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A Day of Dissociation- Inside the Minds of Dissociative Identity Disorder
Saturday, November 14, 2020, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM EDT
Category: Virtual Trainings

Training Description:

A common belief among mental health clinicians is that clients with a Dissociative Disorder are rare and that it may even be a fictitious disorder, or one that is iatrogenic.  Whether you are a clinician who 1) is certain that you do not encounter dissociative disorders in your practice, or 2) you are encountering more and more puzzling symptoms with your clients that lead you to wonder if they are dissociative, or 3) if you are clearly experiencing clients whose functionality in life and progress in therapy is impeded by dissociative symptoms, this training will equip you with essential information to hone your clinical skills and sharpen your ability to assess your clients for Dissociative Disorders. Consider the chameleon with its exquisite ability to camouflage and not be seen in order to ensure its survival. We can’t see what we have not been trained to look for and understand.  

In this presentation Robert Slater will proceed step by step to help attendees develop an understanding of what constitutes a Dissociative Disorder, how to recognize it, and what to take into consideration in its treatment. He will use case examples to illustrate key points throughout. Robert will answer questions about what it takes to work with this population; what is normal vs pathological dissociation; and, what leads to its occurrence. Robert will highlight how to recognize Dissociative Disorders, the variations of it, and the reasons it is so important for clinicians to recognize it in their practices. Robert will discuss Dissociative Disorders versus other DSM diagnoses and why there is frequent misdiagnosis.  He will cover the basic neurobiology of dissociative identity reactions. The presentation will include basic steps for effective treatment of Dissociative Disorders and various psychological approaches used in their treatment. He will also cover how all these factors shape the ultimate goals we develop with clients in the treatment of their Dissociative Disorders. 


1) Describe 3 indications that a client may be dissociative

2) Recognize the overlap in symptoms between Dissociative Disorders and other 

     DSM diagnoses

3) Name the phases of treatment needed for healthy outcomes in clients who 

    have Dissociative Identity Disorder

4) Describe two obstacles to treatment and the main aim of treatment with clients who have Dissociative Disorders.


Robert SlaterMSW, LCSW-R  initially held a career as a professional photographer for 5 years. His subsequent work as a Cottage Director in a residential setting for abused, neglected and juvenile delinquent adolescents led him to pursue hisMSW at Marywood University in Pennsylvania. He was inducted into the Alpha Lambda National Honor Society, and graduated in 1998.    


Upon graduation Robert began private practice in rural Upstate NY serving a wide age range of clients. He also worked as a School Social Worker providing clinical services and group therapy for children, adolescents and their families in a setting for students who were emotionally disturbed, developmentally disabled, and/or requiring alternative educational programming. During this time as Robert began to more frequently  encounter clients with dissociative symptoms he launched into an in depth study and training in treating Dissociative Disorders. His clinical services increasingly specialized in issues related to attachment disruption and traumatic stress, including addiction concerns, dissociative disorders and intergenerational trauma. 


In 2004 Robert became the Founder and President of Copeland Ave Counseling, PLLC, a group practice in Homer, NY and later added Copeland Counseling in East Syracuse, NY. He continues to provide psychotherapy to individuals, couples and families specializing in attachment disruptions, developmental trauma,  post traumatic stress,  dissociative disorders, parenting issues and marital discord. 


Robert was the Co-founder for the Center State New York Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. He has served tirelessly in various capacities for the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and has distinguished himself as an Approved Instructor for ISSTD Child and Adolescent Training Program; Past Chair for the Child and Adolescent Special Interest Group; Past Director of ISSTD; and, this past year was elected to be ISSTD President though he had to step away from the post for health reasons. In 2016 ISSTD made Robert a Fellow. Then in 2017 he was presented with the ISSTD President’s Award. Robert has excelled in his speaking engagements on the topic of trauma and dissociation. He was guest speaker on Trauma Therapy and EMDR at Utica College and Binghamton University in NY. He provided multiple presentations on treating adolescents with dissociative disorders at ISSTD annual conferences including two webinars. In 2017 Robert spoke on “The Developmental Impact of Complex Trauma and Dissociation” at the ISSTD Regional Conference. And in 2019 he presented in New York City at the World Congress on Complex Trauma on “The Unskilled and Marginalized Treatment of Dissociative Illness.”  What does Robert do in his spare time you might ask? He has resumed an interest in photography focusing on land and cityscapes, further expanding into exploring photographic compositing.