Forum Discussion

The Healing Power of Community: Group Psychotherapy for Patients with Dissociative Identity disorder

Monday, March 26
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Salon 1

Little has been written or discussed about the potential reparative power of group psychotherapy for patients with dissociative disorders. Despite the proliferation of group therapy on the heels of the 1960s’ second wave of feminist consciousness raising groups, there appears to be a deep seated dread of working with people who commonly dissociate within this therapeutic structure. Neither Bion’s work at the Tavistock Clinic nor the power of Moreno’s work in developing psychodrama with street prostitutes has led us to deeply examine the potential therapeutic value of ongoing group psychotherapy with our most traumatized populations.

Perhaps both our own fears of being in the room with a multitude of multiples and our own narcissistic defenses render us reluctant to believe that a therapeutic community of survivors may have as much or more to offer each other than their individual therapists.

We will present a forum of three clinicians knowledgeable in the treatment of dissociative disorders who facilitate long term, out-patient psychotherapy groups for both male and female trauma survivors with dissociative symptomatology. Different philosophies for the management of such groups will be discussed along with what we have found to be most useful and what we have learned from our mistakes. 

Learning Objectives:

Janet S. Migdow

Options Counseling
Chicago, Illinois

Janet Migdow, MA, PhD, LCPC is the founder of Options Counseling in Chicago, Il, (773) 463-1901. She has been in private practice for forty years specializing in work with trauma survivors and those with Dissociative Disorders. Dr. Migdow provides supervision, training and consultation. She is Co-Director of The Trauma Consultation Program which provides post-graduate training for psychotherapists specializing in the treatment of trauma and is President of the Illinois Chapter ISSTD and a fellow of ISSTD.


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Judith Ierulli

Senior Therapist
Womencare Counseling
Chicago, Illinois

Judith Ierulli is a trauma therapist specializing in the treating of complex trauma survivors. She has been working with survivors of sexual, physical and emotional trauma for over fifteen years. For the last ten years, she also has been a group leader of an ongoing male survivor group. Judith has also presented around the country on such topics as Post Traumatic Stress, Dissociation Disorders and working with specific issues in working with male and female survivors’ of sexual violence. Judith is a Senior Associate at Womencare Counseling Center, a group practice that specializes in working with trauma survivors.


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Meredith Glick

Private Practice
Chicago, Illinois

Meredith Glick is in private practice in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood. She has been providing therapy for individuals, groups, and couples who suffer from trauma disorders. She has presented on numerous topics including: “Developing Tools and Resources for the Treatment of Somatic Symptoms,” “Child Parts and the Complexity of Finding Language,” and “A Therapist’s Sexuality: How Vicarious Trauma can Compromise Intimacy” at the Chicago chapter of the ISSTD. She is currently researching Compassion Satisfaction of Trauma Therapists. She has developed an ongoing process group as well as a psychoeducational groups for trauma survivors. She finds group therapy to be an incredibly effective tool in the treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


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Lauren Miller

Lauren Miller PsyD LLC
Chicago, Illinois

Lauren Miller, Psy.D. is a psychologist in Chicago, Illinois, specializing in individual, couples, and family work. Areas of expertise include trauma and dissociation, chronic illness, and life cycle changes. Dr. Miller is a Level II EMDR clinician, and is also trained in hypnosis, Brainspotting, and Affect Management Skills Training.


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The Healing Power of Community: Group Psychotherapy for Patients with Dissociative Identity disorder

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