Letter From The President

Holding the Line: Battling DID Myths and Misconceptions

Christine Forner, BA, BSW, MSW

 

A note from the Editor: After publication of the following article by Christine Forner in ISSTD News, Feb 2019, the authors of the article she critiques have contacted ISSTD. They have reflected upon the Christine’s article and in particular the question Christine Forner poses: ‘What if they (those who deny the existence of DID) are wrong?’ After considering this question, the authors made the decision to take their own article off line. They have also asked that we remove the mention of their names in our article.

As a gesture of goodwill to the authors we have decided to remove their names. We thank them for taking their article offline. The rest of Christine’s article remains intact. We apologise that without the link to the original article some of the meaning may be lost. Nevertheless we feel we need to keep Christine’s article here and believe it is an important step for our field that Christine’s article has had a positive result.

Dear Members,

As we prepare for our biggest conference ever, a conference where some of the leading minds of our field present, discuss and further develop their work, I am reminded that our field, despite all this, can still be grossly misunderstood. Often this attack presents as far less scholarly than the standards our field would expect.

We are in a huge upward swing in terms of membership numbers, interest in our teachings, volunteer effort and commitments, and our brand new, and very shiny web site. We are co-authors for the APA Division 56 treatment guidelines and a version of our treatment guidelines are part of the Accident Compensation Corporation (an organization that provides treatment for those with complex trauma) in New Zealand. Many of our members were highly involved in the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommendations for education and treatment.

We have credibility, sound research and validity. When I read articles that criticize and devalue all of the hard work that our members have contributed over the last 35 years I find myself frustrated and yet extremely proud of the ISSTD.

However, after a great deal of consideration I felt moved to address this issue after reading a recent article. I have just read this article:

“Dissociative Identity: Disorder or Literalized Metaphor? Re-examining the former Multiple Personality Disorder”. Click Here to Read

This is the type of misleading information that makes DID seem controversial, when it is not. Beliefs are not science. The pseudo controversy is not coming from those who are educated professionals in this field of mental health. People who have spent time researching and treating complex trauma and dissociation, a natural human response to overwhelming trauma and neglect, are responsible and ethical practitioners and researchers.

Although the authors of the article present the disorder as ‘controversial’ only one position in the alleged ‘controversy’ is clearly explained. It is telling that of the three quotes they use to start the article, not one is from a leading researcher or clinician who believes DID exists. This creates an impression that such qualified researchers and clinicians do not exist. This article is not about exploring an alleged controversy. It is a position statement from authors who firmly endorse one side of the ‘controversy’.

There are some facts that this article does not address. Most of the world’s leading trauma experts understand that when an infant or child is abused, the whole identity system is affected, along with everything else. In as simple a definition as one can make, this is the fundamental injury of DID/DD. The system of the infant or child is so hurt that a sense of self or identity cannot grow as it should—or, for some people who, under normal, safe conditions might create imaginary friends, because of the trauma, use that skill to develop other ways of being in order to manage overwhelming trauma.

This article does not take into account or address the hard scientific evidence found in brain scans, nor the body of research that has been around for over 150 years, nor the many critical academic studies that have been conducted in the last 40 years, which demonstrate the validity and realities of this treatable disorder (Brand, et al., 2016; Dorahy, et al., 2014).

In quite an astonishing misrepresentation of history the authors write: “The birth of dissociative identity disorder as a psychiatric diagnosis aligns closely with the fraudulent Satanic ritual abuse panic of the 1980s.” This completely misrepresents the long history of this disorder in psychiatric practice for over 100 years, across the globe. (North, 2015; Ross, 2013; Van der Hart & Dorahy, 2009).

The authors seem to assume that DID clients really have BPD, but they do not account for the very distinct fact that a dissociative mind is very different than a BPD mind, which is different than a mind that has PTSD. There are studies that show distinct brain patterns in individuals with DID that cannot be faked, duplicated, or replicated by others (Reinders, et al., 2018).

The large body of research into DID has built a case that passed the scientific rigors required to get into the DSM. It is not a simple task to get into the DSM, with a team of researchers often taking many years to demonstrate the validity of a disorder. It is worth noting that DID (with all its previous names) has been described in DSM since its inception, as well as in ICD almost as consistently. Many other ‘disorders’ have not stood this rigorous test of time.

When it comes to their description of therapists who work with DID, I’ve had to ask myself where they got their information from that lead them to make their assumptions. I cannot help but wonder if they might be getting information or bias from the Hollywood version of DID. It is as if they are taking what they know from Hollywood, and assuming that this is what professionals in this field are doing too. Their portrayal of clients may be similarly mis-informed. The incorrect, Frankenstein-ed, images of DID and DD on TV and in movies are wrong, and this myth does actually cause real harm.

