Committee Spotlight

Child and Adolescent Special Interest Group

Na’ama Yehuda, C&A SIG Chair

The Child and Adolescent Special Interest Group (C&A SIG) was formed several years ago by a group of ISSTD members who work with children and adolescents. The C&A SIG grew since its conception, and currently includes over 60 members who work with traumatized and dissociative children and adolescents all around the world. An email list-serve dedicated to the C&A SIG allows group members to share resources and referrals, ask clinical questions, and brainstorm about the field. In addition to the list-serve, the C&A SIG meets annually at the ISSTD Annual Conference. The most recent meeting took place in Chicago on March 25th of this year.

The C&A SIG’s mission is to provide collaboration, support, and education about assessment and treatment of child and adolescent trauma and dissociation, internationally. Specific interests include research of childhood trauma and dissociation; education of first responders, foster parents, teachers, CPS workers, medical personnel, policy makers, and allied child-professionals; a professional community for those working with childhood trauma; and the evaluation and treatment of child and adolescent trauma and dissociation.

The C&A SIG is actively exploring ways to increase utilization of the SIG itself, as well as seeks avenues for improving how scientific support for the impact of all manner of early life trauma is shared. The group’s international composition offers a window to the ways trauma is—both successfully and less successfully—dealt with around the world. There is interest among group members in finding ways to increase access to training and continuing education for school psychologists and allied professionals who work with children (e.g. Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, and School Nurses). In addition, C&A SIG members may hopefully soon have the option of participating in clinical outcome studies in treatment of trauma and dissociation in children and adolescents. In all it does, the C&A SIG hopes to help raise ISSTD’s recognition among professionals and the public, and broaden the impact ISSTD has as an organization.

Are you an ISSTD member working with and/or interested in issues related to trauma and dissociation in children and adolescents? The C&A SIG is happy to grow. Together we can work to disseminate information about the impact of developmental trauma and clarify the role trauma and dissociation play in children’s lives. For more information, or to add your knowledge and skills to our C&A SIG, contact the C&A SIG’s chairperson, Na’ama Yehuda, at:

For general questions about the ISSTD SIGs or other membership questions, you can contact ISSTD HQ at:

Committee Spotlight

Child and Adolescent Committee

Na’ama Yehuda, C&A Committee Co-Chair

Child and Adolescent Committee Co-Chairs Fran Waters and Na’ama Yehuda

The ISSTD Child & Adolescent Committee, which is currently chaired by Fran Waters and Na’ama Yehuda, began as a taskforce led by Fran Waters and Joy Silberg, and became a committee as the awareness of the importance and relevance of childhood dissociation to the field became evident. Committee members hail from four continents and membership countries include: Argentina, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.

The Committee aims to improve awareness, knowledge, training, and information about child and adolescent trauma and dissociation; and works to increase the number of child professionals who specialize in research, education and treatment of developmental trauma and dissociative disorders, internationally.

Over the years, the Committee developed the FAQs for parents and for teachers; helped produce an award winning DVD series on childhood trauma and dissociation (; wrote the treatment guidelines for child and adolescent trauma and dissociation (an update and revision is currently being planned); and collated and published a case-study book [Wieland, S. (Ed.) (2015), 2nd Edition, Dissociation in Traumatized Children and Adolescents: Theory and clinical interventions, Psychological Stress Series, Routledge Publishers.]; This book is available here.

In addition, the Committee has been instrumental in adding specific child and adolescent trauma issues to the ISSTD’s strategic plan; introduced identification of child and adolescent related presentations on the annual conference program; and developed and launched child and adolescent courses for the ISSTD professional development track for both in-person and online formats. More information on the courses can be found here.

Taskforces within the Committee are currently working on planning the revision to the treatment guidelines, as well as are updating the basic and intermediate child and adolescent trauma course/s (, launching a Spanish course (, and creating additional child-trauma courses (e.g. an advanced course for clinicians, as well as an intro-to-trauma for allied professionals). The Committee is involved in an editorial capacity on the ISSTD’s clinical e-journal, Frontiers in the Psychotherapy of Trauma & Dissociation, and several members have and/or are planning to submit articles for the journal. Committee members also contribute to periodical publications in ISSTD News.

As part of the US National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Committee will be presenting a daylong webinar conference on April 27. Several C&A Committee members have agreed to participate and will each contribute 90 minutes of webinar content on topics related to clinical presentation, etiology, diagnosis, treatment and clinical issues in child and adolescent trauma and dissociation. This promises to be a fascinating day of learning. It is not too late to register! If interested, click here! If you miss the actual webinar, don’t despair! Recordings will be available to purchase approximately three weeks after the webinar takes place!

