Working with Dissociation to Facilitate Recovery in Clients who have suffered Complex Trauma

Date:  to
Event type:  Workshop
Region:  Brisbane
Organiser:  AASW Qld Branch
Pricing:  EarlyBird & Standard Pricing


Address:  C&K Kedron, Training Room 1 & 2, 257 Gympie Road
Suburb:  Kedron
State:  Queensland
Postcode:  4031
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General Information

Social workers work in a wide range of setting and roles from community work to counselling and therapeutic roles. In social work setting social workers come across some of the most marginalised people of our society. Many of these people have experienced trauma in their lives, particularly complex ongoing trauma which has seriously affected their ability to find their way in life and leaves them at time with very distressing symptoms. To have an understanding of dissociation and how it presents and can be supported to be integrated is key to social work whatever the role. Even when we are not in counselling positions having an understanding of this will help in being client centred and inform the responses we make to clients.

Donald Kalsched’s model of dissociation which I will focus on is an accessible model to our field. His model is drawn from his research into patterns he observed in his trauma clients and is documented in his two books. I will also draw on the work of others in this field including Peter Levine and Judith Herman, internationally known for their work in trauma.

The workshop will:

  • Describe and explore the process of dissociation that occurs in complex trauma;
  • Describe how dissociated experience is represented in the psyche through feeling toned constellations in symbolic archetypal form;
  • Define archetypes, the trauma archetype and the trauma constellation (complex)
  • Describe a particular model for understanding and working with the “inner world of trauma” (Kalshed 1996);
  • Demonstrate how this is observable in dreams and other imaginal work;
  • Demonstrate the value of this model in social work contexts;
  • Outline the therapeutic task and foundations for working through trauma complexes:
  • Offer experiential opportunities to explore the material

Who should attend?

Those in roles with a counselling focus in particular. Those who regularly work with complex trauma and would like to understand the effects better.

Learning Outcomes?

  • A greater understanding of dissociation, a key process in trauma
  • Ability to recognise dissociation
  • A Working Model of Dissociation
  • Understanding the processes of trauma recovery
  • Introduction to the interventions for working with dissociation, particularly expressive approaches.
  • Opportunities for case discussion to apply these ideas

Meet the Presenter

Lois Whiteman has been practising social work for over thirty years, specialising in trauma therapy within a systemic framework of recovery in the last seventeen years. She has worked in private practice for the last fifteen years part time where she works with adult clients many of who present with complex trauma, depression, anxiety, and early life difficulties or other relational trauma. She also provides training and supervision to professionals from this base.

Lois’ private practice has occurred alongside her work with The Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT) where she has provided trauma therapy to people with refugee histories and clinical supervision and training to staff. Her current position at QPASTT is as part time Clinical Services Manager.

Lois has also practiced yoga for over twenty five years and became a registered yoga teacher in 2003. Her motivation to teach came out of engagement with clients as a social worker. She has provided yoga classes in the broader community; to clients who have experienced trauma, and, to counsellors and support workers.

Lois’ professional interests include clinical supervision, depth psychology, the modalities of sand tray, dream work and somatic approaches, particularly yoga.


C&K Kedron, Training Room 1 & 2, 257 Gympie Road, Kedron Qld 4031
Please note there is no parking onsite, however plenty of street parking in Sadlier & Emerald Streets and Leckie Road.

Friday 09 August 2019 – 9.00am – 4.15pm

Registration from 8.45am

Fruit will be provided for morning and afternoon tea, with a fully catered lunch.

CPD: 6 Hours

Members – Please log on to the website prior to registering to take advantage of the member rates.

Register Here