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Trauma-Related Dissociation: Intersection of Clinical Phenomenology and Neuroscience

Research Day Webinar 2021

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About the Course:

Posttraumatic stress responses can take many forms. In this webinar, we will use case studies to illustrate the clinical phenomenology associated with three types of responses: 1) classic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); 2) the dissociative subtype of PTSD; and, 3) dissociative identity disorder (DID). We also will discuss the underlying neurobiology associated with each type of response including distinctive neural circuitries. We will end this talk by discussing implications for treatment in the clinical setting.

This course is based on the recorded webinar, Trauma-Related Dissociation: Intersection of Clinical Phenomenology and Neuroscience created by Lauren Lebois, PhD and Milissa Kaufman, MD, PhD in 2021.

Publication Date:

2021 Jul 2021

Course Material Authors

Lauren Lebois, PhD
Dr. Lauren Lebois is a cognitive psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist who uses neuroimaging, psychophysiological, and behavioral techniques in humans to understand how the mind, brain, and body adapt in the aftermath of trauma. She is the Director of Neuroimaging for the Dissociative Disorders and Trauma Research Program, and an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She also serves as Operations Co-Director of the Initiative for Integrated Trauma Research, Care and Training. Overall, her work aims to scientifically examine the predictors and correlates of posttraumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae, and in doing so reduced stigma and improve psychiatric care. She has a particular interest in self processing related to PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder. Dr. Lebois has a background in human neuroimaging and behavioral research, as well as both undergraduate and graduate level teaching experience. She completed her doctoral training at Emory University with Lawrence Barsalou, PhD, and her postdoctoral training at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School with Kerry Ressler, MD, PhD. Her work so far has shed light on: why there is a therapeutic effect of mindfulness -related treatments; the role of learning, experience, and plasticity in emotional experience; and the assessment of brain and behavioral correlates of trauma-related dissociation.
Milissa Kaufman, MD, PhD

Milissa Kaufman, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. At McLean Hospital in Boston, MA, she is the Director of the Initiative for Trauma Research, Training and Care. She also is the Director of the Dissociative Disorders and Trauma Research Program, and the Medical Director for both the Hill Center for Women and the Adult Outpatient Trauma Clinic. Dr. Kaufman has over 20 years of experience in the assessment and treatment of trauma-spectrum and dissociative disorders. She has served as the principal investigator or co-investigator on various studies designed to further our understanding of the neurobiology of PTSD and DID. Her research utilizes a multimodal approach involving sophisticated psychometric assessment paired with neuroimaging, psychophysiology, genetic, and neurocognitive techniques. She and her colleagues at McLean Hospital have received both philanthropic funding and federal funding from the National Institute of Mental Health to study biomarkers of dissociation in traumatized individuals. Dr. Kaufman serves as a member of the Scientific Committee for the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and is the Chair of the Education and Research Sub-Committee. She has been honored to receive numerous national and local awards for her work as a clinician, researcher and educator. She is the former Associate Training Director for the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Program and currently serves as the Director of the Trauma Psychiatry Didactics curriculum.

Recommended For:

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

Course Objectives:

  1. Define the symptoms that differentiate the classic and dissociative subtypes of PTSD.

  2. Identify activation patterns of the prefrontal cortex and amygdala in Classic PTSD, Dissociative Subtype, and DID.

  3. Identify the three stages of treatment for complex posttraumatic presentations.

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Course Material

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Exam Questions

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Course Number 103081
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!
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