2023 ISSTD Annual Conference Online Program: ‘Against the Grain: Shifting the Societal Denial of Dissociation'
Presentation: How Denial of Dissociation Impacts Child and Adolescent Treatment
Presenter: Joy Silberg, PhD
When: Sunday, April 16, 2023 (3:30 PM – 5:00 PM US Eastern Time)
Where: Online (Zoom)
In this workshop, the presenter will present several distinct cases where lack of acceptance of dissociation as a childhood diagnosis had extreme negative impact on a child or teen's welfare. In one case the boy was diagnosed with a psychotic disorder, put on heavy medication and did not progress in treatment until dissociation was identified and treated, In another case, a 9 year old girl with disturbed eating was put on an eating disorder program for teens where her diagnosis of dissociation was missed and where she regressed to life-threatening weight loss. In another case a teen was diagnosed with a sleep disorder and a seizure disorder and her dissociative nighttime episodes were not addressed therapeutically. When the night time behaviors were understood as dissociation she rapidly progressed. Another child had an autistic spectrum diagnosis before dissociation was recognized.These cases illustrate the key importance of considering dissociation as a viable diagnosis among teens and children. The current diagnostic neglect and denial of dissociation in children and teens has harmful impact on youth who can benefit from knowledgeable dissociation focused interventions.
At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:
Identify sleep anomalies in children and teens that may be symptomatic of dissociation
Contrast a typical eating disorder treatment protocol with one based on principles of addressing underlying dissociation
Identify similarities between young traumatized children presenting with dissociation and those presenting with autism specturm disorder
Describe specific risks to teens and adolescents when dissociative processes are not identified
Distinguish symptoms associated with seizure disorders with typical dissociative presentations in teens