This material was drawn from the Guidebook:
‘Understanding Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Guidebook for Survivors and Practitioners‘
It is part of a set of books, also available individually, from Routledge and leading booksellers:
Guidebook: http://www.routledge.pub/UDID-Guidebook; Picture book: http://www.routledge.pub/Our-House-Story-Book
Content is regularly updated. Please contact me if you would like to recommend additional resources or changes.
This page offers recommendations to sources of information and support, some that have proven reliable and helpful to the author, and some that have been recommended by other practitioners and/or survivors. The list is neither exhaustive nor all-inclusive but offered in the hope readers will find them helpful and at least a good starting point. Some are specific to survivors and their caregivers, some to practitioners, but it is anticipated that valuable information and insights may be found in all.
Please note that recommendations cannot ensure reliability, nor the appropriateness of material to any individual or their parts. When engaging with any site or material, wisdom and care are necessary to ensure learning is paced, and if an individual has parts, with consideration for their needs and capacities.
SELF-HELP BOOKS (listed alphabetically)
• Becoming Safely Embodied, A Guide to Organize Your Mind, Body and Heart to Feel Secure in the World, (2021) by Deirdre Fay. A model that provides step-by-step skills training for safe living within one’s own skin, for staying present, and for sorting emotions and sensations
• Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists, (2011), by Suzette Boon, Kathy Steele & Onno van der Hart. Whilst recommended for use alongside therapeutic support, this outstanding book is comprehensive in breadth and depth; it is well organised and accessible to both novice and experienced survivors and practitioners
• Dear Little Ones, (2015+), by Jade Miller, is a trilogy of books written by a survivor of ritualised abuse, to help her own young parts. The first book helps younger parts understand they have value and belonging, and how things have changed over time. The second book talks about healing from hurtful parental relationships and learning to love oneself; the third encourages parts to work out what wholeness might look like according to their own choices
• Got Parts? An Insider’s Guide to Managing Life Successfully with Dissociative Identity Disorder, (2005), by ATW. A practical guide to managing life successfully with DID, including coping strategies for everyday living and ideas for real-life issues – relationships, work, parenting, school, time, self-care and medical treatment
• Healing Trauma, (2008), by Peter Levine. Recommended in book with CD format.
This material includes guided exercises to help individuals develop body awareness and to resolve and clear the effects of trauma stored in the body. It also includes emergency “first aid” measures for responding to distress and discovering the physiological roots of emotions. Dr Levine is the originator of Somatic Experiencing, a body-oriented approach to healing trauma and stress disorders. (https://traumahealing.org/)
• It’s Not You, It’s What Happened to You: Complex Trauma and Treatment, (2020), by Christine Courtois. Primarily written for those new to the subject, this book provides a thorough and easy-to-read explanation of complex trauma, how it develops and manifests and how to manage it
• It’s not me: Understanding Complex Trauma, Attachment and Dissociation, (2018), by Anabel Gonzalez. A compassionate, engaging and informative book aimed at patients and family members of complex trauma survivors
• Transforming the Living Legacy of Trauma: A Workbook for Survivors and Therapists, (2021), by Janina Fisher. This exceptional book normalises and informs survivors about symptoms and reactions to traumatic experience, validating their experience and helping them navigate and recover from the legacies of traumatic experiences. It provides step-by-step strategies that may be used individually or in collaboration with a practitioner
Specialist Self-Help Book:
Becoming Yourself: Overcoming Mind Control and Ritual Abuse, (2014), by Alison Miller.