The largest question I would pose to the authors is: “What if you are wrong”? The field of Trauma and Dissociation has examined itself, over and over again, because of beliefs and articles like this, to ensure that what we are doing is clinically and ethically sound. I can only hope that those doubting this disorder are similarly cognisant of the risk of them being wrong, of the damage this would cause people with DID.

I am a therapist who has specialized in this disorder for over 20 years. I am often one of only a small few who has had the patience, tolerance, ability and training to treat people with DID in my city. What would be the consequence of shaming and discrediting me to a client with valid DID? People with DID are often profoundly uncared for, lied to and victimised by criminals who have a vested interest in people not believing in DID. Most clients that I have seen, who have a history of being victims of organized crime, child pornography or other trafficking situations, all describe that the criminals/perpetrators knew about DID and used it to their advantage. The criminals, who I would venture are not searching through PubMed or Google Scholar to gather research, know that DID is a valid thing. The exception is that they use it to hurt others and protect themselves.

Most of us have to follow a code of conduct and ethics and, within most codes of conduct/ethics, we are specifically instructed to keep personal belief systems out of and separate from our duty to care and our responsibility to cause no (more) harm. Therefore, how ethical is it to ignore the disorder, or worse, shame the people with this disorder and insult those who are experienced and educated in the field of trauma? No unfounded belief should take precedence over scientifically sound information.

My gut reaction is to be upset, but after self refection I am, in part, okay with these gross inaccuracies, as they give us the opportunity to examine what it is that we do. These articles hold the field up to a higher standard of validity and care. This higher standard has lead us to know, with a great deal of certainty, that what we “know” is solid. Be proud, share this information and as the years pass, the voice of those with DID/OSDD/USDD will be mainstream. For me this will be a great time as the voice of Survivors will be understood and they can be cared for in the manor that they should be.

References

Brand, B.L., Sar, V. Stavropoulos, P., Krüger, C., Korzekwa, M., Martínez-Taboas, A. & Middleton, W. (2016). Separating Fact from Fiction: An Empirical Examination of Six Myths About Dissociative Identity Disorder. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 24(4): 257–270. doi: 10.1097/HRP.0000000000000100.

Dorahy, M.J., Brand, B.L., Şar, V., Krüger, C., Stavropoulos, P., Martínez-Taboas, A., Lewis-Fernández, R. & Middleton, W. (2014). Dissociative identity disorder: An empirical overview. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48(5), 402–417, DOI: 10.1177/0004867414527523

North, C.S. (2015). The Classification of Hysteria and Related Disorders: Historical and Phenomenological Considerations. Behavioural Sciences, 5, 496-517; doi:10.3390/bs5040496

Reinders, A., Marquand, A., Schlumph, Y., Chalavi, S., Vissia, E., Nijenhusi, E., Dazzan, P., Jancke, L., & Veltman, D., (2018) Aiding the diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder: pattern recognition study of brain biomarkers. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 1-9. doi: 10.1192/bjp.2018.255

Ross, C.A. (2013) Commentary: The Rise and Persistence of Dissociative Identity Disorder, Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 14:5, 584-588, DOI:10.1080/15299732.2013.785464

Van der Hart, O, & Dorahy, M.J. (2009). History of the Concept of Dissociation (pp 3 – 26). In Dell, P.F. & O’Neil, J.A. Eds (2009) Dissociation and the Dissociative Disorders: DSM V and Beyond, New York, Routledge.

News You Can Use

News You Can Use

Kate McMaugh, Editor, ISSTD News

New Book Chapter Explores Trauma via the Lens of Attachment Theory

ISSTD Member, Orit Badouk Epstein has written a chapter exploring trauma work through the lens of Attachment Theory, in the book Approaches to Psychic Trauma, Theory and Practice Edited by Dr Bernd Huppertz and published by Rowman &Littlefield (2019).

Approaches to Psychic Trauma: Theory and Practice is an edited collection of the writings of trauma clinicians from around the world. It covers recent developments and overviews the treatments available for traumatized people, describing elements they have in common and those that are specific to each treatment. Contributions cover the diversity of the field, including material on ego psychology, self-psychology, object-relations theory, attachment theory, psychoanalysis, and art therapies. Case studies further illustrate the application and practice.

Orit’s book chapter is entitled: “Trauma via the Lens of Attachment Theory: Gaslight Reality Distortion by Familiar Attachment Figures”.

Originally derived from the classic film Gaslight (1940), the term ‘Gaslighting’ has recently been revived and describes the reality distortion some of our clients have endured. From the personal to the societal, this chapter is about the various degrees of gaslighting, in particular about a client who has DID and whose life has been marked by continuous and insidious emotional torment. It describes how the relational work, using insights from attachment theory, has helped the client shift her distorted internal working models and brought about growth and a sense of selfhood.

Approaches to Psychic Trauma can be purchased here.
Remember to use your Amazon Smiles to raise money for ISSTD.

