Complex dissociative disorders in social work: discovering the knowledge gaps

Hong Wang Fung, Colin A. Ross, Henry Wai Hang Ling

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Social workers are major mental health service providers in many countries and regions. This paper presents five reasons to explain why complex dissociative disorders (complex DD) should receive more attention from social workers. We conducted a preliminary review of complex DD in the social work literature. In June 2019, we searched all articles related to complex DD in academic journals classified under the “Social Work” research area in two Web of Science databases. Twenty-four articles were identified and reviewed. Most articles did not even have insights/implications for working with trauma and dissociation survivors regarding the social aspects of their care. None of the articles discussed the potential role of social workers in the assessment or management of complex DD. The body of knowledge regarding complex DD remains seriously limited in the social work field. Several knowledge gaps are discussed. We highlight some issues that social workers should consider when working with individuals with complex DD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)682-702
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Work in Mental Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019


  • Complex dissociative disorders
  • mental health
  • pathological dissociation
  • social work
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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