The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization, Onno van der Hart Book Study (12 CE Hours)


This Home Study Program offers an opportunity to earn 12 CE hours (EMDRIA, Psychologists, LCSW, LMFT, LMHC, LPC and other master’s level clinicians. Check with state licensing board to confirm acceptance of NBCC credits) The book itself (not included) is the educational content of this program. By passing the CE program quiz developed for this program, you will demonstrate that you have gained knowledge by reading this book.

The book is not included in the purchase of this CE program. To purchase a copy of the book, click HERE or HERE.

The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization
by Onno van der Hart, Ellert R. S. Nijenhuis, and Kathy Steele

book purchased separately

Based on the theory of structural dissociation of the personality in combination with a Janetian psychology of action, the authors have developed a model of phase-oriented treatment that focuses on the identification and treatment of structural dissociation and related maladaptive mental and behavioral actions.

Endorsements for The Haunted Self

“A brilliant book – the authors deserve our congratulations for grappling with some of the most complex and perplexing phenomena that psychotherapists are likely to encounter. In an intellectual tour de force, the authors provide a unifying theory that identifies a disturbance of the self as the core problem for the whole spectrum of trauma-related disorders. This theory is in turn closely linked to a highly sophisticated understanding of assessment and treatment. No trauma therapist will fail to benefit from the authors’ collective insights and wisdom.” —Chris R. Brewin, Professor of Clinical psychology, University College London

The Haunted Self gives clinicians a new perspective on the work that Pierre Janet completed nearly 100 years ago. The theory and clinical application of structural dissociation and the Janetian psychology of action proposed in this book by Van der Hart, Nijenhuis and Steele, and their integration with contemporary findings from the affective neurosciences and attachment/developmental and relational literature offer clinicians a new way to understand and treat individuals who suffered chronic traumatization during childhood. It also brings dissociation to the fore as an expectable and common reaction in traumatized children. A thought-provoking work. I highly recommend it.” —Christine A. Courtois, Ph.D., cofounder, The Center: Posttraumatic Disorders Program, The Psychiatric Institute of Washington, Washington, DC

“After 100 years of descriptions, we are now beginning to understand what dissociation says about our mind, and how to treat it. This book is a brilliant and highly accessible account of this most fundamental concept of modern day psychiatry and psychotherapy.” —David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PHD – Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh – Author of Healing Without Freud or Prozac and The Instinct to Heal

“Onno van der Hart, Ellert Nijenhuis, and Kathy Steele have produced a landmark contribution to the study of trauma, and an instant classic in the study of dissociation and dissociative disorders. Constructive, lucid, easy to read, and constantly thought-provoking, this remarkable book brings together the classic observations and ideas of Pierre Janet, modern trauma and dissociation theory, and the cutting-edge findings of contemporary neuroscience to explicate and explore the authors’ structural dissociation paradigm. Furthermore, it brings together most of Van der Hart’s monumental efforts to apply Janetian concepts to the contemporary treatment of trauma and dissociation, a significant achievement in itself. Readers need not embrace the structural dissociation model to enjoy and emerge enriched by the clinical insights and therapeutic wisdom of The Haunted Self.—Richard P. Kluft, M.D., Temple University School of Medicine


“What an exceptional book! The step-wise didactic clarity and innovative content of The Haunted Self alone would suffice to justify making the book required reading material for all health professionals encountering trauma victims. However, it is also a remarkably thrilling reading experience, reminiscent of the “haunted-house” stories of my youth. One finds oneself led to familiar areas through “hidden stairways” and suddenly comes to perceive and comprehend things from unexpected angles. There is a refreshing undercurrent of humility to the book – the reader feels encouraged to examine and comment freely. Without seeking to replace or compete with other trauma theories or treatment modalities, the authors present an over-arching and unifying conceptual approach to comprehending the psycho-biological underpinnings of a highly variable and challenging population of patients, who quite commonly present with a complex and confusing array of atypical and changeable clinical and therapeutic issues, only partly addressed by current diagnostic criteria and treatment guidelines. The structural conception of dissociation enhances ones understanding not only of PTSD and Complex PTSD, Dissociative Identity Disorder and cases of severe protracted physical and sexual abuse, but clarifies the contribution of trauma to Borderline Personality Disorder, Somatoform Disorders and certain physical syndromes characteristically associated with emotional trauma and stress.” –Dr Mike Matar, MD (Psych)

(Click here to preview the book’s table of contents.)


