Skip to content
ESTD UK logo
90 Minute Workshop Series

Theory isn’t dreary. Some helpful psychoanalytic concepts in working with DID


When people are drawn to helping others who are experiencing current extreme trauma in their lives or bearing the consequences of past trauma, the idea of “theory” can feel like a burden in the way of understanding and support. Even the word “theory “can feel dissociatively academic! However, having hypotheses about human feelings and behaviour can be a major container. This presentation takes some key psychoanalytic theories and shows how they help in working with people with DID. Martha Harris, a psychoanalyst who created child Psychotherapy at the Tavistock Clinic with John Bowlby said “remember- there are people who have never had psychoanalysis or trained in it who will be intrinsically wiser than anyone you have ever met . However, outside of that, we benefit from the extra understanding that comes from training or reading”. This presentation focusses on the theories of “transference”, “counter transference”, “splitting”, “projection” and “projective identification” . Those attending will gain an understanding of these theories or a refresher.

Presenter: Dr Valerie Sinason

Dr Valerie Sinason is a poet, writer, child and adolescent psychotherapist and Adult Psychoanalyst (largely retired) and was Founder Director of the Clinic for Dissociative Studies which she continues to consult to .She is a Trustee of the Institute for Psychotherapy and Disability, Chair of the Trust for the First People Arts Centre, South Africa and Hon Consultant Psychoanalyst at the University of Cape Town Child Guidance Clinic. She trained at the Tavistock Clinic and was then a consultant there for twenty years as well as at St Georges Hospital Medical School psychiatry of disability department. She was a member of the UKSSD and ESTD from the start and is a committee member of the ESTD newsletter. She was given a lifetime achievement award at the ISSTD 2016. She is widely published and lectures nationally and internationally on disability, trauma and dissociation.