Panel Presentation

Hidden Trauma, Hidden States—attachment Disturbances and Dissociation: A Panel Discussion

Sunday, March 25
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Salon 1

Many forms of less-recognized trauma have impact that is misunderstood yet nonetheless can directly increase children’s reliance on dissociative coping. This can profoundly influence children’s ability to demonstrate consistent positive attachment behavior even with caring biological and adoptive parents. Hidden dissociative states can carry aspects of prenatal/birth trauma, painful medical procedures, unresolved grief regarding past attachment figures, etc. Undetected states can affect parent/child dyads, might lead to disruption in placement and contribute to children’s dysregulated mood and behavior. Traditional child management techniques/therapies often fail to improve these children’s attachment to caregivers and aren’t effective in handling disruptive behaviors or deescalating affect.

This panel will address clinical manifestations of attachment disruptions in unacknowledged (and/or under-acknowledged) forms of childhood trauma. Panelists will explore the etiology of hidden self-states and discuss how inconsistent (and sometimes contradictory) attachment behaviors in children and resistance to typical interventions can be clues for need to explore the presence of hidden/undetected self-states. Interventions to improve attachment between the child and his/her self-states and family members will be described, as would tools to increase the ability to modulate affect and behavior. Suggestions for prevention and minimization of attachment disruptions will be offered. Clinical vignettes, video and artwork will be included.

Learning Objectives:

Michele M. Yarberry

Private Practice
Liberated Living, LLC
Loveland, Colorado

Michele Yarberry, LPC, NCC, RPT is the Founder and Director of Koolrageous Kids, and Liberated Living, LLC. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, Certified EMDR Therapist and Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health/Learning. Michele earned a Master’s degree in Community Counseling, and a Bachelor’s degree in Education. She enjoys working very young children, adolescents, teenagers, as well as parents and teachers.
Michele is a member of the Association of Play Therapy (APT) – United States, Colorado Association of Play Therapy (CAPT), Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing International Association (EMDRIA), International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISST-D), American Counseling Association (ACA), Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International, and Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD). Michele, also, serves as a board member, for Colorado Association for Play Therapy.


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Frances S. Waters

Cllinical Social Worker
Private Practice
Marquettte, MI

Frances S. Waters, DCSW, LMSW, LMFT, is an internationally recognized trainer, consultant, and clinician in the area of childhood trauma, abuse, and dissociation, and has presented extensively, including training programs in Europe, Africa, South-America, and North-America. She specialized in the field of child abuse for 40 years.
Ms. Waters is past President of The International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation (ISSTD) and has served on many committees with ISSD, including currently co-chair of ISSTD’s Child & Adolescent Committee, and Faculty Director of the Child Adolescent Psychotherapy Training Programs. She also serves on Editorial Board of the Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, contributing guest editor for the Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, and on the national Advisory Board of the Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence.
Ms. Waters is author of Healing the Fractured Child: Diagnosing and Treating Dissociative Youth (2016) and has published many chapters and articles on childhood trauma and dissociation.

Ms. Waters is the executive producer of two training videos, The Traumatized Child: Understanding and Parenting the Traumatized Child, and Trauma & Dissociation in Children that is geared toward child forensic evaluators and prosecutors.

Ms. Waters received the 2008 Media Award from American Professional Society on Abuse of Children for her production of Trauma and Dissociation in Children, and ISSTD’s Presidential Award for her faculty directorship of ISSTD’s Psychotherapy Training Course on Child & Adolescent Trauma and Dissociation. She is a fellow of ISSTD. She maintains a private practice in Marquette, MI.


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Hidden Trauma, Hidden States—attachment Disturbances and Dissociation: A Panel Discussion

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