Preserving our History: Archives of ISSTD News Prepared

ISSTD has a proud history of regular Newsletters communicating between members, dating back to 1983. Our early newsletters were indeed very important, as they predated email and social media, making it the only real way for members across the globe to connect.

ISSTD Fellow Professor Warwick Middleton, MD, a member with a keen interest in our history, has very generously scanned and digitalised all copies of the Newsletter from 1983 to 2006 when our current electronic format commenced.

These make for a fascinating read and give a detailed insight into how our Society has operated, including the initial foundation, the early conferences, the persecution of members during the ‘False Memory Wars’ and our gradual recovery and growth. Technological advanced are showcased with the newsletter starting out as one or two page typed letter and developing into a more formal production complete with photos.
We hope to highlight some of these newsletters in our regular Focus on History section of ISSTD News and will be exploring other ways to make them accessible to members on our new website. In the meantime enjoy some photos of our evolving Newsletter.

Welcome ISSTD’s New Members in January!

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERS
Richard Brouillette
Johanna Buzolits
Debi Kim
David M. Lawson
Annie Monaco
Robin Barre
Amy Connor Bradley
Robert Kallus
Rebecca Kase
Anastasia Kenney
Kathleen Kolaritsch
Heather McCormack-Moon
Rita Princi-Hubbard
Michael Ritter
Betcy Walter
Nicola Waters
Danae Wheatley
EMERGING PROFESSIONAL MEMBERS
Colleen Haselhorst
Mary Sue McCarthy
Jamie Swan
Kate Trancynger
Tracey Conrad
Stefan Schaffeld

STUDENT MEMBERS
Tyler Langley
Kerriann Now
Talia Soto
Melissa Ann Tielke
Molly P Wolosky
Faith Curtin Koch
Francesca Maxime
Michael Pace

Do You Have News ISSTD Members Can Use?
We need your help to make NYCU a great feature, full of news and sharing the activities of our community members.
Do you have a book or book chapter 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? Have you had a chance to develop something creative and unique that you wish to share with others in the field? If so, we want to hear from you! Don’t be shy, submit your news to us so that we can share with other members. (Please be aware: we do not offer book reviews, but a chance to share with others that your book has been published.)

Submission Deadline: 20th of the month
Send to ISSTD Editor, Kate McMaugh: katemcmaughpsychology@gmail.com

Clinical E-Journal

JTD & Frontiers Table of Contents (February 2019)

Journal of Trauma & Dissociation

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

Table of Contents
Volume 20, Issue 1
Volume 20, Issue 2
Volume 19, Issue 3
Volume 19, Issue 4
Volume 19, 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 Resources page of ISSTDWorld. Need help to access? Call ISSTD Headquarters at 202-803-6332, or email info@isst-d.org for assistance.

Frontiers in the Psychotherapy of Trauma & Dissociation

Table of Contents

2019

  • Envisioning and Embodying Empowerment in Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Case Illustrating the Two-Part Film Technique (Sarah Y Krakauer, PsyD)
  • Editorial: How are Memories of Entrapment in Abuse Born? (Andreas Laddis, MD)
  • Commentary: Therapeutic Neutrality, Ritual Abuse, and Maladaptive Daydreaming (Alison Miller, PhD)
  • Rejoinder: Maladaptive Daydreaming and Therapeutic Neutrality (Colin a Ross, MD)
  • Commentary: On Dissociative Identity Disorder and Maladaptive Daydreaming (Eli Somer, PhD)
  • Rejoinder: Maladaptive Daydreaming and Dissociation: Both a Continuum and a Taxon (Colin A Ross, MD)
  • Commentary: Understanding Reports of Satanic Ritual Abuse (Warwick Middleton, MB, BS, FRANZCP, MD)
  • Commentary: Truth and Neutrality in the Treatment of Extreme Abuse (Michael Salter, PhD)

2018

  • From Proximity Seeking to Relationship Seeking: Working Towards Separation from the “Scaregivers” (Orit Badouk Epstein)
  • The Relationship of Mental Telepathy to Trauma and Dissociation (Sharon K Farber, PhD)
  • A Simple Algorithm for Medication of Patients with Complex Trauma-Related Disorder (Andreas Laddis, MD)
  • Healing Emotional Affective Responses to Trauma (HEART): A Christian Model of Working with Trauma (Benjamin B Keyes, PhD, EdD)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in Complex Trauma and Dissociation: Reflections on Safety, Efficacy and the Need for Adapting Procedures (Anabel González, MD, PhD)
  • Cross-Cultural Trauma Work With a Tribal Missionary: A Case Study (Heather Davediuk Gingrich, PhD)
  • The Potential Relevance of Maladaptive Daydreaming in the Treatment of Dissociative Disorder in Persons with Ritual Abuse and Complex Inner Worlds (Colin A. Ross, M.D.)
  • Neuroaffective Embodied Self Therapy (NEST): An Integrative Approach to Case Formulation and EMDR Treatment Planning for Complex Cases (Sandra L. Paulsen, Ph.D.)
  • The Case of the Shaking Legs: Somatoform Dissociation and Spiritual Struggles (Alfonso Martinez-Taboas, Ph.D.)
  • Treatment Outcomes Across Ten Months of Combined Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment In a Traumatized and Dissociative Patient Group (Colin A. Ross, M.D., Caitlin Goode, M.S., and Elizabeth Schroeder, B.A.)
  • Maladaptive Daydreaming: Ontological Analysis, Treatment Rationale; a Pilot Case Report (Eli Somer, Ph.D.)

