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What Causes Dissociation?

What Causes Dissociation?

About the Course:

Mary-Anne discusses the findings from her meta-analysis of over thirty thousand college students, in-depth interviews with 13 in-patients with a severe Dissociative Disorder (DD), and questionnaires completed by 313 participants from an Australian university and 30 individuals in treatment for a DD that explored dissociation (a 60 question version of Dell’s Multidimensional Inventory of Dissociation), adult attachment style (Holmes & Lyons-Ruth’s Relationship Questionnaire), experiences of childhood maltreatment (a revised version of Freyd, Deprince, & Zurbriggen’s Betrayal Trauma Index), and the dynamics between themselves and their parents during their childhood (Kate’s Parent-Child Dynamics Questionnaire). The meta-analysis found that the prevalence of clinical levels of dissociation was consistent with the prevalence of experiencing multiple traumas during childhood , and that scores on the Dissociative Scale varied significantly across the 16 countries and were highest in countries that were comparatively unsafe (not in North America or “Western countries”). In her own primary research, she was able to predict half of a person’s dissociative symptomology based on specific childhood experiences of abuse, negative parent-child dynamics, and the parents’ role in, or reaction to, any abuse experienced, and their adult attachment style. Mary-Anne quantified DD odds ratios, e.g. in females an insecure attachment style was 20 : 1, and if the mother’s role in, or response to, maltreatment was negative it was 45 : 1. In light of her statistical analysis, Mary-Anne uses vignettes from in-patients to describe the pathogenic family environment in which dissociation occurs.

This course is based on the recorded webinar, What Causes Dissociation? created by Mary-Anne Kate, PhD in 2021.

Publication Date:

Jul 2021

Course Material Author

Mary-Anne Kate, PhD

Dr Mary-Anne Kate has a professional background is in the development of national and EU policies and practices to improve quality of life outcomes for vulnerable client groups. Mary-Anne is a Scientific Committee member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and has recently been awarded the Chancellor’s Doctoral Research Medal and the David Caul Award for her PhD on childhood maltreatment, parent-child dynamics and dissociation. Mary-Anne teaches therapists internationally and locally about trauma and dissociation. Her previous roles have included a diplomatic posting to Cairo to manage Australia’s refugee and migration programmes for North Africa; policy development to improve the regulation, education and training of Allied Health Professionals in Scotland; coordinating Australia’s settlement strategy for migrants and refugees; and policy development for Europe’s most influential think-tank on immigration and equality issues to improve the socioeconomic situation of migrants, ethnic minorities, and refugees in Europe. Mary-Anne is currently teaching on the Mental Health Masters course at Southern Cross University and holds an adjunct research position with the University of New England.

Mary-Anne Kate, PhD authored the material only, and was not involved in creating this CE course. They are identified here for your own evaluation of the relevancy of the material this course is based on.

Recommended For:

Counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists and social workers. This course is appropriate for all levels of knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Discuss the validity of the Trauma Model and Fantasy Model in light of the findings of the meta analysis on the
    prevalence of DDs and dissociation in college populations.

  2. List two specific types of childhood maltreatment that are predictive of dissociation.

  3. Identify the types of parent-child dynamics, attachment style and parents’ role and/or response in relation to the maltreatment experienced, that are predictive of dissociation.

  4. List three risk factors for dissociation and a DD, which may assist participants in identifying children at risk of developing a DD, and children and adults with a DD.

Course Material

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Course Material


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Course Number 103078
1 credit hour
Log in for credit hours relevant to your licensure.

  • Recorded Webinar
Exam Fee: $5.97 No exam fee with a membership package!

Materials Cost: $45.00

4.03 out of 5
36 members have taken this course

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