Onno van der Hart, PhD is a psychologist, adult psychotherapist (retired) in private practice and researcher; he is Emeritus Professor of Psychopathology of Chronic Traumatization at the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. He is a scholar in Pierre Janet Studies and is a past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISSTS). Both nationally and internationally, he is a clinical consultant and trainer on diagnosis and treatment of complex trauma-related disorders. He is the recipient of a number of awards for his clinical and published works. Apart from having co-authored with Ellert Nijenhuis and Kathy Steele The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization (Norton, 2006), with Suzette Boon and Kathy Steele, he wrote Coping with Trauma-related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton, 2011), and with Kathy Steele and Suzette Boon, Treating Trauma-related Dissociation: A Practical, Integrative Approach (Norton, 2017).

Ellert R.S. Nijenhuis, PhD is a psychologist, psychotherapist, and researcher. He engaged in the diagnosis and treatment of severely traumatized patients for more than three decades, and teaches and writes extensively on the themes of trauma-related dissociation and dissociative disorders. He is a research consultant at Clienia Littenheid, Switzerland, collaborates with several European universities. His publications include the book Somatoform Dissociation that also appeared in a German translation. With Onno van der Hart and Kathy Steele he co-authored the book The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization. The first two volumes of the trilogy The Trinity of Trauma: Ignorance, Fragility, and Control appeared in 2015. The third volume, Enactive Trauma Treatment was released in 2017. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation granted him several awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Kathy Steele, MN, CS has been in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia for over three decades, specializing in the treatment of complex trauma, dissociation, attachment difficulties, and the challenges of complicated therapies. She is also an adjunct faculty at Emory University. Kathy is sought as a consultant, supervisor and trainer nationally and internationally. She is a Fellow and past President of the ISSTD, and has served on the task forces to develop treatment and practice guidelines for Complex PTSD and for Dissociative Disorders. She is the recipient of a number of awards for her clinical and published works. Kathy has (co) authored three books with her Dutch colleagues as part of the acclaimed Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology, including The Haunted Self (2006), Coping with Trauma-related Dissociation (2011), and most recently Treating Trauma-related Dissociation: A Practical, Integrative Approach (2017).

Learning objectives:

  • Define features of primary structural dissociation of the personality
  • Define features of secondary structural dissociation 
  • Define features of tertiary structural dissociation
  • Explain the role of trauma within structural dissociation
  • Provide a range of example of  structural dissociation from mild to severe
  • Explain Janet’s theory of the psychology of action 
  • List the hierarchy of action tendencies
  • Provide examples of the phobic maintenance of structural dissociation 
  • Discuss methods for promoting adaptive action
  • Describe methods for overcoming the phobia of trauma-derived mental actions
  •  describe methods for overcoming phobia of dissociative parts
  • Describe methods for overcoming the phobia of traumatic memory

Key Features:

* The essence of trauma-generated structural dissociation of the personality, including an explanation in terms of Pierre Janet’s action psychology * Its manifestation in positive and negative, cognitive-affective and sensorimotor, dissociative symptoms
* Its complexity in various trauma-generated mental disorders, ranging from simple PTSD to DID * Its maintenance by a series of inner-directed phobias, with the most fundamental one the phobia of traumatic memories
* Its treatment in terms of the standard of care, that is, phase-oriented treatment, including systematically overcoming these phobias
  1. This Online Program (book needs to be purchased separately): $99.00
  2. Purchase a copy of the book by CLICKING HERE or HERE.

Instructions after purchase of book study program:
1. After completing your purchase, you will receive an email receipt verifying your purchase with a link to a quiz based upon the book’s content.
2. For your convenience, you will be provided a downloadable PDF version of the quiz to use while you read.
3. To earn your CE hours, you must answer the quiz questions online.
4. When you complete and pass the quiz, you will be issued a downloadable certificate for EMDRIA and NBCC approved Masters Level professional certificate with CE hours documented

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The book is not included in the purchase of this CE program. To purchase a copy of the book, click HERE or HERE.

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Sold By: Onno van der Hart