2017

  • 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.)

Please note that Frontiers has moved to the Member Resources area of ISSTDWorld. You must be logged in as a member in order to view the articles. To access please log in to isstdworld.isst-d.org using your member credentials. Once you are logged in, click on the Member Resources tab in the navigation bar at the top of the page. The archive will be located under the Publications section of this page. For questions or assistance please contact ISSTD Headquarters at info@isst-d.org

Website Development

Introducing the New ISSTD Website!

Dear ISSTD Members,

When I unwittingly volunteered to take on the role of Website Committee chair in January 2017, the committee had been dormant for quite a long while, and an evolution from our current website felt a bit like a pipe dream, as well as a seriously daunting task. Somehow, we got here-and we even arrived right on schedule (despite a variety of major challenges along the way) in the exact timeframe we promised back in early 2017. After just over two years and a ton of effort, it’s finally a reality: We have a shiny, new ISSTD website! Let’s take a look! When you go to isst-d.org, you’ll likely notice the refreshed branding and new color scheme the Board of Directors approved last year.

On the new site, you’ll see…

  • A fully responsive site that adjusts itself based on your browsing medium: desktop computer, tablet, or mobile phone
  • A homepage that features direct, easy to spot links to: ISSTDWorld, About ISSTD, Join ISSTD as a Member, current Trainings and other Events, our Publications, and ways to Donate to support ISSTD!
  • Three major visual ‘anchors’ on the homepage:
    • Color-coded resources, starting on the homepage and continuing throughout the site, for different audiences
      • Blue: Links to ISSTD Member Resources and the members-only Online Learning Center (webinars)
      • Green: Links to a great ‘starter collection’ of resources for Non-Member Professionals, as well as our Dissociation FAQs (in an appealing and easier to digest ‘accordion’ format)
      • Purple: For the General Public, a variety of resources (some still in development) and
    • ISSTD’s Find a Therapist or Facility resource, featuring significantly enhanced listings and advanced search functionality for ease of use
    • A visual ‘slider’ that links to a rotating array of features and events-currently, the 2019 Annual Conference, the Center for Advanced Studies, and ISSTD’s Frontiers Clinical e-Journal are highlighted.
    • Easy to recognize icons that link directly to information about our Professional Training Program, upcoming Webinars, upcoming Annual and Regional Conferences, and Publications (both current and retired)
    • Scrolling updates about our Upcoming Events, recent Press Releases, and our Twitter feed
    • Seamless integration amongst the new site, ISSTDWorld, and our member database.

I want to tell you a bit more about those tiles I mentioned above. ISSTD’s Member Resources and Online Learning Center are contained within ISSTDWorld, and require members to log in for access.

The ‘starter collection’ for Non-Member Professionals has some great new features, including our full array of (revised) FAQs; annotated bibliographies for Trauma and Dissociation that actually link to the articles referenced (most are Open Access!); ISSTD’s treatment guidelines for Adults and Children/Adolescents; links to dissociation screening and diagnostic tools; and, helpful links to additional resources on the site.

Public Resources include the aforementioned FAQs; additional Websites of Interest; and, a link to Find a Therapist/Facility. Trauma & Dissociation Fact Sheets in pdf format will be added in the coming months.

As a Member, once you enter ISSTDWorld (using the same login info you’ve always used), you’ll gain access to all the exclusive member benefits to which you’ve become accustomed, including vibrant Communities, including our SIGS; the dynamic ISSTD News, helmed by Kate McMaugh; helpful Member Engagement resources, including video tutorials on navigating ISSTDWorld; the stimulating Virtual Book Club, hosted by Rick Hohfeler, Joan Haliburn, and Garrett Deckel; high-quality, free and reduced-cost Webinars, and more.

Students and Emerging Professionals can look forward to some new features soon, as well, including resources specific to the needs of students, and…a completely revised, updated -and easy to find!-Academic Supervisor directory. We’re just making during everything is ready before rolling those resources out.

