An introduction to dissociation and the treatment of the trauma related disorders

Dr Ali Firouzabadi:

The newborn infant begins its life as a totally dependent organism and needs proper attachment with its caregivers for normal growth and development. The expression of more than 1000 genes is related to physical contact between the infant and its mother. The environment shapes our behaviour through its influence on the expression of the genes. In the early years of life, we cannot speak about an integrated identity in the human. He/she consists of discrete behavioural systems. With the passage of time, these separated systems are joined together to form an associated and integrated identity. A secure, predictable and lovable environment has a detrimental effect on the development of such normal identity. In an abusive and chaotic environment, some experiences cannot assimilate and put together with other experiences. So, they are dissociated and separated from the main personality, like land which declares independence and separates from the mainland. When the caregivers, Simultaneously act as abusers, the infant is not able to gain a coherent image of his/her experiences. The abusive and caregiver image does not fit in a frame. Dissociation is a defensive strategy to protect the child from more deterioration. Dissociation phenomenon is related to the old concept of hysteria. The founder of psychoanalysis, despite early acceptance of the reality of reported sexual abuse in his patients, eventually relinquished the seduction hypothesis under the pressure of his old colleagues. He maintained that these reports mainly originate from the fantastic world of the child. However, some young analyst like Sandro Ferenczi adhered to the early theories of his mentor. They believed in the reality of such reports. The prevalence of abuse in our world has depicted the reality of such experiences.
Dissociation is a direct consequence of the traumatic environment. Many psychiatric illnesses are primary traumatic disorders and the trauma has an important role in some people suffer from some disorders like schizophrenia, OCD, panic disorder and somatization disorders. Some authors suggested a traumatic subtype for these disorders.

In this workshop, I aim to present an introductory explanation of the therapeutic approach to traumatic individuals. I explain the three phases of treatment and also I will take a look at the history of trauma-related disorders and the approaches introduced by Janet. Moreover, I discuss the debates that formed around the concept of false memory and try to answer to this question: is the reported memoirs of abuse reliable?


In-group communication in large groups and organizations
by Hadi Rahimi Danesh

In this practical and experimental workshop, we will go through the way in which groups are being created, developed and collapsed.

People form the group when they:

-Coordinate with each other.

-Their awareness of common relationships has been developed.
-have the same Goal or mission.

Various forces and forces play a role in the formation of groups.

The basic attitude of this workshop is based on the system theory and The Tavistock’s psychoanalysis theory.

On the basis of this theory, individuals forms a group to act as a single system.

This system is beyond the sum of its participants and its primary purpose is the survival of the group, itself.
However, this goal is often hidden by group members.


Clinical Seminar (case discussion)

The concept of the container/contained, as developed by Bion (1959, 1962a, 1962b) has had a profound influence on psychoanalytic thinking over the last forty years. In his formulation, he used projective identification (Klein, 1946) as a model of thinking and communicating in the protomental system. Bion’s first use of the concept appeared in his so-called schizophrenic papers (1956-1957) where the expelled parts of the personality provides the containment from what the personality hates, an awareness of reality. Awareness of reality forces the infant to be confronted with the collapse of his omnipotence and face the painful reality that is filled with fear and sadism. In Attacks on Linking (1959), he made a shrewd shift and came up with a model based on a mother/infant relationship. He imagined a mother who was able to respond to the infant’s fear of dying by her capacity to dream the baby, a capacity for reverie. Bion speculated that the baby needed more than the mere physical presence of the mother, dutifully tending to his physical needs. It was the quality of her presence that helped him grow and think. Bion conjectured that only a poetic mother who could contain and repose long enough to receive the infant’s projective identification was able to communicate its meaning to the infant and make his fears dissolve. Container/contained is there from the inception of life and allows for emotional growth in both the container and the contained. Borrowing Elliott Jaques’s (1960) concept of the reticulum, Bion (1962) provides a complex model for an intricate, interwoven process where the more containing a container, the more possibility of growth for both the container and the contained; thereby allowing for the opportunity to learn from the experience for both. Bion expanded on this concept in his subsequent writings (1970), it encompasses his most elaborated theory of thinking. “The deepest and most secret mysteries of human life are explored within this theory.” (Sandler, 2005)

In this clinical seminar, through a clinical vignette we have an opportunity to explore Bion’s theory of thinking. Audience participation makes for a rich and “containing” learning opportunity.


Covert Violence Between Partners
Dr Samrand Salimi

Domestic violence describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. An intimate partner is a person with whom you have or had a close personal or sexual relationship . Covert violence means using psychological aggressive tactics in intimate relationships . Abusive behaviors serve as way of life . Covert emotional abuse is so powerful because it is repetitive and has a direct impact on physical and psychological health of those people who suffer it.