Another of the immediate to-dos for the Committee is to help create, populate and maintain a section of the ISSTD website where information and resources about child and adolescent trauma and dissociation will be available to both professionals and the public. Some of the planned sub-sections are to include information about trauma and neurobiology; differential-diagnosis issues and co-morbidity; fact-sheets on psychopharmacology issues in childhood trauma; developmental issues; and high-risk populations.

As part of its ongoing goals, the Committee’s international representation works to identify and address misperceptions and misrepresentations regarding childhood trauma and dissociation. One way the Committee hopes to improve international representation beyond the Committee itself, is through supporting and collaborating with the C&A Special Interest Group (SIG), which is open to all ISSTD members who are interested in child and adolescent trauma and dissociation.

For more information about the Child and Adolescent Committee and taskforces, and for volunteer queries and interests, feel free to contact Fran Waters at: or Na’ama Yehuda at:

Committee Spotlight

ISSTD Scientific Committee

Vedat Sar, MD, Committee Chair

Author and current Chair of the Scientific Committee Vedat Sar, MD, with fellow committee member Bethany Brand, PhD.

The ISSTD Scientific Committee was formed in 2012. The larger ISSTD Scientific Advisory Board was also formed to support the Scientific Committee during that same year. By way of some history – a precursor of this Committee was the former Internationalization Committee. Several members of this Committee joined the Scientific Committee or the Advisory Board. Some of them have subsequently been elected to the ISSTD Board. Hence, the efforts of these people and the Scientific Committee have served the long term ISSTD goal of becoming a truly international/global organization.

The Scientific Committee is composed of 12 members (serving for three years) and one Chair (serving for five years). One of the members serves as Vice-Chair. Four memberships (seats) are renewed or replaced every year to provide equal opportunity for ISSTD members who wish to, and are capable of, contributing to scientific issues in the field.

There are continuously live e-mail discussions among committee members about raising scientific questions in the trauma and dissociation field. Important published papers and ideas are shared. The high level of mutual learning and cross-fertilization are promising. Membership is international and composed of both clinicians and researchers. Usually, subgroups of the Committee work on projects which they are interested in (alongside advisory board members who join them for a particular Project). Several papers have been published throughout the last five years by the subgroups of the committee. A list of the papers is provided at the end of the article for those interested in reading further. Review and opinion papers remain the preference, however, empirical work is also desired.

One group from the ISSTD Scientific Committee is in collaboration with the Scientific Committee of the European Society for Trauma and Dissociation (ESTD). Six or seven subprojects are ongoing. All of them are expected to arrive at scientific publication and one a publication in lay press. They are currently undergoing the review process. An important goal for the next five-year-term of the committee is to organize empirical studies with international collaboration.

Given this background, the Scientific Committee aims at inclusion of colleagues who are interested in research in particular. The emerging generation of researchers are needed as they will carry these issues into the future of ISSTD. Research on complex trauma and dissociation has been recently generalized to the overall field of mental health. However, keeping the field focused on its spirit and remaining on track is closely linked to the survival of the field over the long run (i.e. “defending the knowledge”). This is why we need ISSTD and specific groups like the Scientific Committee and the Scientific Board.

For those interested in joining the Committee: The main criterion of becoming a member of the Scientific Committee and the Scientific Board is being a clinician and /or researcher who publishes on trauma and dissociation extensively. Committee and Board membership occurs upon invitation, however, those ISSTD members who publish and do research, and want to be part of these committees, can apply to the Scientific Committee Chair.

Scientific Committee Papers Published

Şar V, Dorahy MJ, Krüger C. (2017). Revisiting the etiological aspects of dissociative identity disorder : a biopsychosocial perspective. Psychology Research and Behavioral Management, 10:137-146.

Dorahy,M.J.,  Lewis-Fernández, R.Krüger, C. , Brand,B.L., Şar,V. ,Ewing, J. , Martínez-Taboas,A.,  Stavropoulos, P., Middleton,W. (2017). The role of clinical experience, diagnosis and theoretical orientation in the treatment of posttraumatic and dissociative disorders: a vignette and survey investigation. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 18(2):206-222.

Brand B, Şar V, Korzekwa M, Kruger C, Martinez-Taboas A, Stavropoulos P, Middleton W (2016). Separating fact from fiction:an empirical examination of six myths about disociative identity disorder. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 24(4):257-270.