In closing, I would like to acknowledge the following people, who have contributed to this project in some way (or a multitude of ways) over the past two years:

ISSTD Executive Director Mary Pat Hanlin (who has done more for this project than I can possibly describe), ISSTD Program Manager Bethany Bjur (ditto); former ISSTD Executive Director Thérèse Clemens (with me in tow, she got this whole thing going, and worked with Mary Pat and me to map out all 600+ pages of our current site-no small task!), Creative Director Vin Thomas, Lead Developer Galen Gidman, and the rest of the team at Fixel (who actually built this beautiful site on a very tight schedule); Implementation Project Manager Debbie Mason at Higher Logic; former AMG/Interel Senior Graphic Designer Leslie Boppert (who finalized the design for the new homepage, based on our original mockup, before departing); Interel Senior Graphic Designer Anna Genova (who stepped in when Leslie departed and completed the initial design work and coordinated with Fixel to get the job done); former AMG/Interel Creative Director Theresa Gutsick and Director of Technology Solutions Scott Hall (both of whom assisted early on in the development process); ISSTD members Rachel Friedman (analytics review and content editing), Shelley Hua (content/style editing), and Emily Dowdell (analytics review); Kate McMaugh (whose amazing work on ISSTD News helped us refine our vision for the ‘vibe’ of the new site); Martin Dorahy and Warwick Middleton (who gave us lots of love and encouragement in the tough, early stages of this project); all of ISSTD’s dedicated Committee and SIG chairs (who helpfully reviewed and revised their content on the site prior to final editing and transfer to the new site); and, the Board of Directors, who approved this project and kept the faith that it would eventually yield a thing of beauty.

On behalf of the whole website development team, we are so very pleased and excited to finally share ISSTD’s new site with you. There will be avenues for growth, learning, and collaboration within ISSTD now, with this new site, that previously were unimaginable. We’ll mark our official launch with an excited burst of exposure on social media on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, in the US – which just happens to be Dissociative Identity Disorder Awareness Day!
Warmly yours,
D. Michael Coy, MA, LICSW
ISSTD Webmaster

Board Briefs

The Latest News From Your Board

Willa Wertheimer, PsyD

This year is starting out with wonderful new benefits and opportunities and your Board has been busy overseeing the development and implementation of these.

One of our new changes is the rollout of ISSTDWorld, the new online home for ISSTD. This new platform connects members in many ways, making connection just a click away for Special Interest Groups, online communities, committees, peer discussion on a variety of topics, access to webinars and trainings, and up to date news on Regional Conferences spanning the globe. The new platform will make it easy and enjoyable to explore the many ways to connect with your member community and find valuable resources. Find us at https://isstdworld.isst-d.org.

All of our committees are excited to be wrapping up the final details for the Annual Conference in New York. We are expecting excellent attendance and the chance to meet, in person, our peers from all over the world. We look forward to learning about research and clinical techniques which will enhance our practices and help our clients heal. It’s also wonderful to see each other again.

There are many successes in several committees. One I’d like to highlight with special thanks is that the Membership Committee, and in particular Warwick Middleton, has completed the digitalization of every newsletter of ISSTD News, dating back to the first one in 1983! It is a wonderful “blast from the past” to read about the emergence of our Society.

Our Professional Training Program (PTP) will be offering 10 courses and teleseminars in the areas of Child & Adolescent Treatment, Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced Studies. These courses all contribute to the ISSTD Certificate Program.. For more information regarding available courses and Certificate Program Bundles available, please go to https://isstdworld.isst-d.org and click on “Events” for more information. Stay tuned for an upcoming webinar, Attachment, Dissociation, and Unresolved Mourning of Trauma or Loss, presented by Paula Thompson, PsyD, on May 17th.

In the past year, we have had regional conferences in Chester, UK, Hobart, Tasmania, New York City and San Francisco. There is another regional conference planned for later this year in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Our voice continues to be heard as a consultative member of the United Nations. We share our knowledge and ideas, regarding traumatic issues resulting from current events in the world.

As always, there are wonderful, engaging discussions on ISSTD World listserv and our clinical e-journal Frontiers in the Psychotherapy of Trauma & Dissociation. There is also ongoing discussion on our special interest groups, RAMCOA, Child & Adolescent, Vicarious Trauma, Transitional Age Youth, and Creative Arts Therapy. Consider joining these groups for information, new ideas and collegial support.

We hope to see you in New York next month! Be sure to take a look at our social events, including New Attendee Orientation, Create & Connect, Student and Emerging Professional Lunch, President’s Reception, a Broadway Show outing, Special Interest Group Breakfasts and the Annual Awards Luncheon. More information is on the conference website.

This is just some of the many happenings in our community. Looking forward to seeing our colleagues and friends in New York.

Letter From The President

Welcome to 2019: Thoughts for the Next Decade

Christine Forner, BA, BSW, MSW

Hello ISSTD Members,

I welcome everyone to our first newsletter of 2019. I cannot convey enough how honoured I am to be leading this amazing organization into the next decade. This will be my ninth year as a board member. I have been able to watch this society go through some tough times, witness some growing pains and reach a place of pleasant stability.