The main aim of this workshop is teaching approaches and methods for countering, resisting and transforming covert violence in an intimate relationship . So mental health professionals , would be able to help their clients who are suffering from abusive partners.


Transference Focused Psychotherapy in Narcissistic personality disorder

Dr Frazin Rezaei
Dr Nasim Nekouei

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a common disorder with many comorbidities.
This disorder has a variety of symptom clusters which only one of these clusters has been included in the US Psychiatric Association’s classification system.In the third part of DSM-5 , part of alternative model ,the classification of personality disorders about Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD); is mentioned ,which is corresponded with the “Kernberg” theory about this pathology.
Based on the” Kernbeg theory” Narcissistic personality disorder is a part of “Borderline personality organization ” spectrum.
In this organization the main pathology is splitting the self to” grandiose self” and “devalued self”
Kernberg and colleages in Colombia university ,persnality disorder institute and Newyork Cornell college ,developed modifications in Transference focused psychotherapy and offered the modified model for these patients.

This “3 hour” workshop includes :
1.Theoretical part
2.practical part ; covering roleplay and case presentation and discussion with participants.


Dynamic Psychotherapy for Higher Level Personality Pathology:Clinical application of kernberg’s contemporary Object Relations theory
Dr Shima Shakiba
Dr Sepideh Firouzi

Dynamic Psychotherapy for Higher Level Personality pathology (DPHP) based on contemporary psychodynamic object relations theory, focuses on the ways in which an individual’s psychological life is organized around internalized relationship patterns, referred to as internal object relations. DPHP developed to promote integration of conflictual object relations, with the goal of reducing personality rigidity in specified areas of functioning, and providing treatment setting. This model of treatment is an outgrowth of transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP) that is characterized by identity diffusion. Based on Kernberg’s theory higher level personality pathology includes Neurotic and High function borderline personality organizations. Some including topics are:

The basic elements of DPHP

The strategies of DPHP

The techniques of DPHP

The Tactics of DPHP

The patient assessment and differential treatment planning

Structured Interview of Personality Organization (STIPO)

DPHP has been developed at the Personality Disorders Institute of the Sanford Weill Cornell Medical College, New York by Dr. Kernberg and his colleagues and we have the opportunity to share one of the most applicable psychoanalytic psychotherapies.


Methods of identifying and treating paedophilic patients.
Dr Golbandi, Dr Raeesi, Dr Mazeheri

A knowledge of what entails in the ‘Concept of Deception’ is crucial for professionals who work with paedophilic patients. A theory of deception offers a deep understanding of the nature of their persistently compulsive personality structure, and their predatory behaviour, purposefully aimed at harming children. It reveals their ways of thinking, how to deceive their victims and how to elude the law.
Paedophile seemingly nice people, violate children’s mind and body and they harm them emotionally.

Aims: Professionals’ awareness of the modes of these offenders’ personality functioning gives tools to better identifying and treating these offenders.


Whose aggression am I feeling? Whose fearful thoughts am I thinking? Whose love experience am I experiencing? Mine? Yours? Their? Group’s? Does it matter?

Dr Shahin Sakhi:

I am proposing to direct an experiential learning of here and now experience workshop to study the effects of group dynamics and group relations on the way we feel, think, and survive in social relations. This methodology is based on Wilfred Bion’s analytic work with groups: small and large study groups are formed and participants learn from expression of their here and now experience while thinking about the theme of the congress and why they have attended this congress.

When any group is under stress and members feel the pressure of group dynamics, the group recruits its members to make subgroups to interact with each other in order to manage the group’s stress and survive. Members are conscious about what they want for themselves and their identified sub-group, however, they are not conscious about their participation in survival of the group as a whole. It is during stressful times that fear of loss, failure, death, mortality, and desire to gain power, be immortal, be aggressive, or violent, or escape, or become invisible are experienced by some or all group members at different times of group life. These occur automatically as well as reactions to those feelings. Members are authorized and gain power to act on behalf of a sub-group they identify with. However, as long as the member is caught in the automaticity of the group dynamics, he or she might be involved in a change other than the intended change. The challenge is to be able to express the here and now feelings, thoughts, and experiences instead of acting on them in order to discover better and more peaceful ways to manage one’s stress, hence contribute to management of the group’s stress.

The benefit of sharing a here and now experience in a group format, which I call free association of the group as-a-whole, is manifolds.

Learning Objectives:

1) Experiential learning of different ways that tension in the group is distributed and influences members’ behavior.
2) Group projects its desire and fear into its members in variety of forms based on members’ valence to receive certain projection at any moment.
3) Learn to balance power and authority within self through taking appropriate roles in a group to stay on task, which is to study here and now feelings, thoughts, and experiences in group relations context.
4) To better contain overwhelming feelings and emotions through putting them in words and sharing their here and now experience.
5) Members learn that what is shared as information about the dynamics of this particular group is also reflective of social relations at large.