This unique, jargon-free book was developed for survivors of organised and ritualised abuse. It informs and equips survivors and offers information about resulting complex personality systems and symptoms. It gives practical advice for achieving stability, safety, and internal cooperation, and as each part’s needs are met, for resolving traumatic memories and conditioning
Survivor-Recommended Theoretical Books:
• Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Internal Self-Alienation, (2017), by Janina Fisher. Hailed by experts, this book synthesises a neurobiological understanding of attachment, trauma and dissociation with a practical, compassionate and thorough approach to treatment. Interventions are adapted from neuroscience, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems, and mindfulness and sensitively focus on key issues of shame, self-loathing and guilt
• The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma, (2015), by Bessel van der Kolk. This exceptional book explains how overwhelming experiences affect the development of mind, body and awareness. Integrating clinical case examples, neuroscience, and a deep understanding of the pain and devastation survivors experience, it also introduces innovative treatments that offer genuine hope for recovery
• Trauma and Recovery, (2015), by Judith Herman. This seminal ‘go-to’ text focuses on the effects and symptoms of trauma and elaborates the now leading staged approach to recovery. It is informative and thorough whilst maintaining an empathetic tone. It highlights the connection between mental health and social and political contexts to empower and give voice to survivors and professionals committed to recovery
• ISSTD – Adult Treatment Guidelines: https://www.isst-d.org/resources/adult-treatment-guidelines/
• BLUE KNOT – Practice Guidelines: https://www.blueknot.org.au/resources/Publications/Practice-Guidelines
• BLUE KNOT – Supervision Guidelines: https://www.blueknot.org.au/resources/Publications/Practice-Guidelines/Supervision-Guidelines
• ISSTD – https://www.isst-d.org/resources/child-adolescent-treatment-guidelines/
• ESTD – https://estduk.org/resources/
ONLINE SITES (listed alphabetically)
Please note it is not possible to vouch for evolving content, so personal judgement and discrimination needs to be exercised when visiting any site. If visiting chat sites and communities, it is also important to be aware that not all visitors to such sites are safe.
• An Infinite Mind https://www.aninfinitemind.com/about.html
A non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the lives of people living with trauma-based dissociation, primarily focused on Dissociative Identities. AIM provides information and seeks to develop awareness and understanding about DID through trainings, engaging with the media, delivering workshops, and holding an annual conference for survivors, their loved ones, and professionals
• Blue Knot Foundation https://www.blueknot.org.au/
BKF is a national Australian organisation which ‘empowers recovery and builds resilience for adults impacted by complex trauma’. An outstanding site for its quality and breadth of content, it provides information and support to survivors and their supporters. It also provides training and resources to build professional knowledge, skill and trauma-informed communities
• Carolyn Spring https://www.carolynspring.com/
Carolyn is a survivor, author and a speaker who combines a rich depth of learning and lived experience to make this complex subjects accessible to all. Her site offers helpful information and training opportunities relevant to survivors and professionals, including an excellent ‘Emotional Resource Guide’, 2016
• ESTD – European Society for Trauma and Dissociation https://www.estd.org/
A European organisation committed to increasing our understanding of trauma, dissociation, related conditions, and their treatment. The ESTD promotes clinical collaboration and research and provides education and training, as well as links to other organisations and sites: https://www.estd.org/board/links
ESTD-UK has excellent links to free resources for professionals and individuals, including information for working with children and adolescents: https://estduk.org/resources/
• ESTSS – European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies https://estss.org/
Based in the Netherlands, ESTSS supports professionals by promoting ‘…the sharing of knowledge and experience about all aspects of psychotraumatology…by fostering research and best practice, building networks and by contribution to public policy at a European level’
• FPP – First Person Plural https://www.firstpersonplural.org.uk/ is a charity that specialises in working for and on behalf of those affected by DID and similar complex trauma-related dissociative conditions. They aim to improve knowledge, understanding and recognition of these conditions, to encourage and facilitate support, and to improve access to specialist assessment and effective care and treatment
• Healing from Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD https://www.healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.com/ is an award-winning site created by Lilly Hope Lucario, from the perspective of a survivor. It aims to empower, support and inform individuals and caregivers journeying through healing, and also offers rich insights to professionals