I often reflect on what got me and us here. One thing that is clear to me is that we are all leaders, shakers and pleasant rebels. I, as many of you will know, have spent a career fighting for the truth to be known. I have spent endless hours explaining and debating the merits and truths of dissociation. I have been told and accused many times of being wrong. I am okay with this. Examining whether I am wrong or not has made me a better clinician. I have been made to check to see if what I am doing is causing harm or not. In this critical examination I have had to check in with myself, and others in the field. With this deep investigation I know that what I do and what the ISSTD does is benefiting the human condition. We are breaking ground all the time. We are challenging the status quo. I would encourage all areas of mental health to analyze themselves with the same intensity as they analyze us.

There is a pride that comes with the deep investigation, as we continue to find evidence that supports what we see, hear, witness and experience in our offices and in our research. The people we serve are not bad, broken or deviant. They are humans who are doing the human thing as best as they can, with what they know. This pride is a tangible feeling that has been the hallmark of my experience within the ISSTD. Thank you for allowing me the privilege to lead the most amazing group of humans I have ever met.
I am excited about the new members to the Board. We have a lot of individuals who bring with them a vast amount of experience and leadership skills. By having several individuals from the UK, Australia, South Africa and Canada, the board is expanding and diversifying. I am excited about where this particular Board will lead us in the years to come.

This year one of our largest focuses will be on communication and inclusion. We are in the process of examining how to improve communication amongst our members, committees, SIGS, component groups and the Board. Expect to see information that helps us communicate to you in a more efficient manner.

The ISSTD is growing. I am happy to say that we have stabilized for quite some time now. In this year of growth we are launching a new website, adding in regional conferences to areas that we have not been before within the US and traveling to New Zealand. We are continuing our relationship with the ESTD by highlighting their conference in Rome in the fall and we are also pleased to have an ESTD representative join us in New York.

I look forward to hearing from many of you.

Warmly,
Christine

News You Can Use

News You Can Use

Kate McMaugh, Editor, ISSTD News

ISSTD Member authors two new Chapters on Trauma and Addiction

ISSTD Member Ericha Scott, PhD, has just published two book chapters in the integrative medicine text: Integrative Addiction and Recovery, edited by Shahla Modir and George Munoz.

Ericha, who has previously had her creative works published in ISSTD News Creative Space, writes – as lead author – one chapter entitled Three Dynamic Healing Modalities for the Treatment of Substance Use and Co-Occurring Disorders: Aromatherapy, Equine Therapy and Creative Arts Therapies. The chapter introduces three widely divergent treatments that have been found to be useful by culturally disparate clinical populations.

She contributes a further subchapter regarding the application of creative arts therapies in the treatment of addiction and trauma: Creative Arts Therapies: An integrative modality for addiction and trauma treatment. This focusses on a case study of a man who had a history of multiple overdoses, suicide attempts, self-mutilation, extreme piercings and near death experiences. The case is presented through his art, poetry and journal writing.

In addition Ericha is the lead author of an additional chapter with Munoz: Integrative approaches to healing in the treatment of addictive behaviors. This chapter reviews the historical problems treating addiction when it has been misperceived by the medical profession as a moral problem versus an illness. The problems of primary and secondary medical issues are addressed, which includes addressing trauma, as well as fostering emotional wellness and spirituality.

Integrative Addiction and Recovery comprehensively covers a wide variety of holistic and conventional approaches to the treatment of substance abuse and behavioral addictions, including substance abuse, trauma, food addiction, gambling and shopping. Relapse prevention strategies are also explored. The book is available from Amazon. Remember to use Amazon Smiles to raise money for ISSTD!

Welcome ISSTD’s New Members in January!

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERS
Nicole Fraine
Anita McLean
Patricia Preston
Christena Beintema
Natalee Popadiuk
Vicki Vopni
Rosaleen McElvaney
Olga Klauber
Carisa Authier
Frances Christian
Debra Eisenberg
Melissa Engle
Kim Frankln
Judith Becker Greenwald
Bethany Holder
Jennifer Joseph
Jennifer Naddell
Sarah Perkins
Rawna Romero
Nancy Rubbico
Nicole Schild
Carolyn Sharp
Julie Shewman
Tabitha Webster
Shalini Anant
Sukanya Ray
Mamatha Shetty
Kari Kokko
Mary Renwick
Emily Christensen
Laura Dawson-Fend
Christie Eastman
Goldy Gorelick
Doreen Hardy
Kathy Macchi
Stephanie Mattei
Carole Pasahow
Patricia Quinn
Marjorie Sita
EMERGING PROFESSIONAL MEMBERS
Joselito Libres
Myriam Morissette
Grace Soo
Nicole Black
Sara Klco
Lynn Price
Trina Trotter-Nussbaum
Funda Yilmaz
Sara Rourke
Allison Christie
STUDENT MEMBERS
Sandra Enck-Emmanouilides
Holly Fisher
Nikolai Pavlov
Courtney Bennett
Connie Fazzio
April Reyes
Valerie Stacy

Do You Have News ISSTD Members Can Use?
We need your help to make NYCU a great feature, full of news and connecting us all!