Middleton W, Stavropoulos P, Dorahy MJ, Krüger C, Fernandez-Lewis R, Martinez-Taboas A, Şar V, Brand B (2014): Child abuse and dynamics of silence. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 48(6): 581-583.

Dorahy MJ, Brand BL, Şar V, Krüger C, Stavropoulos P, Martinez-Tabos A, Lewis-Fernandez R, Middleton W (2014): Dissociative identity disorder: An empirical overview. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 48(5):402-417.

Middleton W, Stavropoulos P, Dorahy MJ, Krüger C, Fernandez-Lewis R, Martinez-Taboas A, Şar V, Brand B (2014): The Australian Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48(1), 17-21.

Middleton W, Stavropoulos P, Dorahy MJ, Krüger C, Fernandez-Lewis R, Martinez-Taboas A, Şar V, Brand B (2014): The institutional abuse and societal silence: An emerging global problem. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48(1) :22-25.

Şar V, Krüger C, Martinez-Taboas A, Middleton W, Dorahy M (2013): Sociocognitive and posttraumatic models of dissociation are not opposed. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 201(5):439-440.

Martinez-Taboas A, Dorahy M, Şar V, Middleton W, Krüger C (2013): Growing not dwindling: International research on the world-wide phenomenon of dissociative disorders. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 201 (4):353-354.

Şar V, Middleton W, Dorahy MJ (2012): The scientific status of childhood dissociative identity disorder: a review of published research. Psychotherapy &Psychosomatics, 81(3):181-184.




Letter From The President

A Call to Action: April is Child Abuse Awareness Month

Kevin Connors, MS, MFT

In the United States, April is Child Abuse Awareness Month.

This an opportunity to make our colleagues more aware of the extent and impact the child abuse has in the etiology of many emotional and mental health problems that our clients face.

Many of us are aware of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES). While the initial study conducted by Drs. Anda and Feletti was a mere 17,000 participants strong, the study has been replicated and is now in the hands of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and has been endorsed and supported by many other organizations. The primary findings of this landmark study demonstrate that exposure to traumatic events in childhood lead to a plethora of physical health, mental health, legal, and relational problems later in life.

Since 2012, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses on Child Sexual Abuse has been investigating how major institutions in Australia have worked to cover up and hide extensive abuses. In December of 2017, the Royal Commission published its findings. ISSTD is proud to be a stalwart sponsor and supporter of this ground breaking endeavor. This year, at our 35th Annual Conference, the Royal Commission was given our Written Media Award for their ground-breaking work. While the Royal Commission uncovered wide-ranging abuses and efforts to whitewash what was happening; we must ask who else will have the courage to investigate and expose what is going on.

There are other important movements that that are mobilizing and working to change different aspects of how people think about child abuse and how people respond to children. In the United States today, there is a growing movement to end corporal punishment. Organizations such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) and the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) oppose physical punishment in part because spanking increases the risk of child abuse.

Childhood physical and sexual abuses, while garnering much attention, unfortunately are not the only forms of maltreatment. Emotional abuse and neglect are also tremendously harmful and ubiquitous. Even worse, these forms of abuse are harder to document and report while their impact can be more damaging.

Unfortunately too many people – therapists, academicians, and lay people alike – don’t fully grasp how pervasive abuse is throughout our culture. In some respects what we are attempting is to shift cultural norms. While this may sound a bit daunting, I invite you to consider what Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has done. From a grieving mother’s kitchen table to a national movement, MADD has cut traffic fatalities from drunk driving in half.

ISSTD has for decades worked to understand and educate people about the impact of trauma and abuse on children and how to recognize and treat dissociation and dissociative disorders in children. One of the earliest of our Special/Interest Groups focuses on Children and Adolescents. This year, at our annual face to face board meeting, the ISSTD Directors commissioned a task force co-chaired by Heather Hall and Michael Salter to look at Trauma and Dissociation as a public health issue.

I encourage all members of our society to support the work of ISSTD, and other fellow travelers, in making colleagues, friends, and neighbors aware of child abuse in all its many forms and the need for everyone to get involved in changing how we respond to childhood maltreatment.

News You Can Use

News You Can Use

Kate McMaugh, Editor, ISSTD News

Guest Editors of Contemporary Psychoanalysis explore concepts of human evil

ISSTD Fellows Elizabeth Howell, PhD and Shelly Itzkowitz, PhD are Guest Editors of the most recent edition of the journal Contemporary Psychoanalysis, V54 (1).

The journal explores the topic of human ‘evil’, particularly the role of psychopathy in the perpetration of evil, and how psychoanalysis has framed and responded to the concept of evil.