• ISSTD – International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation https://www.isst-d.org/ . An international non-profit professional association promoting ‘comprehensive, clinically effective and empirically based resources and responses to trauma and dissociation, and to address its relevance to other theoretical constructs’. Although funded through membership, the site provides good non-member resources, including treatment guidelines, screening and assessment tools, training opportunities and public resources, including fact sheets and links to websites of interest
• ISTSS – International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies https://istss.org/home
An international Society ‘dedicated to sharing information about the effects of trauma and the discovery and dissemination of knowledge about policy, program and service initiatives that seek to reduce traumatic stressors and their immediate and long-term consequences’. Provides information for professionals and education materials for the public
• Ivory Garden https://igdid.org/ is a non-profit online organisation that provides support to survivors and their supporters. It also aims to raise awareness about the effects of childhood trauma through the provision of educational resources and opportunities and hosts international forums and chat rooms where individuals can meet, share and provide respectful support to one-another
• Sidran Institute https://www.sidran.org/ is a non-profit international organisation offering information, education and hope to individuals and professionals engaging in treatment and recovery from traumatic stress, dissociative disorders and co-occurring problems such as self-injury, addiction and suicidality. The site offers training and resources to survivors and their loved ones, helpers, professionals and the media, as well as links to other resources: https://www.sidran.org/links-to-other-trauma-resources/
VIDEOS – DRAMA
• A Logical Way of Being – This film introduces DID and other complex dissociative conditions. It gives information about their primary features and some understanding about their origins. Viewers also gain insight into what it is like to live with DID and are presented with information about the support needs of individuals as well as the role of psychotherapeutic treatment
• No Two Paths the Same – is an educative film that explains and offers insights into a phase-oriented treatment approach for DID. It presents information on each phase (stabilisation, processing and consolidation) and includes supportive information for partners of people with DID
Both videos are available as a DVD or as an MP4 from First Person Plural: https://www.firstpersonplural.org.uk/resources/training-films/
• May 33rd – a film by Guy Hibbert, explores the consequences of repeated ritual abuse, as seen through the eyes of Ella whose personality has fragmented into five different people. This film is difficult to source. Under restricted license conditions, it is available to members of the ESTD-UK for professional training and CPD purposes
TREATMENT BOOKS (a few suggestions, listed alphabetically)
• Rebuilding Shattered Lives, Treating Complex PTSD and Dissociative Disorders, 2nd ed, (2011), by James Chu.
A valuable book for beginners and experienced clinicians, this text offers practical advice on therapeutic techniques and treatment, with information about early attachments and their effects, neurobiology, crisis management and psychopharmacology
• Shelter from the Storm: Processing the Traumatic Memories of DID/DDNOS Patients with the Fractionated Abreaction Technique, (2013) by Richard Kluft. Integrates elements from psychoanalysis, psychodynamic psychotherapy, hypnosis, behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy, and EMDR to support a practical, empathic, and compassionate approach to treatment, taking care to avoid retraumatisation
• The Haunted Self – Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatisation, (2006), by Onno van der Hart, Ellert Nijenhuis & Kathy Steele. This key text draws attention to the substantial problems suffered by chronically traumatised individuals. It presents the theory of structural dissociation of the personality, a phase-oriented approach to treatment, and hope that recovery is achievable
• Trauma Model Therapy: A Treatment Approach for Trauma Dissociation and Complex Comorbidity, (2009) by Colin Ross. A practical, well-structured manual, presenting theory, assessment and treatment strategies, techniques and interventions for severe dissociative disorders
• Treating Complex Trauma and Dissociation – a practical guide to navigating therapeutic challenges, (2017) by Lynette Danylchuk & Kevin Connors. This highly readable book combines clinical experience and insight. It presents clear and practical information to support understanding and offers guidance for navigating a phased approach to treatment, handling foundational issues and potential challenges
• Treating Trauma-Related Dissociation: A Practical, Integrative Approach, (2017), by Kathy Steele, Suzette Boon & Onno van der Hart. Written by leading experts, this comprehensive text extends the content of the skills training manual, (listed in the ‘Self-Help’ section). It offers a practical, thorough, and insightful approach to treatment based on the structural dissociation model
• Treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder: Techniques and Strategies for Stabilisation, (2018), by Colin Ross. Practical, concise and informative, especially useful for practitioners new to working with DID
• Working with Voices and Dissociative Parts – A Trauma-informed approach, (2nd edn, 2019) by Dolores Mosquera.
