Dr Brand will also share emerging results from the newest TOP DD study, that is, the web-based psychoeducational program called the TOP DD Network study. The TOP DD Network study offers DD patients and their treatment providers with online videos, as well as written and practice exercises, that teach patients a variety of methods to use to improve their safety, affect regulation, and management of dissociation. As the first systematic intervention for chronic, complex dissociative disorders, this study has the potential to yield crucial findings for the trauma field.
Hurt and complex trauma resulting from childhood maltreatment has serious consequences for the lifespan development of the survivor (Kezelman, Hossack, Stavropoulos, & Burley, 2015; van der Kolk, 2014). Child abuse and neglect involves a betrayal of trust, care and protection within the very relationships that the child relies upon for care (Courtois & Ford, 2013). Despite this, complex trauma research has focussed on symptomology rather than on relational difficulties (Chu, 2011). This qualitative study explored the meaning that 19 adult survivors of childhood abuse and neglect made of their relationship with their parent and their experiences of trust, hurt and healing. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to examine participants’ responses to three open-answer questions.
The study and the treatment of the dissociative disorders has generated a plethora of newer theories and approaches, none of which have demonstrated effectiveness superior to the models they are put forward to replace. I will argue that while conceptually-driven patterns of intervention have certain strengths, the fact that no model advanced to date actually addresses the full range of dissociative phenomena guarantees that each will fall short of providing optimal guidance to the clinician. Instead, I will describe how the intense study of selected clinical phenomena and clinical research suggest insights that in turn facilitate the development of new treatment interventions.