The volume opens with an article by Shelly and Elizabeth exploring the concepts of psychopathy and evil. The journal goes on to cover topics wide ranging in scope and including the violence perpetrated on Native Americans; the evil associated with the Holocaust; the effects of sexual abuse of children; psychoanalytic and diagnostic considerations of psychopathy; and the role of dissociation and counter dissociation in the therapeutic relationship. The issue is completed by a personal essay regarding the sexual abuse of children and the Catholic Church.

Contributors include Elizabeth F. Howell, Sheldon Itzkowitz, J. Reid Meloy, Sue Grand, Robert Prince, Richard Gartner, Emily Kuriloff, Neville Symington, Michael Stone, and Mary Gail-Frawley-O’Dea.

The issue can be accessed at:

New Psychology Textbooks to include a focus on Complex Trauma and Dissociative Disorders

Many clinicians working with dissociative disorders lament the lack of training they received in complex trauma and dissociative disorders. Despite years of tertiary and clinical training we are often left feeling completely unprepared for our first dissociative client. Media portrayals of DID are lamentably poor, meaning that many students will already have negative and incorrect perceptions of, and beliefs about, dissociative disorders. To add to the problems several studies analysing the way textbooks discuss child abuse and maltreatment show it is often inadequately discussed. Two recent textbooks for students in the Australia-Pacific region are changing that by including chapters on complex trauma, somatization and dissociation, improving the information future clinicians receive.

ISSTD Scientific Committee member, Mary-Anne Kate and ISSTD Past President, Warwick Middleton (Vice Chair of the ISSTD Scientific Committee), have contributed a chapter entitled: Dissociative Disorders and Somatic Symptom Disorders for an Australian textbook, Kring’s Abnormal Psychology. This edition has been adapted to the Australia and New Zealand region from the popular American edition. Local research is spread throughout, with many carefully curated articles and news items included.

For more information see:

Immediate Past President Martin Dorahy, PhD, and colleague Indra Mohan, MD, have also written a textbook chapter entitled: Dissociative disorders and somatic symptoms and related disorders in Abnormal Psychology in Context: The Australian and New Zealand Handbook. This practical resource for students is also specifically focusing on the Australian and New Zealand perspectives.


A Book Review: Frank Putnam’s The Way We Are

ISSTD Member, Pam Stavropoulos PhD, has written a book review of Frank Putnam’s The Way We Are, which was featured in the Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal of Australia (PACJA) Vol.5(1) in August, 2017. This detailed book review introduces the concepts of a dissociative mind to a broader audience of counsellors and psychotherapists, and makes for great reading, of interest to those who have not read Putnam’s book, as well as those who already have.

Pam commences with this opening paragraph:

In an age of hyperbole and incessant demands on our attention, recommendation of a ‘must read’ book can seem an imposition as well as a cliché. Yet I do not hesitate to make that endorsement in this case. Frank Putnam’s The Way We Are is his magnum opus after years of service to the field of psychotherapy in general and study of the dissociative disorders in particular. It is a ground-breaking work that proposes what amounts to nothing less than a paradigm shift in the way we conceptualise and respond to the workings of the mind per se.

To read the rest of the review click on the link:

Reaching out through Interviews…

Two Interviews from Robert T Muller
ISSTD Fellow, psychologist and author, Robert T Muller PhD, has been interviewed on Global News Toronto about the timely and important topic of bullying and trauma. Professor Muller was interviewed for Pink Shirt Day. Pink Shirt Day is Anti-Bullying Day, a day when people wear a pink, blue or purple shirt to symbolise a stand against bullying, an idea that originated in Canada. It is now celebrated on various dates around the world. Prof. Muller speaks about bullying and the impacts of bullying and other forms of trauma. He also discusses ways to speak out if you feel bullied and offers guidance on how to support people who feel bullied. A link to the recording is here:

In a second interview Professor Muller speaks to Diane Flacks on radio CBC Toronto about Family Secrets and Trauma. This interview explores the negatives of oppressive secrecy and silence. Prof. Muller discusses the reasons for remaining silent in families about trauma, the negative impacts of this on relationships, and ways to change family dynamics. Listen here:

Professor Muller’s latest book Trauma and the Struggle to Open Up will be released in June. More on that in a later edition of News You Can Use.

Richard Chefetz on what inspires him
ISSTD Fellow, Richard Chefetz, MD, has been interviewed for Ask an Expert column in Trauma Matters and speaks of his clinical work, self care and the influence of personal events on his clinical approach and practice. Read more here:

Welcome ISSTD March New Members!