A comprehensive, elaborative, and inspirational workbook, that is truly integrative, structured and collaborative, and informative for both the novice and the senior practitioner
SPECIALIST INFORMATION & SOURCES
Working with Children and Adolescents (books listed alphabetically):
Child/Adolescent Treatment Guidelines, https://www.isst-d.org/resources/child-adolescent-treatment-guidelines/ . Updated recommendations for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with symptoms of dissociation are available on the ESTD site: https://www.estd.org/treatment-guidelines
• Dissociation in Traumatized Children and Adolescents: Theory and Clinical Interventions, 2nd Edn, (2015), by Sandra Wieland. Presents compelling case studies that elaborate the variability of dissociation in children and adolescents, and practical insights into five models of dissociation to support understanding and the application of therapeutic guidelines and interventions
• Healing the Fractured Child: Diagnosis & Treatment of Youth with Dissociation, (2015), by Frances S Waters. Provides a wealth of information to support understanding, assessment, and creative treatment strategies and interventions for working with children, adolescents and families recovering from traumatic experiences
• Nurturing Children: From Trauma to Growth Using Attachment Theory, Psychoanalysis and Neurobiology, (2019), by Graham Music. Distils and clarifies the interactions between mind and body, and the role of attachment as a source of trauma and recovery. Includes authentic reflections from the heart and mind of a highly respected practitioner
• The Child Survivor: Healing Developmental Trauma and Dissociation, 2nd Edn, (2021), by Joyanna Silberg. A widely respected, comprehensive, and practical resource for treating children and adolescents with dissociative symptoms. Including information on assessment and treatment, and case examples to illustrate clinical dilemmas, this book has been praised by practitioners and adult survivors
• The Simple Guide to Complex Trauma and Dissociation: What It Is and How to Help, (2020), by Betsy de Thierry. Written to complement ‘The Simple Guide to Child Trauma’, this book takes complex theories and clarifies them, to inform and offer practical advice to individuals caring for or working with traumatised children
Organised or Ritualised Abuse, (OA/RA) (listed alphabetically)
• End Ritual Abuse: http://endritualabuse.org/ is a site developed by psychologist Ellen Lacter PhD. It offers information about extreme/ritualised abuse, the production of sadistic child abuse materials, and the psychological manipulation of victims’ dissociative capacities to exert long-term control. It also includes insightful articles to help survivors establish and maintain safety and work towards recovery
• Organised Abuse: https://www.organisedabuse.com/info is a site developed by Scientia Associate Professor Michael Salter who has specialised in the study of organised sexual abuse, complex trauma and has researched and published widely on violence against women and children. The aim of the site is to disseminate reliable information about organised abuse to professionals, victims and survivors
• Ritual Abuse, Ritual Crime and Healing: http://ra-info.org/about-us/
A site that provides information and resources to survivors, their families and friends, and to professionals working therapeutically or conducting research
• Survivorship.org: https://survivorship.org/ is a long-standing and respected organisation that provides resources and support to survivors of extreme and severe childhood abuse. It is dedicated to improving their lives, and to equipping those who care for and work with them, through the dissemination of information, training and education, and offering a community forum for communication, validation, and peer support
• Article: ‘Working with extreme abuse’. Anonymous, Miller, A., Richardson, S., Buck, S. & Ross, L., (2016)
in Therapy Today, 27, 3, 14-19
• Healing the Unimaginable, Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control, by Alison Miller. A demanding but richly informed and essential book for experienced practitioners working with survivors of organised, and ritualised abuse
• Ritual Abuse and Mind Control: The Manipulation of Attachment Needs, (2011), edited by Orit Badouk Epstein, Joseph Schwarz & Rachel Wingfield Schwarz. Collected writings open up this subject from an attachment perspective
• Shattered but Unbroken, (2016) by Amelia van der Merwe & Valerie Sinason. Combines the narratives of survivors with contributions on causes, correlates, and interventions
• Trauma and Memory: The Science and the Silenced, (2021), edited by Valerie Sinason and Ashley Conway. Offers insights into the science and nature of traumatic memory and how and why it may differ from other areas of memory. Contributors include leading international professionals working in fields of criminology, law, and mental health, who also offer commentary on the effects and harm caused to survivors and psychology by the promotion of disinformation.
