14 Oct 2021 webinar at 6 pm: The evidence for the trauma-dissociation relationship and the validity of the DID-diagnosis

14 oktober 2021

There is clinical and biological evidence for the link between trauma and dissociation in individuals with dissociative disorders, in particular dissociative identity disorder (DID), also categorized as a chronic posttraumatic developmental disorder. However, some claim that individuals who report dissociative symptoms are overly suggestible and prone to fantasy and argue that DID is not a valid disorder. This may lead to a delay in accurate diagnostics, societal costs and protracted personal suffering.

Therefore, we have invited two outstanding experts, prof. Constance Dalenberg and Simone Reinders, PhD, to specifically address these issues in this webinar, including presentation of their own milestone research data. We are excited to invite clinicians and researchers to this seminal webinar.


Thursday, October 14th 2021 (GMT+1, Brussels / Berlin / Warsaw / Madrid time), at 6.00-9.00 p.m.

Please register via the ESTD website and the E-Psyche platform here. There is a fee of 20 euros for participation in the webinar.
Payment should be made to the following bank account:

Name: European Society for Trauma and Dissociation
Account Number: NL02 INGB 0006 5231 37
adres:  Coldplaystraat 12 6663HX LENT The Netherlands

Registration and payment will be possible until October 11, 2021.

NB: Please be aware of inter-country money transaction time. ESTD will not be responsible of payments later than October 11, 2021. However, payments received too late will be recompensed with the webinar recording sent by e-mail.

The webinar will remain available after October 14th on the members-only area of the ESTD website.


Active participants of this event will receive a certificate of attendence. Certificates will not be issued to people who have merely watched the recording of this event, available later as video-on-demand at the same price as the webinar.
These certificates will be taken into consideration when applying for an ESTD certificate in diagnosing trauma-related disorders and the referral system (currently under development).


The agenda for the webinar is:

6.00-7.00 p.m.: "The evidence for the trauma-dissociation relationship" by Constanze Dalenberg. Dalenberg will present solid data on the evidence for the trauma-model of dissociation, that posits trauma as an antecedent and causal factor of pathological dissociation. The fantasy model of dissociation, sometimes referred to as the sociocognitive or iatrogenic model of dissociation, posits that highly suggestible individuals enact DID following exposure to social influences. Dalenberg and colleagues reviewed almost 1500 peer-reviewed studies to determine whether the trauma model or the fantasy model had most empirical support. Their findings contradicted the fantasy-model.

7.00-8.00 p.m.: "The neurobiology and aetiology of DID " by Simone Reinders, PhD. Reinders will present her latest research data. This will include both structural and functional neuroimaging findings that demonstrate neurobiological evidence for a trauma-related origin of DID. In addition, neurobiological biomarkers of pathological dissociation will be presented and discussed. These emerging research findings indicate that individuals with DID can be distinguished from healthy controls on the basis of neurobiomarkers. It will also be discussed how neuroimaging can be used to inform the identification of individuals with DID from healthy controls and ultimately from other psychopathologies.

8.00-9.00 p.m.: Panel-discussion



Dr. C. Dalenberg is former President of the American Psychological Association’s Division of Trauma Psychology and now serves on the President’s Council and chairs the Science Committee of the divison.  She has multiple national and international awards for her research and clinical contributions in the areas of trauma and dissociation, including the Morton Prince Award for Scientific Achievement, the William Friedrich Award for Child Sexual Abuse Research, and APA Division 56’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  She is a Distinguished Professor at Alliant International University, where she has directed the Trauma Research Institute for more than 25 years.  


Dr A.A.T. Simone Reinders is a leading neuroscientist and international expert in the neurobiology of trauma-related dissociation and the brain imaging correlates of dissociative identity disorder (DID). Simone studied Applied Physics and Artificial Intelligence and obtained her doctorate in Medical Sciences with the highest Dutch distinction Cum Laude at the University of Groningen, Netherlands. She received the most prestigious grant for young investigators, only awarded to the top 5% most promising researchers in the Netherlands, which allowed her to successfully lead a multi-centre neuroimaging project.

Simone’s pioneering research showed identity-state-dependent blood-flow patterns in the brain of individuals with DID. Follow-up research showed that these patterns cannot be simulated and that DID and PTSD share trauma-related neurobiomarkers. This significantly advanced understanding of brain function and structural brain abnormalities in DID. 

Simone is currently working as a Senior Research associate at the IoPPN of King’s College London, UK. Here she is Head to the Trauma-related Dissociation Research Group. Her most recent work addresses DID-dismissive perspectives using brain imaging[1] and reveals the CA1 area of the hippocampus as biomarkers of dissociative Amnesia in DID[2].

Simone is Chair of the ENIGMA-Dissociation Working Group. This year she was awarded a Mid Career Achievement Award from the ISSTD.

Twitter: @AATSReinders / Websites: www.neuroimaging-DID.com


[1] Reinders AATS and Veltman DJ. Br J Psychiatry 2020: 1–2.

[2] LI Dimitrova, et al. and Reinders AATS. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2021.

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