Hannah Avers
James Craft
Diana Davis
Donna Hicks
Joyce Andresen
Melanie Haddox
Sarah Leavitt
Margaret Masci
Shery McKisson
Jane Price
Michelle Schoenfeld
Katharina Hren
Keri Swerner
Sara Aboul-Hosn
Georgia Allred
Romnee Auerbach
Peter Hellsten
Holly Strohbeck
Alexandra Susi
Freya Thiel
Jessica Baarbe
Lindsey Beasley
Debbie Harvie

Have News ISSTD Members Can Use?
Do you have a book or journal article coming out that you wish to share? Have you received an award for your work in the field? Have you been part of developing a new website or training course? If so, we want to hear from you! Submit your news to us so that we can share with other members.
Submission Deadline: 20th of the month
ISSTD News Contact:
•ISSTD Editor, Kate McMaugh:

Clinical E-Journal

JTD and Frontiers Table of Contents (March 2018)

Journal of Trauma & Dissociation

Check out the entire library online of the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation – your member benefit – now!

Table of Contents
Volume 19, Issue 1
Volume 19, Issue 2
Volume 19, Issue 3
Volume 19, Issue 4
Volume 18, Issue 5

Are you interested in auto publication alerts?
To set up a quick and each way to get a ‘new content alerts’ for JTD, go to the JTD page at Taylor & Francis and click the ‘Alert me’ button under the graphic of the JTD.

For full access to the entire library of the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation (your member benefit) visit the Member’s Only section of the ISSTD website and log in with your member username & password. Need help to access? Call ISSTD Headquarters at 703-610-9037, or email for assistance.

Frontiers in the Psychotherapy of Trauma & Dissociation

Table of Contents


  • Maladaptive Daydreaming: Ontological Analysis, Treatment Rationale; a Pilot Case Report (Eli Somer, Ph.D.)


  • Editorial: How Close Encounters of the Completely Unanticipated Kind Led Me to Becoming Co-Editor of Frontiers (A. Steven Frankel, Ph.D., J.D.)
  • Editorial: Sources for Psychotherapy’s Improvement and Criteria for Psychotherapy’s Efficacy (Andreas Laddis, M.D.)
  • Trying to Keep It Real: My Experience in Developing Clinical Approaches to the Treatment of DID (Richard P. Kluft, M.D., Ph.D.)
  • Expanding our Toolkit through Collaboration: DIR/Floortime and Dissociation-Informed Trauma Therapy for Children (Joyanna Silberg, Ph.D. and Chevy Schwartz Lapin, MA)
  • From Passion to Action: A Synopsis of the Theory and Practice of Enactive Trauma Therapy (Ellert R.S. Nijenhuis, Ph.D.)

To access articles, log into the Member’s Corner area of the website and click on the Frontiers link in the upper right corner. New articles will be posted monthly on the fourth Tuesday of the month as they become available. Frontiers is a member-only benefi

2018 Annual Conference

2018 Annual Conference Recap and 2019 Annual Conference Announcements

The ISSTD 35th Annual Conference in Chicago, IL was a fantastic weekend of learning, connecting, and celebrating with colleagues. Take a look below for some photos of the 2018 Conference and important information about the 2019 Conference!


Join ISSTD in NY, NY for our 36th Annual Conference in 2019!

Plenary Speakers
Dr. Gabor Mate
Dr. Stephen Porges
Dr. Allan Schore

Important 2019 Dates:
Aug 1, 2018 – Call for Proposals Opens
Sept 1, 2018 – Registration Opens
Sept 17, 2018 – Call for Proposals Closes

Caul Awards

David Caul Research Grant – Application Period Opening Soon!

~ Advanced notice ~

The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation ( is pleased to provide advanced notice of the David Caul Graduate Research Grant. This grant is designed to support research that is primarily concerned with dissociation or closely related topics. Graduate students (in a Masters, PsyD, or PhD program) and undergraduate honors students are eligible to apply for grants up to $1500. Postdocs are not eligible for the Caul award. Please note that grants for projects less than $1500 are also encouraged.

Application materials will be available through the grant webpage from April 16 to May 21, 2018. Further information will be provided before the submission window opens. Enquiries can be directed to: Dr. Judith Daniels ( or Dr. Eric Vermetten (

Publications of Interest

Publications of Interest


My name is Lynn M. Hazard and I am the new POI Editor for ISSTD. As an emerging trauma professional I am keenly aware of the need for current research and publication information to help us all provide the best care possible for our clients.

