Interview with Onno van der Hart, PH.D

20 februari 2012

Onno van der Hart is psychologist, adult psychotherapist, trained family therapist and researcher, he is Emeritus Professor of Psychopathology of Chronic Traumatization at the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and a psychologist/ psychotherapist at the Sinai Center for Mental Health, Amstelveen.

He is clinical consultant of the Center for Post-Trauma Therapy and Trauma Eduction, Helsinki and Oulu, Finland.

Among his clinical and research achievements, he has twice been the recipient of the Milton Erickson Award for Excellence in Scientific writing from the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis as well as three times the Pierre Janet Writing Award for best writing on dissociation from the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD).

He has been on the Editorial Board of a number of scientific journals, including Dissociation, and he has published several books in the area of trauma and dissociation, loss, and bereavement, and over 100 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals (several of which can be found

Onno van der Hart is a Past-President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), a former Vice-President and Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation and Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH). Currently Vice-President of the Institut Pierre Janet, Paris, he is a scholar in Pierre Janet studies.

Both nationally and internationally, he is a clinical consultant on diagnosis and treatment of complex trauma-related disorders and he presents lectures and workshops on complex PTSD, dissociative disorders, trauma treatment, and formerly he presented workshops on hypnosis and family therapy.

Currently, Prof. Van der Hart continues to work with colleagues Ellert Nijenhuis, PhD, and Kathy Steele, MN, CS, on a theoretical approach on trauma-related structural dissociation of the personality and treatment model which unifies psychiatric disorders with a traumatic stress origin.

Their combined efforts resulted, among other things, in the publication of their book, “The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization” (New York/London: W.W. Norton & Cie, 2006), for which they received the Media Award of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.

A more recent, related publication is the book “Coping with Trauma-related Dissociation: Skills Training for and Therapists,” by Suzette Boon, Kathy Steele and Onno van der Hart (New York and London: W. W. Norton & Co), for which the authors received the 2011 Pierre Janet Writing Award of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.




A new video interview with Onno van der Hart is now available here :

Onno van der Hart is here talking about his background, how the understanding of the concept of dissociation has changed, and about his thoughts about this. He talks also about the development of his understanding of dissociation and trauma-related disorders, and his thoughts about the development of the field.

The interview was done 2nd of December 2011, and the interviewer is Clinical Psychologist and ESTD board member Arne Blindheim.

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