ESTD Conference Berne, Switzerland: November (8) 9 - 11, 2017

Preconference Workshop: Thursday, November 9 2017, 9.30 - 17.30h

Room: Bellavista 2-4


Ellert R.S. Nijenhuis, PhD:

"Enactive Trauma Therapy for Complex Dissociative Disorders"


Enactivism holds that organisms are embodied and environmentally embedded. To be more specific, their brain, wider body, and environment constitute and depend on each other, and always occur together. In this frame, organism-environment systems are also mental systems. They bring forward a self, a world, and a self as a part of this world in ongoing action. Primarily interested in their own perseverance, they feel and make meaning of themselves and the world they enact.
Traumatized individuals are such organism-environment systems. As autonomous centers of operation or action and passion they strive to survive the injurious, overpowering world they encounter(ed). Unable to integrate their horrible experiences, they create a more or less complex dissociation of the personality. Keeping this division up for a longer time constitutes a work of art, however tormenting its consequences may eventually become.
Overcoming a dissociation of the personality takes intense communication, coordination and cooperation among the various dissociative parts, and between these parts and the therapist. Enactive trauma therapy, then, is the sensitive and dedicated effort to raise consciousness to levels of communication that allow the emergence of new, benevolent, and healing experiences in the steps that patients can manage. This wound healing takes embedment in an interpersonal frame that helps them to integrate and realize their traumatic past as well as the consequences it had and continues to have. It also takes that therapists are highly consciously aware of, and integrate their own person perspectives and those of the patient.
The present preconference workshop offers an introduction into the indicated new paradigm for an understanding and treatment of trauma and dissociation. It offers explanations, demonstrations, and practical applications.

Ellert Nijenhuis, PhD, is a psychologist, psychotherapist and researcher. He has been working with severely traumatized patients for more than thirty years, and continues to be engaged in biopsychosocial research of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Ellert Nijenhuis provides supervision and courses on chronic trauma and dissociation. He has written many clinical and scientific articles, book chapters, and books.      



  • Nijenhuis, E. R. S. (2015a). The trinity of trauma: Ignorance, fragility, and control. Volume I. The evolving concept of trauma. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
  • Nijenhuis, E. R. S. (2015b). The trinity of trauma: Ignorance, fragility, and control. Volume II. The concept and facts of dissociation in trauma. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
  • Nijenhuis, E. R. S. (2016). The trinity of trauma: Ignorance, fragility, and control. Volume III. Enactive trauma therapy. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.


Website of E.R.S. Nijenhuis

Registration fee: CHF 200.-

Home - Vision
Programme overview Programme details
Preconference Workshops - Keynote Speakers - Special Presentations

Registration - Social Event - Hotels in Bern - Switzerland on a Budget!
Conference Information - Conference Venue - Floor Plan

Sponsors - Organization - Contact

Informationen in deutscher Sprache