Foundations in Understanding & Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder

Training for mental health professionals

by lived experience expert, Calion Smith

Dissociative identity disorder is a condition that affects over 1% of the population. Understanding dissociative identity disorder is vital for any practitioner working with childhood trauma survivors. 

People with the condition are regularly denied treatment due to the lack of specialists, despite it being an understandable and treatable condition through a variety of therapies. It just takes a solid understanding in what the condition is, how it presents, and what treatment paths are available. Many mental health professionals can adequately work with a client who has DID, as long as they have proper foundational training.

Through a mix of studied research and lived experience, Calion will instruct you on all the basics you need to know to feel confident working with your dissociative clients.

This training includes:

Comprehensive training presentation

A 2-hour presentation and discussion on everything you need to know to properly work with a client who has dissociative identity disorder. Includes sources & additional resources. More details below.


Q&A session

A private 1 hour question and answer session. Perfect for going through specific situations, concerns, or using this time for expert and confidential consulting on client/patient situations.

Exercise & Brainstorming Session

A 1-hour live practice and brainstorming session with realistic situations you may encounter while working with a client who has dissociative identity disorder. Optional role-play situations available, too.

In this training, you’ll learn:

Click on each tab to discover exactly what’s included in this dissociative identity disorder training.

Essential terminology

Over a dozen essential terms used by people living with dissociative identity disorder and the professionals treating them. Knowing what language the DID community uses is important for validation and compassionate treatment.


  • Alter
  • System
  • Fronting
  • Polyfragmented
  • Inner system communication
Core dissociative symptoms

How to anticipate, notice, understand, and work with someone experiencing strong dissociative symptoms like amnesia, depersonalization, and derealization.

This helps you become more trauma-informed for all clients who dissociate.

Important statistics

Prevalence of dissociative identity disorder, suicide and self harm statistics, and comorbities.

This helps in diagnostic assurance and identifying core challenges your client may have dealt with.

Diagnostic criteria and tools

An introduction to the single tool used to identify dissociative experiences, the DSM-V criteria, and what to look for in a client. There’s an explanation of various forms of how symptoms and DID experiences can present, both within and outside of therapy or treatment.

There is also information on how to differentiate between dissociative identity disorder and psychosis.

Phenomenon common in DID clients/patients

How it feels to have alters, to experience a switch between identities, and more to help you empathize and understand your client’s experiences. 

Different types of alters/identities

How to recognize each type, treatment considerations, and navigating the unique traumas and roles each different type of identity may have so you can truly help your client heal.


  • Persecutor alters
  • Non-human alters
  • Child alters
  • Protector alters
  • System host
  • Emotional Parts
The two treatment paths

Evidence-based treatment paths, based on the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation protocols. Includes how to determine which path is the best option for your client, providing them autonomy in their therapeutic experience with you. 

Unique trauma treatment considerations

Clients with dissociative identity disorder process trauma differently than those without the condition. Treatment tips and considerations to keep in mind are shared throughout this training.


  • The importance of stabilization to prevent extreme dissociation
  • Navigate different alter narratives of trauma memories
  • Inner conflicts between alters/identities

Time and time again, people with DID have said their best therapists were those that pursued continued education. They had the empathy, drive to learn, and held the client as an expert of their own lived experience. 

This is why I do this work—to empower mental health professionals to become true helpers to each and everyone one of their clients. As someone who lived with dissociative identity disorder for over 20 years, I recognize the vital importance of this training. I am an avid reader of current research, studies, and hundreds of stories of lived experience, and I bring this all together for this foundational training.

On the surface, dissociative identity disorder can feel daunting to understanding and treat—but that’s what this training is for. It’ll simplify all the core knowledge you need, based in both evidence and lived experience. Your confidence to work with clients with DID will greatly increase after this training.

Experience & Qualifications


20+ years of lived experience with Dissociative identity disorder


5 years working as a speaker and trauma educator


4 years of dissociative identity disorder community advocacy


4 years of self-study with ISSTD research and related studies


Direct experience with both dissociative identity disorder treatment paths



For individual practitioners: $275

For individual social workers, therapists, psychiatrists, etc.


Full 2-hour Presentation (in a group)

1-hour Q&A Session (one-on-one)

1-hour Brainstorm & Practice Session (one-on-one)

Email support for one month, for additional questions


For MH groups: $550+

*Pricing dependent on the number enrolled


Full 2-hour Presentation (in a group)

1.5-hour Q&A Session (group)

1-hour Brainstorm & Practice Session (group)

Email support for one month, for additional questions


Student cost: $200 for the full course. More details in the FAQ below.

Training Presentation Only: $150

Students: $100


Full 2-hour Presentation (in a group)

Email for follow up questions




I found this training to be extremely helpful because it combined current knowledge-base with lived experiences. I feel like I now have more confidence in supporting clients with DID, using appropriate language, and advocacy. I highly recommend this training to all clinicians so they can better serve underserved and historically marginalized folks who deserve competent care around not only DID but support and care around all other facets of their lives.

Cassidy Laminack, LPC, LMFT

Hill Country Therapy

Before this training I was uninformed, confused and intimidated when working with folks who are multiple. I just sort of ignored the the fact that my client had DID or OSDD, unless they brought it up, which now I know is at best, just not that helpful, and at worst, harmful to them. This training has completely changed my view of what it is like to be multiple, and how to treat these clients. Now I feel like I can empathize and be helpful, and I even feel less judgmental. Calion is a gentle, yet thorough trainer, and I wish I left all trainings feeling this competent and knowlegeable.

Summer Hough, LPC

Out Youth

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this training virtual or in person?

This training is entirely virtual and open to anyone in any country around the world. The evidence and sources used for this material is based on international groups of study.

If you would like an in-person training, I can offer that on a case-by-case basis for groups of mental health practitioners. The rate will be the same, plus basic travel costs.

Can I receive a student discount?

Yes! I encourage students to take this training as well, especially since dissociative identity disorder is a rarely discussed topic in higher education.

Please fill out the training application form and leave a comment at the end saying you are a student. List your university and have your ID or acceptance letter ready to email me once I respond.

The student discount is $200 for this whole training or $100 for the 2-hour presentation alone.

Why do you focus on lived experience?

Sourced materials and research around dissociative identity disorder are severely lacking. Although I have studied and read all I can find, there is no information on how to actually work with individual alters, personalized guidance on how to pursue the different treatment paths, and more. Lived experience (including conversations with hundreds of people living with DID) fills in these gaps.

Sign up today

Click the button below to access the application form and deepen your trauma informed practice. You’ll gain all the skills and knowledge you need to truly help your clients with dissociative identity disorder.

Fill out the application form