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Digital Recording

Working with perpetrator-imitating parts

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Suzette Boon, PhD
1 Hour 12 Minutes
Audio and Video
Nov 10, 2022
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Media Type:
Digital Recording
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Chronic childhood abuse leads to shame, guilt, self-loathing or hatred and isolation as an adult. It often results in re-victimization such as rape,  violent partner relationships, traumatic abortions,  difficulties sustaining lasting relationships and raising children. Dealing with the immense shame, guilt and rage is a challenge for all survivors of childhood traumatization. These feelings are most often directed towards self.  

Vehement emotions, self-destructive behaviours and sometimes seemingly deliberate undermining of the therapeutic relationship in the treatment of chronically traumatised clients tends to be a difficult task for many treating physicians. In most clients with a dissociative disorder, the rage -and often also the guilt, shame and helplessness - is ‘held’ by dissociative parts that resemble the original perpetrators (so-called ‘perpetrator-imitating parts’) and directed towards self ( other dissociative)  parts. These parts wield a great deal of power within the system. They are usually not well-oriented in the present, they are stuck in the past and they view the present through the lens of the past. Initially, they are very critical or suspicious of the treatment or the therapist. These parts of the personality may evoke strong countertransference feelings in treating therapists, especially fear, helplessness and even anger. Instead of avoiding these parts, both the therapist and the client must learn to understand them and develop compassion for them. Only then will it become possible to break the internal vicious circle of (often sadistic) punishment and self-destructive actions.  

In this presentation, the significance is explained of these dissociative parts and their behaviour within the overall system of the client. Methods are suggested for the therapist to make contact with these parts and to help the client as a whole to break the vicious circles of self-destructive behaviour.



This online program is worth 1.25 hours CPD.



Suzette Boon, PhD's Profile

Suzette Boon, PhD Related seminars and products

Suzette A. Boon, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist. She has more than thirty years of experience working in mental health institutions. She is a trainer and supervisor for the Dutch Society for Family Therapy and the Dutch Society for Hypnosis. Since the late eighties, she has specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of complex dissociative disorders. She has worked as a researcher at the Free University of Amsterdam (Psychiatric Department). She translated and validated the Dutch version of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders (SCID-D) and received a PhD for her thesis Multiple Personality Disorder in the Netherlands in 1993.

She has published several books, book chapters and many articles on both the diagnosis and treatment of dissociative disorders. Suzette works in a private practice, mainly as a trainer and supervisor. She has been giving workshops all over Europe and the USA on topics related to complex trauma and dissociation.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Suzette Boon-Langelaan maintains a private practice and receives royalties as a published author. She receives a speaking honorarium from Psychotherapy Networkers and PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Suzette Boon-Langelaan is a member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, the European Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, the Dutch society for psychologists, the Dutch Society for Family and Couple Therapy, the Dutch Society for Clinical hypnosis, the Dutch Society for Psychotherapy, and the Dutch Society for Psychotrauma.


  1. Understand the function of socalled perpetrator imitating parts in cliente with a complex dissociative disorder.
  2. Make contact with perpetrator-imitating parts and do some interventions to help these parts ( and the patient as a whole) to  change the internal vicious circle of sadistic punishment and self-destructive actions.  
  3. Understand and deal with some of their countertransference feelings.


  • Identify perpetrator imitating parts within the client
  • Learn how to make contact with perpetrator-imitating parts
  • Understand and learn to handle countertransference

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Other Mental Health Professionals



Overall:      4.6

Total Reviews: 52

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