The Milton H. Erickson Institutes of South Africa - MEISA is affiliated to Ego State Therapy International (ESTI) and Dr Woltemade Hartman Ph.D is the South African representative on the Ego State Therapy curriculum development committee. Dr Woltemade Hartman and Dr Elzette Fritz are both accredited as Ego State Therapy trainers with Ego State Therapy International. MEISA thus adheres to the international standards set for Ego State Therapy training.

Professionals who have completed training in the use of Ego State Therapy have reported greater success with complex patients, particularly those who previously appeared to be untreatable, such as those with complex PTSD and anxiety, personality disorder patients and dissociative spectrum patients.  Ego State Therapy is uniquely suited to healing the fragmentation that results from various types of trauma and cumulative trauma, including attachment disorders, childhood abuse and trauma, developmental trauma, trauma usually occurring at maturity such as rape, assault, car collisions and work injuries, as well as damage caused by war and natural disasters. 

We have also found Ego State therapy to be helpful in working with traumatized children and adolescents, as well as with patients of all ages whose issues appear refractory to various types of psychological intervention. In these cases, it has been our experience that internal conflicts of the self, have prevented the client’s positive response to therapy methods. Ego State Therapy has helped to create a more functional internal family of self, which promotes greater functionality in every area of life.  

Ego State Therapy as an intervention strategy can easily be combined with other approaches such as Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, Eye Movement Integration (EMI), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), etc. 

The EST workshops need to be attended in consecutive order. 

Important – Various evidenced-based research will be cited, case studies will be presented and discussed in the context of the workshop.  Attendees will have the opportunity to present and discuss difficult cases with each other and with the presenter.  

Ego State Therapy Group Supervision

The supervision workshop is aimed at participants who have successfully completed at least the beginner’s workshops in Ericksonian Clinical Hypnosis and Ego State Therapy. 

Participants will be afforded the opportunity to present clinical cases, discuss difficulties regarding diagnosis, intervention techniques, safety and stabilization techniques, accessing ego states, communication with ego states, finding internal corrective experiences, facilitating integration, flow, wholeness, containment and self-regulation. Special emphasis will be placed on treating difficult cases. Hypnotic as well as non-hypnotic techniques to access ego states will be addressed. Opportunity will be given for participants to ask any questions pertaining to the clinical application of hypnosis and its associated techniques. Opportunity will be provided for role-play in dyads and triads.  

Ego State Therapy Workshop 1: An Introduction to Ego State Therapy: Safety and Stabilization: The activation of and work with resourceful ego states.

Ego State Therapy was developed by Prof John G. Watkins (Ph.D) and Mrs. Helen H. Watkins (MA). This approach is based on the premise that human personality is composed of separate parts (so-called Ego States), rather than being a monolithic entity. These different parts of the self develop naturally to cope with life and developmental challenges and crises in all individuals and provide diversity to self-experience.  Parts can also develop as a result of trauma or impactful life experiences contributing to divisions in the self. Ego state therapy focuses on understanding and treating the different aspects or dimensions of the self by respecting the unique self-individuation of each person. The goal of ego state therapy is to elicit the ego states, to work with them therapeutically, to attain peace amongst them and to integrate them into a family of self. The ego state therapy training assumes prior knowledge of the basics of hypnotherapy and the fundamental training in Ericksonian hypnosis and psychotherapy is therefore a prerequisite.  The primary emphasis is upon the theory of trauma, the latest evidence-based research on the neuro-physiology of trauma, the Polyvagal Theory of Stephen Porges and its connection to the theory of Ego States. Additionally attention will also be given to the theories of multiplicity, ego state theory, the dissociative spectrum, the elicitation of resourceful ego states and communication with them.  Hypnotic techniques of activating and communicating with resourceful ego states are taught and illustrated through live demonstrations.  Special attention will be given to the SARIA intervention model. This workshop will also focus on safety and stabilization techniques combined with body, yoga and breath work. This workshop is the first in a series of consecutive workshops which lead to internationally recognized certification as an ego state therapist by Ego State Therapy International (ESTI).

Ego State Therapy Workshop 2: Activation and Work with Symptom-associated and traumatized ego states.

It is a known fact that some ego states (parts of the Self) are “split off” in the face of trauma to “help” the individual to survive and cope and then continue to “carry” some of these symptoms on an intrapsychic level. Ego State Therapy addresses these symptoms by providing unique ways to access these states, also referred to as symptom-associated as well as traumatized ego states, and to restore physiological and psychological flow and coherence.  In this second workshop the focus will mainly be on ways of allowing highly aroused survival energies such as fight and flight autonomic nervous system responses bound up in traumatized individuals and dissociated ego states, to be discharged and completed, thereby facilitating flow and post-traumatic growth. Dealing with trauma associated ego states in the freeze and submit mode will also be addressed. Ways of how to achieve corrective mind-body experiences and how to recreate wholeness, self-regulation and coherence in our clients will be demonstrated through live demonstrations. The training utilizes a lecture-demonstration-practise format. Hence, the training is a stimulating blend of theoretical, vicarious, and experiential learning. This workshop is the second in a series of consecutive workshops which lead to internationally recognized certification as an ego state therapist by Ego State Therapy International (ESTI).
Ego State Therapy Workshop 3: The Activation and work with destructive ego states and introjects, the application of the SARIA intervention model.

This workshop will address ways how to deal with destructive ego states and introjects. These ego states are also referred to as so-called hybrid states, such ego states are physiological and psychological manifestations of the autonomic nervous system as a response to trauma triggers. Each nervous system has a unique reaction to trauma triggers referred to as neuroception, the latter is regarded as the internal surveillance system to scan an individual for trauma triggers. Its primary purpose is to ensure safety and survival. Traumatized individuals’ neuroception signals a cues of danger and threat creating a cascade of autonomic nervous system responses such as fight, flight, freeze and submit reactions. The result is dissociation in the form of destructive ego states and introjects. The workshop will address ways how to down regulate such autonomic nervous system responses. Corrective bodily and psychological intervention strategies will be demonstrated, role-played and practiced.