I am a private-practice clinical social worker in Alabama, USA. My trauma-based professional experiences began in 2003 while working with females between 5-22 years of age at a private family-based residential facility. These girls were all survivors of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or other adverse childhood experiences. I am certified as an Equine Assisted Growth & Learning Association (EAGALA) mental health professional and an Anger Management Specialist-CAMS II. My special interests are with the military and their families, and sexual and gender minorities.
I look forward to searching for helpful publications for you to review!


Hypnosis, Trauma and Dissociation

This quarter the overall theme is hypnosis in the treatment of trauma and dissociation. While we aim to prioritize more recent publications in POI, the search results were more limited than anticipated, so these go back two years (most current listed first).

Kluft, R.P. (2018). Reconsidering Hypnosis and Psychoanalysis: Toward Creating a Context for
Understanding. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 60(3), 201-215. DOI: 10.1080/00029157.2018.1400810
To link to this article:

Abstract: Sigmund Freud developed what became psychoanalysis in the context of his experiences with hypnosis and the treatment of the grand hysterics of his era, conditions largely classified among the dissociative disorders in contemporary systems of diagnosis. He rapidly constructed understandings of the human mind and human distress that replaced the concept of dissociation and a model of pathology that was passive (associated with reduced psychic cohesion), with the paradigm of an active defensive process he termed repression, and an understanding that psychological discomfort was the outcome of intrapsychic conflict. In short order Freud repudiated hypnosis, initiating the schisms that subsequently separated the study and practice of hypnosis from the study and practice of psychoanalysis. It is timely to reexamine these schisms anew, challenge the basis of the arguments thought to justify them, and explore whether these schisms have deprived psychoanalysis and hypnosis alike of the potentially helpful ideas and approaches each might offer the other. This contribution invites students of hypnosis and psychoanalysis alike to put aside both traditional and stereotypic notions of each other’s field of endeavor, revisit the origins, rationales, and outcomes of these schisms that have divided them, and explore their commonalities and their differences from fresh perspectives.

Wall, T.W. (2018). Hypnosis: A Psychodynamic Perspective. American Journal of Clinical
Hypnosis 60(3), 218-238. DOI: 10.1080/00029157.2018.1400809
To link to this article:

Abstract: The relationship between hypnosis and psychoanalysis has always been complex, and often acrimonious. When Freud abandoned hypnosis as both the foundation of his theory building and his clinical intervention of choice, the two approaches and the theories associated with them have often seemed separated by enormous rifts, theoretical, clinical, and political. Yet throughout their considerable estrangement for over more than a century, each has much to offer to the other. In this contribution, I briefly review efforts by psychoanalysts to conceptualize and understand hypnosis, offer an introduction to the relatively new post-modern intersubjective approach to psychoanalysis, and demonstrates how the relational concepts associated with that perspective can be of significant help in preparing patients for hypnosis, and in crafting interventions geared to the dynamics of the individual patient, which enhance the likelihood of clinical success. Key relational elements are illustrated with clinical vignettes.

Peebles, M.J. (2018). Harm in Hypnosis: Three Understandings from Psychoanalysis Than Can
Help. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 60(3), 239-161. DOI: 10.1080/00029157.2018.1400811
To link to this article:

Abstract: Over 50 years of empirical data demonstrate unequivocally that psychotherapy can cause harm as well as good. Two therapist factors increasing harm risk are inadequate assessment of patients’ vulnerabilities and certain attitudes/affects. Adding hypnosis as a technique within psychotherapy heightens risk for harm because: (a) trance can unexpectedly expose patient vulnerabilities (through loosening reality orientation, lessening structure, generating unfamiliar sensations and perceptions, and intensifying access to interior information such as emotions and imagery); and (b) trance can unexpectedly increase porousness to therapist’s attitudes/affects (through heightening mental receptivity to the internal states of others). A century of clinical data from psychoanalysis offers guidance for protecting against such risks. Concepts of structure, interiority, and countertransference are explicated and translated into practical clinical suggestions for harm prevention.