False Memory Syndrome – a false syndrome:
• Article: ‘The Memory War: Jennifer Freyd accused her father of sexual abuse. Her parent’s attempt to discredit her created a defense for countless sex offenders’, by Katie Heaney. Published in ‘The Cut’ 6/1/21: https://www.thecut.com/article/false-memory-syndrome-controversy.html, Accessed 11/1/21
• ‘The Rise and Fall of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation’, ISSTD News, 21/1/20. https://news.isst-d.org/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-false-memory-syndrome-foundation/ , accessed 11/1/21
THEORETICAL APPROACHES AND TREATMENT MODELS (listed alphabetically)
Practitioners who are unfamiliar with dissociative disorders or to working with DID may prefer to start with texts that are based on their core models or familiar ways of working. Survivors can also expect to come across and be offered a variety of theoretical approaches, summarised below, although none have the monopoly on healing. It is more important that professional help is trauma-informed and based on a collaborative and companionable approach to finding what is best for each individual’s journey.
Attachment-based Psychotherapy – focuses on relationships and bonds between people. It emphasises the developing child’s need to form a healthy emotional bond with at least one primary caregiver for positive social and emotional development.
• Doing Psychotherapy: A Trauma and Attachment-Informed Approach, (2020) by Robin Shapiro
• Nurturing Children: From Trauma to Growth Using Attachment Theory, Psychoanalysis and Neurobiology, (2019), by Graham Music (See description in Working With children & Adolescents)
• Trauma and the Avoidant Client: Attachment-Based Strategies for Healing, (2010), & Trauma and the Struggle to Open Up, (2019) by Robert Muller
Cognitive & Behavioural – theories and therapies elaborate the interplay between mind, thought, behaviour and action, and demonstrate how they can provoke emotions and contribute towards the maintenance of problems or towards recovery.
• Cognitive Behavioural Approaches to the Understanding and Treatment of Dissociation, (2013) edited by Fiona Kennedy, Helen Kennerley & David Pearson
• DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition, (2014) by Marsha Linehan
• Reinventing Your Life, (Schema Therapy-updated 2019) by Jeffrey Young & Janet Klosko
• The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Recovering from Trauma and PTSD: Using Compassion-Focused Therapy to Overcome Flashbacks, Shame, Guilt, and Fear, (2013), by Deborah Lee & Sophie James
• Trauma-Focused ACT: A Practitioner’s Guide to Working with Mind, Body, and Emotion Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, (2021), by Russ Harris
Creative Therapies – use arts-based models and interventions, including music, drama, movement, art or play, with support from a trained professional. Individuals of all ages may find them helpful because they address issues and support expression without the need to talk or focus on the physical self.
• A Therapeutic Treasure Box for Working with Children and Adolescents with Developmental Trauma, (2017), by Karen Treisman
• Trauma and Expressive Arts Therapy, (2020), by Cathy Malchiodi
Integrative Therapy – affirms and blends different models of therapy with consideration given to what works and why.
• Dissociation and the Dissociative Disorders, (2009), by Paul Dell & John O’Neil (Eds)
• Mindsight: Transform Your Brain with the New Science of Kindness, (2011) by Daniel Siegel
• Neurobiology and Treatment of Traumatic Dissociation: Towards an Embodied Self, (2008) by Ulrich Lanius, Sandra Paulsen & Frank Corrigan
• Working with Voices and Dissociative Parts – A Trauma-informed approach, (2019) by Dolores Mosquera. (See description in Treatment Books)
Internal Family Systems Therapy – elaborates the relationships between parts of self or psyche and demonstrates how separation or division between parts can cause suffering.
