the impact on survivors and their helpers while affirming paths beyond fear to healing. A second edition is pending – copies of the first edition may still be available.