Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Complex Trauma and Dissociation in Youth: A Comprehensive Training

May 6, 2019 @ 8:30 am - May 9, 2019 @ 4:30 pm


Instructors: Frances S. Waters, LCSW & Patti van Eys, PhD

Brought to you by the author of Healing the Fractured Child (Fran Waters), this 4-day comprehensive training covers evaluation and treatment of dissociation in children and youth.

Children with complex trauma often present with perplexing and disturbing symptoms that persist even after numerous treatment attempts, typically resulting in multiple diagnoses and medications. These children often display severe attachment disturbances and exacerbating behaviors that result in in repetitive failed placements (e.g., foster and adoptive homes, psychiatric residential/acute hospital stays).

Frequently, the missing and overlooked link to successful treatment with children of complex trauma is their dissociative symptoms that profoundly impact their mood, behavior, identity, memory, sensations and attachments.

Learning Objectives

Participants will learn:

  • How to detect and diagnose dissociation in children with complex trauma

  • How to discern other more commonly known diagnoses from those with dissociation (differential diagnoses)

  • Specialized techniques to work with self-states for stabilization, empowerment, and expanding children’s window of tolerance

  • Work with self-states that have disruptive behaviors, and attachment disturbances

  • Strategies for trauma processing across all of self-states

  • To effectively integrate the dissociative child

Details of the Course

Evaluation will encompass how to assess children for dissociative symptoms and discern among differential diagnoses. Participants will learn tools of assessment such as checklists and interviewing techniques with child, family and other pertinent collaterals. Videotapes and discussion will facilitate learning.

Treatment will highlight working with caregivers as partners to develop effective communication and management skills that promote their child’s internal awareness, reflection and stabilization. A three-phase treatment protocol will be taught beginning with creative stabilization and empowerment techniques tailored to learn about and engage the child’s internal world, to expand the child’s window of tolerance and to build self-reflection across all states of the child. Particular focus on how to intervene and process trauma with children’s self-states that carry the most disturbing symptoms (i.e., aggression, suicidality, sexualized behaviors, detachment) will be presented. Integrative techniques will be weaved into the entire training, however, the last phase of treatment highlights specific strategies to complete the process of unifying the traumatized child.

Throughout this training, clinical cases, artwork, and videos will demonstrate the treatment process and experiential training activities for participants will solidify the learning. Combining other treatment modalities, (i.e., EMDR, play and art therapy), into this specialized treatment protocol will be discussed. At the end of this intensive training, the clinician will have the knowledge and skills to begin to work with children with dissociation.

Our Trainers

Fran Waters, MSW, DCSW, LMFT

Fran S. Waters is a licensed clinical social worker and marriage and family therapist in private practice in Marquette, MI. She provides services to individuals, couples, and families with a variety of challenges.

Ms. Waters is an internationally recognized trainer and consultant in the field of childhood trauma, abuse, and dissociation. As an invited presenter, she has conducted extensive training programs on a variety of related topics both nationally and internationally ranging from a day to 5 days in Europe, Africa, South America, and North America.

Ms Waters has served as President of The International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation (ISSTD) from 2004-2005, and was the Board of Director of ISSTD from 1998-2001.

Fran’s new book has just been published, Healing the Fractured Child: Diagnosis and Treatment of Youth With Dissociation.

Dr. Patti Van Eys

Patti Van Eys, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and the Chief Clinical Officer of Omni Visions, Inc. where she oversees the clinical and quality integrity of therapeutic practice with foster children in resource homes and residential treatment centers. Formerly, she was the Clinical Manager of Behavioral Health Programs at BlueCare Tennessee (2012-2015) and before that, an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University from 1995 to 2012. She served as the clinical director of the Vanderbilt University Center of Excellence for Children in State Custody, a center that specializes in comprehensive psychological assessments and consultations for high risk, complex children and provides intensive training to behavioral health providers. In this role, Dr. Van Eys was a faculty leader in the Tennessee Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Learning Collaborative, a statewide initiative for over 700 providers.

Dr. Van Eys serves currently on state task forces such as the Department of Children’s Services Tennessee Treatment Foster Care Task Force and The Tennessee Adverse Childhood Experiences Private Sector Steering Panel. She has served as an author for the Tenncare Best Practice Guidelines in the areas of Childhood PTSD and Attachment Disorders.

Dr. Van Eys has trained extensively at the local, regional, and national level in the area of child maltreatment and child mental health issues. She is a published author in the area of child maltreatment.


May 6, 2019 @ 8:30 am
May 9, 2019 @ 4:30 pm


Hyatt Place Nashville Airport
721 Royal Parkway
Nashville, TN 37214 United States


OmniCare Institute