• Internal Family Systems Skills Training Manual: Trauma-Informed Treatment for Anxiety, Depression, PTSD & Substance Abuse, (2017) by Frank Anderson, Richard Schwartz & Martha Sweezy
• Internal Family Systems Therapy, 2nd Edition, (2019) by Richard Schwarz & Martha Sweezy
Mindfulness – a meditative practice that reconnects individuals to the present moment; purposefully drawing attention and focus to moment-by-moment, internal and/or external awareness.
• Dissociation, Mindfulness, and Creative Meditations: Trauma-Informed Practices to Facilitate Growth, (2017), by Christine Forner
• Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing, (2018), by David Treleaven & Willoughby Britton
Polyvagal Theory – explains the importance and value of interpersonal neurobiology in recovery from trauma, and the effect of trauma on the body and the brain.
The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation, (2011) by Stephen Porges
The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy, (2018) by Deb Dana
Psychoanalytic – theories and therapies that aim to treat mental disorders and distress by investigating the interaction of conscious and unconscious mind.
• The Dissociative Mind in Psychoanalysis: Understanding and Working with Trauma, (2016), by Elizabeth Howell & Sheldon Itzkowitz
• Trauma, Dissociation and Multiplicity: Working on Identity and Selves, (2010) edited by Valerie Sinason
Psychodynamic – based on the theories and principles of psychoanalysis, but with an increased emphasis on an individual’s relationship with their external world; seeks to understand conscious and unconscious processes that influence emotions, thoughts and behaviour patterns.
• Easy Ego State Interventions: Strategies for Working with Parts, (2016) by Robin Shapiro
Somatic (Body-Oriented) Resources – recognise that trauma and its effects are stored within the body, and cause dysregulation and restriction to movement and/or emotion.
EMDR Eye Movement, Desensitisation & Reprocessing – a psychotherapeutic approach that uses visual, auditory or tactile stimuli bilaterally, (from side-to-side of the body), in a rhythmical pattern, to enable reprocessing of memory and its effects. Care needs to be exercised with RAMCOA survivors, since similar techniques have been used in some survivors’ abuse, and EMDR may prove triggering or breach the therapeutic relationship.
• EMDR and Dissociation: The Progressive Approach, (2012) by Anabel Gonzalez & Dolores Mosquera
• EMDR Toolbox: Theory and Treatment of Complex PTSD and Dissociation, 2nd Edn, (2018), by James Knipe
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy – an evolving “body-oriented talking therapy”, helps individuals stabilise, discharge and resolve physiological symptoms of trauma and adverse experiences.
• Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment, (2015) by Pat Ogden & Janina Fisher
• Trauma and the Body, (2006) by Pat Ogden, Kekuni Minton & Clare Pain
Additionally: The Body Remembers Volume 2, (2017) by Babette Rothschild
8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery, (2010) by Babette Rothschild
Somatic Experiencing – focuses on the body and perceived body sensations, to express and relieve mental and physical traumatic stress-related conditions.
• In an Unspoken Voice, (2010) by Peter Levine
• Waking the Tiger, (1997) by Peter Levine
Trauma, and its legacies are increasingly recognised in all parts of society, worldwide. Treatment approaches and modalities are evolving and responding to an increasing need for education, understanding, and trauma-informed communities. It is hoped these resources and others will offer support and encouragement to individuals navigating a path of learning, support, and wholeness.
Please contact me if you would like to recommend additional resources for inclusion on this page.
The Girls Within, (2021), by Gill Frost. An accessible and enlightening introduction to DID, this book offers hope to survivors and professionals. It invites the reader to witness the complex, but inspiring, therapeutic journey of a client and her therapist; it emphasises the importance of healthy relationship conditions, including honesty, respect, flexibility and trust – at times offering insight into the challenges – but also into the unexpected delights involved in this work. The triumphant outcome is ascribed to the client’s young internal parts and their brave engagement with therapy.
The Survivor’s Trust, Resources, http://www.tstresources.org, is a website developed in collaboration with survivors with lived experience and with professional representatives, providing information and resources for anyone who wants to learn more about the effects of sexual violence or who wants to use a self-help toolkit as part of their recovery journey.