Meeting Area Screening and Assessment (MASA)

In this training you will explore our Addiction as Dissociation Model (ADM), Path of the Wounded Healer (PWH), and Meeting Area Assessment and Screening (MASA). As a part of our programming, we developed our MASA script and qualitative setup for assessing and screening for dissociation and addictions. We have found the “Meeting Area” to be the best way to understand what is unconsciously occurring, to provide real-time feedback for the client to increase self-awareness, and to help lower treatment resistance. This 1-day training provides an overview and foundational information. For willing and knowledgeable participants, it offers the seeds to provide transformational experiences for yourself and the people you serve. This training is intended for anyone working in education, humanities, human resources, human services, healthcare, and all fields of medicine, psychology, and healing. Recovery and Self-Help communities are particularly welcome to attend.

In our doctoral research, we explored the intersectionality of trauma, dissociation, and addiction. Out of this, we believe we have provided a more accurate definition of what the unconscious, trauma, dissociation, and addiction are and we are now offering the MASA for all providers and the recovery community to consider. MASA is a hybrid of the Dissociative Table and common coping skills (Container and Calm Place) found in many different approaches and therapies. We also give guidance on our Two Containers, Photo Album, and Bulk Blink. These skills are performed in a particular order to help screen and assess for current dissociative and addictive dynamics. We feel that MASA is the best humanistic and qualitative screening and assessment tool for dissociative and addictive presentations; it provides everyone involved with an opportunity to become more self-aware of where psychological material resides and how to navigate it.

The combination of ADM and MASA help provide a clear line between what is normal and what is pathological. Our PWH phase model of care gives guidance on how and when trauma resolution methods should be done. MASA is how we obtain unconscious informed consent before doing ANY treatments, providing any care, or taking any medicines (particularly psychedelics). We teach participants how to find the line between normative and pathological presentations with our MASA script. We suggest that true pathology is really sustained dysregulation (dissociative/addictive) and that the absence of unconscious informed consent is what contributes to low treatment outcomes and care resistance. We teach participants how to find the line between normative and pathological presentations and allow your healer’s path to unfold in front of you.

*DISCLAIMER: In this offering, we invite participants to explore their dissociative profiles to better understand dissociation, addiction, and healing. Wounded Healers Institute (WHI) provides state-dependent learning to help providers become knowledgeable in learning from and working with therapeutic dissociation, altered states of consciousness, normative to clinical dissociation, and universal addictions. As we define in our foundational literature (ADM), these states of consciousness are readily accessible for clinicians to support and develop their use of therapeutic dissociation. Our research points toward dissociation making us more grounded, inducing endogenous states of healing, and creating the foundation for supporting our ongoing physical and mental health. Our trainings invite participants to have the option of taking cannabis products as a part of their learning process with WHI. For clinicians, 4 hours of group consultation are needed to successfully complete this training. If this information or these topics are not familiar to you, we require that clinicians continue with consultation before using MASA themselves with people/clients/patients. If required, additional consultations at the participant’s expense may be required before successful completion. Our interest is in protecting future clients by educating providers on how to properly use MASA to obtain unconscious informed consent before doing ANY treatments, care, or taking medicines.


Educational Goals

·      Participants will learn about the historical context of dissociative-informed care, psychology, and social justice.

·      Participants will increase their knowledge of the clinical framework and assessment and screening of dissociation and addiction.

·      Participants will explore current trends in addiction-informed care.

·      Participants will learn about the ADM, PWH and MASA.

·      Participants will increase their understanding of our dissociation model to help clients coping with dissociation in addiction care.

Educational Objectives

·      Upon completion, participants will be able to apply MASA to their personal and professional life.

·      Participants will be able to conceptualize ADM in their personal and professional life.

·      Participants will be able to name at least 3 considerations of dissociation and addiction-informed care.


Schedule (EST):

830am – 10am – ADM/PWH Orientation

10 -11am – Dissociation-Informed Care and Addiction-Informed Care

11-11:15am – BREAK

11:15-12:30 – MASA (Demonstration)

12:30-1pm – BREAK

1-2pm – Debriefing

2-3pm – MASA Script

3-3:15 – BREAK

3:15-4pm – MASA Context

            4-5pm – MASA Review and Closure

Dates: 9/18/24, 10/16/24, 11/13/24, 12/11/24.

Cost: $300.00 (Early bird) $400.00 (1-month before training date.) (Minimum of 5 people needed for training to run.)


Marich, J. (2014). Trauma made simple: Competencies in assessment, treatment, and working with survivors. Eau Claire, WI: PESI Publishing.

Marich, J. (2023). Dissociation made simple: A stigma-free guide to embracing your dissociative mind and navigating daily life. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Marich, J. & O’Brien, A. (2018). Demystifying dissociation: A clinician’s guide. Addiction Professional. 16(4). Retrieved from

Marich, J. (2020). Trauma and the twelve steps: An inclusive guide to enhancing recovery, 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

O’Brien, A. (2023). Addiction as trauma-related dissociation: A Phenomenological investigation of the addictive state [Doctoral Dissertation, International University For Graduate Studies].

O’Brien, A. (2023). Path of the Wounded Healer: A Dissociation-Focused Phase Model for Working with Normative and Pathological States of Consciousness. Wounded Healers Institute. 


ADM was and is being developed by Adam O’Brien PhD and Jamie Marich PhD. ADM is a unifying theory of addiction that shows how the inner-play between trauma and dissociation challenges the narrative of modern psychology and the current medical model. Dr. Adam is an emerging expert in trauma, dissociation, and addiction. He also specializes in psychedelic healing, wellness, recovery, healing states of consciousness, spiritual and integrative health, meditation, and posttraumatic growth. Adam began his teaching career as an EMDR Approved Consultant and Trainer in 2019. He has since developed and expanded ADM teachings into the Path of the Wounded Healer (PWH) based on his doctoral research. PWH offers ways for individuals and emerging medical and psychological professionals to learn about dissociated states of healing and to solidify their right to be called healers. This presentation is also for parents, sponsors, support staff, and curious communities. Adam maintains a private practice and is an Approved Consultant for EMDR and Brainspotting. He is also the Executive Director of WHI.

*Wounded Healers Institute is an independent academic and research organization that enhances personal and professional learning through experiential means. We specialize in healing developmental trauma, normative dissociation, and universal addictions, which are not diagnoses. We are also a mental health gym and spa for those who feel ready to learn the Path of the Wounded Healer and are ready to workout with us! As a part of our training and programming, we invite participants to explore dissociative worlds through meditation, breath, and the use of spiritual medicines like psychedelics (particularly cannabis products where appropriate). Through our harm-reduction and dissociative-informed approach, we support a healthy understanding of altered states of consciousness, therapeutic dissociation, and mindful dissociation.