O’Neil, J.A. (2018). Hypnosis and Psychoanalysis: Toward Undoing Freud’s Primal Category
Mistake. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 60(3), 262-278. DOI: 10.1080/00029157.2018.
To link to this article:

Abstract: Hypnosis predates psychoanalysis, when autohypnotic pathologies were identified through the lens of hypnosis, and labeled “hypnoid hysteria” in the language of the day. The broad spectrum of disorders then subsumed under that term is still reflected in ICD-10’s subset, “F44—Dissociative (Conversion) Disorders.” Freud initially embraced both hypnoid hysteria and hypnosis, but came to abandon hypnosis and, by extension, hypnoid hysteria as well. Since that fateful decision, which I term herein Freud’s “Inaugural Category Mistake,” references to both hypnosis and hypnoid pathology largely vanished from the psychoanalytic mainstream, thereby neglecting conditions afflicting a significant portion of the mentally ill, and needlessly restricting the therapeutic repertoire of psychoanalysis. This contribution argues that psychoanalysis could best re-embrace hypnosis and hypnoid pathology together, as a related pair, and would benefit from doing so. Two examples of the differences of understanding and interventions such a rapprochement might encourage are offered: (a) how hypnoid pathology alters the transference and countertransference; and (b) how the appropriate use of hypnosis alters the nature of interpretation.

Brenner, I. (2018). Catching a Wave: The Hypnosis-Sensitive Transference-Based Treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 60(3), 279-295. DOI: 10.1080/00029157.2018.1400843
To link to this article:

Abstract: In this article, I will describe the way in which I work with enactment-prone dissociative patients in the transference. This approach requires an appreciation of the phenomena of hypnosis and the auto-hypnotic aspects of some forms of dissociation. Essentially, I learn from the patient and my interactions with the patient how hypnotic phenomena and auto-hypnotic defenses manifest themselves in the therapeutic relationship in order both to understand them and ultimately to bring them under conscious control. Because of the fluidity and turbulence of these states, I use the analogy of catching a wave, in which timing and balance are essential, albeit elusive factors in effecting a successful treatment. The importance of having experience with many patients, attending conferences, seeking supervision, and undergoing one’s own therapy will be also discussed as important prerequisites for the clinician endeavoring to utilize this type of approach. This preparation, this quest for such a “balance,” is modeled after the so-called tripartite model of training employed in psychoanalytic training institutes. I will offer clinical material to illustrate this approach, which I have described as “psychoactive psychotherapy.” In such treatments, the clinician may be taken by surprise and is likely to be thrown “off balance” from time to time. The mutually shared understanding of such moments is essential to regaining clinical balance in the therapeutic setting, and can lead to if not create important turning points in the treatment process.

Dell, P. (2017). Is High Hypnosis a Necessary Diathesis for Pathological Dissociation? Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 18(1), 58-87. DOI: 10.1080/15299732.2016.11911579
To link to this article:

Abstract: During the 19th century, high hypnotizability was considered to be a form of psychopathology that was inseparable from hysteria. Today, hypnotizability is considered to be a normal trait that has no meaningful relationship with psychopathology. Psychiatric patients generally manifest medium to low hypnotizability. Nevertheless, several psychiatric diagnoses are marked by an unexpectedly large proportion of patients with high hypnotizability. This is especially true of the diagnostic categories that were subsumed by the 19th-century concept of hysteria: dissociative identity disorder, somatization disorder, and complex conversion disorders. These hysteria-related modern diagnoses are also highly dissociative. A review and analysis of the literature regarding the relationship between hypnotizability and dissociation indicates that high hypnotizability is almost certainly a necessary diathesis for the development of a severe dissociative disorder. Such a diathesis has significant implications for (a) the psychiatric nosologies of the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization, (b) the hypnosis field, and (c) the etiology and construct validity of dissociative identity disorder and other severe dissociative disorders. Specifically, the dissociative disorders (excepting depersonalization disorder, which is not classified as a dissociative disorder by the World Health Organization) are manifestations of hypnotic pathology.

Moss, D. (2017). The Frustrated and Helpless Healer: Pathways Approaches to Posttraumatic Stress Disorders. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 65(3), 336-352. DOI: 10.1080/00207144.2017.1314744
To link to this article:

Abstract: Posttraumatic stress disorder is a psychophysiological disorder, characterized by the following: chronic sympathetic nervous activation; persisting perceptual/sensory vigilance for threats; recurrent distressing memories of the event, including intrusive memories, flashbacks lived as if in the present moment, and nightmares; and a persisting negative emotional state including fear and shame. The psychophysiological basis for this disorder calls for psychophysiologically based interventions. This article presents the case narrative of a 29-year-old national guardsman, exposed to combat trauma and later to civilian trauma in public safety work. His treatment followed the Pathways model, comprised of multimodal interventions, beginning with self-directed behavioral changes, then the acquisition of skills (including self-hypnosis), and finally professional treatment including clinical hypnosis and EMDR

Ingram, J. (2016). Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Children and Adults Who Suffer Anxiety
Due to Prenatal and Birth Trauma. Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health 30(4), Summer 2016.
To link to this article:

Abstract: Birth trauma in its many forms creates primal suffering for the infant which, if
untreated, often leads to severe and unremitting anxiety into adulthood. Hypnosis has
proven to be highly effective in assisting a sufferer to recover because it reveals the origin of the fear. When the origin is known–when a client can finally understand the “why” of it—then healing can begin.

