Structural Dissociation Training for EMDR


The information and tools provided in the Structural Dissociation training form the basis of that which may be utilised by trainees in the Master Class. As such the Structural Dissociation training is a mandatory prerequisite for it. Our experience has also been that attending the Structural Dissociation training immediately prior to the Master Class brings with it specific benefits for trainees. This is so even though they may have attended previous Structural Dissociation trainings and it is now also a requirement.

This training has traditionally been provided on a face-to-face basis and advertised many months in advance so that trainees are able to plan ahead. Face-to-face trainings are still the preferred platform as they facilitate a bonding not necessarily available with online trainings. However, the presence of Covid 19, the ongoing uncertainty it presents, in addition to the changing restrictions it has placed on travelling and proximity, have required innovative responses from trainers. To meet these fluid conditions the training may well need to be provided online at relatively short notice.

Trainees should be prepared for the possibility of such changes and not make travel and accommodation arrangements until they have confirmation of the mode of presentation.


Becoming thoroughly informed about dissociation is mandatory for all clinicians working with traumatised individuals, including therapists working with EMDR. Structural dissociation of the personality—originally described by Pierre Janet and further elaborated in recent times – is fundamental to the understanding and treatment of any client or patient who has been seriously traumatised.

The Theory of Structural Dissociation of the Personality (TSDP) postulates that the personality of traumatised individuals is unduly divided into two basic types of dissociative parts. One type involves apparently normal parts of the personality (ANP), primarily mediated by daily life action or motivational systems. The other type involves emotional parts (EP), primarily mediated by the defensive action or attachment cry system, that contain the individual’s traumatic memories. The more complex and chronic the traumatisation, the more complex also the structural dissociation, manifesting in the development of more EPs and ANPs   respectively.

Daily schedule: Day 1-2: 8.30am – 5pm

Please note that payment is due on registration, your registration will not be processed until payment has been received, if payment is not received within 7 days your registration application will be cancelled.

Workshop Details

The workshop will describe the nature of structural dissociation and its various levels of complexity and how to identify its many symptoms. Participants will be informed about a practical and theoretically sound, phase-oriented approach to treating the “whole” client or patient while dealing effectively with dissociative parts and with the difficult issues in which dissociation may play a major role, such as self-harm, substance abuse, eating problems, and unstable relational patterns. Phase-oriented treatment consists of:

  1. stabilisation, symptom reduction, and skills training;
  2. treatment of traumatic memories; and
  3. personality (re)integration and rehabilitation.

This workshop will also introduce the role of disorganised attachment in complex trauma. Fundamentally disorganised attachment styles make a person vulnerable to dissociative disorders in later life. An infant is biologically wired to attach to the caregiver. According to Bowlby’s definition, attachment is related to seeking care and help, and soothing when facing environmental threats or in times of perceived loneliness and distress Complex trauma can develop as the result of cumulative traumas in the infant, which leads to the persistent activation of the defence system. Typically the attachment figure either does not protect the child from traumatic experiences (neglect) or is the perpetrator of repeated maltreatment. Conflicting and persistent activation of the attachment and the defence system is the hallmark of attachment disorganisation. Implications for treatment and the application of EMDR will be discussed.

The workshop’s emphasis is on understanding and treating the more complex traumatised clients. The workshop will include a brief overview of theory, didactics, role plays, and video presentations.

There is no maximum limit to the numbers that may register for this training.

Fee payment information

Please note that payment is due on registration, your registration will not be processed until payment has been received, if payment is not received within 7 days your registration application will be cancelled.

To facilitate payment, our banking details will be presented upon submission of your registration.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Should you wish to cancel your registration an administration charge of AUD $110 (Incl. GST) will be made for cancellations received in writing up to 30 days prior to the training. Refunds cannot be offered for cancellations received within 30 days of the training.

In the event that Aspire Psychology cancels a training then a full refund will be made available. Please be aware when booking travel and accommodation, that if the training does not proceed, Aspire Psychology will not liable for any costs you have incurred.

Training Dates and Fees
Structural Dissociation