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90 Minute Workshop Series

Mental Capacity and Risk Assessment in DID


DID can pose many challenges both for clinicians and those living with the condition. Amongst the challenges are those of assessing risk and mental capacity. Psychiatrists are expected to carry out such assessments as part of their everyday work, but how can we do this when we are assessing not one individual with relatively stable behaviours and wishes, but someone with multiple internal worlds, where different parts have different behaviours and wishes? In this interactive workshop we will look at what it means to carry out a risk assessment (Who is it for? What is it for?) and how ‘standard’ approaches might be adapted to meet the needs of those living with DID. We will also look at the legal framework underpinning assessments of capacity and explore how these apply to those living with DID. We will use case examples to think together about these challenges.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: Participants will learn about approaches to risk assessment and management, as well as the legal framework for assessing mental capacity

Presenter: Dr Abby Seltzer MBChB FRCPysch

Dr Abby Seltzer is a consultant psychiatrist with over thirty years’ experience. Within the NHS, she has worked in a range of clinical settings including inpatient wards, community mental health teams and crisis teams. In addition to her work within the NHS, where she most recently worked with a team specialising in treating complex depression, anxiety and trauma, she has also worked with Freedom from Torture, the Helen Bamber Foundation and Medical Justice. She has been working in the trauma field since 2000, initially with asylum seekers and refugees, survivors of torture and other human rights abuses, including trafficking. Since 2015 she has been associated with the Clinic for Dissociative Studies, where she is a member of the core assessment team, and has helped to develop their education and training programme. She is trained in EMDR and sensorimotor psychotherapy and is recognised as an expert witness for court proceedings.