Do you have a book or book chapter 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? Have you had a chance to develop something creative and unique that you wish to share with others in the field? If so, we want to hear from you! Don’t be shy, submit your news to us so that we can share with other members. (Please be aware: we do not offer book reviews, but a chance to share with others that your book has been published.)

Submission Deadline: 20th of the month
Send to ISSTD Editor, Kate McMaugh: katemcmaughpsychology@gmail.com

Clinical E-Journal

JTD & Frontiers Table of Contents (January 2019)

Journal of Trauma & Dissociation

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

Table of Contents
Volume 20, Issue 1
Volume 19, Issue 2
Volume 19, Issue 3
Volume 19, Issue 4
Volume 19, 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 202-803-6332, or email info@isst-d.org for assistance.

Frontiers in the Psychotherapy of Trauma & Dissociation

Table of Contents

2019

  • Editorial: How are Memories of Entrapment in Abuse Born? (Andreas Laddis, MD)
  • Commentary: Therapeutic Neutrality, Ritual Abuse, and Maladaptive Daydreaming (Alison Miller, PhD)
  • Rejoinder: Maladaptive Daydreaming and Therapeutic Neutrality (Colin a Ross, MD)
  • Commentary: On Dissociative Identity Disorder and Maladaptive Daydreaming (Eli Somer, PhD)
  • Rejoinder: Maladaptive Daydreaming and Dissociation: Both a Continuum and a Taxon (Colin A Ross, MD)
  • Commentary: Understanding Reports of Satanic Ritual Abuse (Warwick Middleton, MB, BS, FRANZCP, MD)
  • Commentary: Truth and Neutrality in the Treatment of Extreme Abuse (Michael Salter, PhD)

2018

  • From Proximity Seeking to Relationship Seeking: Working Towards Separation from the “Scaregivers” (Orit Badouk Epstein)
  • The Relationship of Mental Telepathy to Trauma and Dissociation (Sharon K Farber, PhD)
  • A Simple Algorithm for Medication of Patients with Complex Trauma-Related Disorder (Andreas Laddis, MD)
  • Healing Emotional Affective Responses to Trauma (HEART): A Christian Model of Working with Trauma (Benjamin B Keyes, PhD, EdD)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in Complex Trauma and Dissociation: Reflections on Safety, Efficacy and the Need for Adapting Procedures (Anabel González, MD, PhD)
  • Cross-Cultural Trauma Work With a Tribal Missionary: A Case Study (Heather Davediuk Gingrich, PhD)
  • The Potential Relevance of Maladaptive Daydreaming in the Treatment of Dissociative Disorder in Persons with Ritual Abuse and Complex Inner Worlds (Colin A. Ross, M.D.)
  • Neuroaffective Embodied Self Therapy (NEST): An Integrative Approach to Case Formulation and EMDR Treatment Planning for Complex Cases (Sandra L. Paulsen, Ph.D.)
  • The Case of the Shaking Legs: Somatoform Dissociation and Spiritual Struggles (Alfonso Martinez-Taboas, Ph.D.)
  • Treatment Outcomes Across Ten Months of Combined Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment In a Traumatized and Dissociative Patient Group (Colin A. Ross, M.D., Caitlin Goode, M.S., and Elizabeth Schroeder, B.A.)
  • Maladaptive Daydreaming: Ontological Analysis, Treatment Rationale; a Pilot Case Report (Eli Somer, Ph.D.)

2017

  • 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.)

Please note that Frontiers has moved to the Member Resources area of ISSTDWorld. You must be logged in as a member in order to view the articles. To access please log in to isstdworld.isst-d.org using your member credentials. Once you are logged in, click on the Member Resources tab in the navigation bar at the top of the page. The archive will be located under the Publications section of this page. For questions or assistance please contact ISSTD Headquarters at info@isst-d.org

2019 Annual Conference

2019 Annual Conference – Social Events

The ISSTD 36th Annual International Conference is coming up soon! Take a look at all of the exciting social events available for conference attendees to network and recharge from all of the incredible training opportunities.

Friday, 29 March 2019

New Attendee Orientation
Join ISSTD luminaries and board members for a quick debrief on how to make the most of your first ISSTD Conference! Been to a conference before? Feel free to join us to connect with new attendees and learn about what’s new at the conference this year!

Create & Connect
Join the Creative Arts Therapy SIG for a special night of painting and networking! Create your own memento of the conference to take home with you, or donate your artwork to ISSTD’s silent auction, allowing us to continue to offer incredible trauma training. Additional registration fee applies.