Masson,J. , Bernoussi, A., & Regourd-Laizeau, M. (2016). From the Influence of Traumas to
Therapeutic Letting Go: The Contribution of Hypnosis and EMDR. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 64:3, 350-364, DOI: 10.1080/00207144.2016.1171108
To link to this article:

Abstract: The development of new psychotherapies such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EDMR) has led to numerous fresh approaches to both the treatment of trauma and to the understanding of underlying psychopathology. A unified view appears to be slowly emerging in an attempt to corroborate clinical practice with neurobiological data. This article attempts to demonstrate links between alternate psychotherapies by highlighting what appears to be an invariant among these approaches, namely “letting go.” This concept refers to a psycho-physical dynamic that combines psychological dissociation and re-association, as well as the body’s vagotonic mechanisms. Following an explanation of this process, it is demonstrated how letting go can manifest itself physiologically and why this may be significant in the study of trauma.


Spotlight on Volunteer: Logan Larson

Logan Larson

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I never wanted to be a therapist… Growing up I had my eyes and heart set on being a medical doctor. As the daughter of an OB/GYN, becoming an MD was a self-imposed expectation. After four years of undergraduate work and no degree, I decided I needed to find my fastest way out of college… A Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Although I continued to study for the MCATs I began working at Providence Adolescent Residential Treatment Program (PARTP). PARTP is a 10 bed unit that specializes in treating adolescent girls who suffer from trauma. I fell in love with the work I did as floor staff and decided to pursue my Master of Science in Counseling Psychology.

After earning my Masters I maintained my floor staff position at PARTP as well as filled in for the clinical staff. After about a year I moved on to the Discovery Unit (Adolescent Mental Health Unit) at Providence Hospital, where I had the opportunity to work as a discharge planner and family therapist in the acute care setting. My experience with family systems has served me well in my work with dissociative clients.

Over the past three years I have transitioned into outpatient therapy and eventually private practice. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and primarily see adolescents and adults. Although I have training in EMDR, Clinical Hypnosis, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Internal Family Systems Therapy, and use all these with my clients, I have learned through my experiences just how important the relationship and healthy boundaries can be in the work we do.

When I’m not immersed in my work, I enjoy spending time with my husband of 10 years and “momming” my two children.

Tell us something most of us may not know about you?

Rick Kluft is my second cousin once removed! It’s a small world and an even smaller community. While I was watching him present at last year’s conference I started piecing things together, and it turns out we’re related.

What lead you to join ISSTD? What is your favourite thing about ISSTD?

I joined ISST-D when a colleague started a component group in the Alaska Region. I had seen varying degrees of trauma and wanted to become more equipped to help my clients.

I would have to say my favorite thing about ISST-D is the networking/people, but it goes hand in hand with having an opportunity to be involved. I love meeting, learning and brainstorming with other professionals living the same mission.

What is your volunteer role in ISSTD (or roles)?

I am currently a member of the Membership Committee, I chair the Volunteer Committee and Component Group Task Force, and I am the president of the Alaska Regional Component Group.

What led you to volunteer?

During the 2017 annual conference my appreciation for the ISST-D continued to grow and I decided it would be great to find a way to be involved… Next thing I knew I was very involved.

What’s good about volunteering? What do you get from it?

I definitely feel more connected as a volunteer. It has been fun and helpful to get to know colleagues all over the world with experiences vastly different, yet relatable to some of my own. Volunteering also provides an opportunity for me to share my thoughts and ideas and feel heard, and to stay abreast of learning opportunities and share them with my local trauma therapist community. It has been an amazing experience that I feel passionate about.

Any drawbacks?

I don’t necessarily feel like there are drawbacks to volunteering. There is always opportunity cost, but I’ve found ways to balance my engagement with other things in my life and set limits as needed to ensure that it is not consuming my free time.

How can interested members become volunteers?

The Volunteer Committee is currently working to refine the processes that facilitate and support member engagement. Although committee membership is one way to be involved with ISST-D, there are also several opportunities for engagement that arise throughout the year that require less of a time commitment.

If you are interested in volunteering with the ISST-D, please e-mail me at I would love to hear from you!

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