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Student and Emerging Professional Lunch
Calling all students and emerging professionals! The Student and Emerging Professional Committee invites you to learn more about new opportunities to become involved in ISSTD and network with distinguished ISSTD members. ISSTD Luminaries will share their experiences in the industry and answer your questions. Lunch will be provided, RSVP required.

President’s Reception
Enjoy networking with your fellow conference participants at the President’s Reception (one drink ticket included in multi-day registrations). Following the reception, head out on the town and enjoy everything NYC has to offer, including tickets to a Broadway Show (available for an additional fee as part of registration)!

Broadway Show
Join conference attendees as we go see Come From Away. Come From Away is based on the true story of when the isolated community of Gander, Newfoundland played host to the world. What started as an average day in a small town turned in to an international sleep-over when 38 planes, carrying thousands of people from across the globe, were diverted to Gander’s air strip on September 11, 2001. Undaunted by culture clashes and language barriers, the people of Gander cheered the stranded travelers with music, an open bar and the recognition that we’re all part of a global family. Limited number of tickets available. Additional registration fee applies.

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Special Interest Group Breakfasts
Start the day off on Sunday by learning about the latest goings on with each of ISSTD’s Special Interest Groups! (Child & Adolescent, Creative Art Therapies, Ritual Abuse Mind Control Organized Abuse, Transitional Aged Youth, Vicarious Trauma and Self Care)

Annual Awards Luncheon
Join us for lunch on Sunday as we recognize our 2019 Annual Award Winners! Included in all multi-day registrations.

Please email info@isst-d.org for any questions.

 

Special Interest Groups

Introducing our brand-new Vicarious Trauma SIG

Kate McMaugh, Editor, ISSTD News

Irina, who has established the Vicarious Trauma SIG

Vicarious Trauma, the therapists’ traumatic stress reaction when hearing their clients’ trauma stories was described in professional literature by McCann and Pearlman during the 1990’s. However, we have long used a range of words to describe this reaction, including secondary trauma, compassion fatigue and even plain old “burn out”.

Whatever we call it, most of us have been touched by it at some stage of our therapeutic career. For me it begins to nudge me each December, just before I am due to take an annual holiday. Occasionally it pops up at other times to remind me my caseload is too big and that I need to make more time for self-care.

Perhaps those of us who work with complex trauma and dissociative disorders are particularly vulnerable, for it is well-accepted that clients with dissociative disorders tend to be among the most severely traumatised clients. Hernandez-Wolfe and colleagues maintain we are vulnerable to trauma transmission due to the empathic bond we form with our clients, the very bond that enables us to bear witness to the horrific stories of our clients. In addition, therapists working with dissociative disorders often work somewhat on the ‘outer’ of mainstream mental health services and may experience interactions with colleagues who doubt the validity and efficacy of our work, which adds to the stress of the work.

Like therapists in all areas of mental health, we are most vulnerable when we have stress in our personal lives, lack supportive networks, or if we have a background of trauma ourselves. Supervision and case consultation are enormously helpful, as is making time for self care such as exercise, spiritual practice and rest.

Even though there has been research investigating many aspects of vicarious trauma, our day to day awareness of it is still relatively new. Many of us find that the agencies we work for are also ill-equipped to deal with and prevent vicarious trauma. The rate of burnout in our profession suggests that we, as therapists, are not adequately equipped to deal with this issue. Interestingly, when I perused the many therapy books on my shelf, very few of those dealing with complex trauma and dissociation had sections on vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, burn out, or preventing and managing these.

It is fitting, then, that ISSTD is launching a new Vicarious Trauma SIG. The Vicarious Trauma and Self-Care SIG seeks to create an open forum for ISSTD members to discuss, share, learn, practice and research about:

  • the impact of clinical work with trauma on their personal selves;
  • strategies, tools, & protocols to protect and sustain one’s self in the long-term career of a trauma professional; and
  • the SIG will also work on raising awareness of and attention to the vicarious trauma in our clinical/research field.

The SIG has been started by ISSTD Member Irina Diyankova. Irina is a therapist based in Knoxville, TN. Irina works with complex and developmental trauma survivors in her private practice. She also leads continuing education workshops on the use of yoga in the treatment of trauma for Vyne Education and PESI.

Irina felt inspired to set up the SIG after dealing with her own struggles to balance clinical trauma work with the rest of her life and finding little systemic support for self-care and vicarious trauma prevention in different professional organizations and agencies. Having to find different supports and tools to remedy the negative impact of the trauma work on her own, Irina always wanted to have community to address this issue. After having conversations with several ISSTD members during 2018 conference and receiving their enthusiastic support, the SIG was born.

The SIG is very new with a small number of members, but the group is enthusiastic and keen to welcome new members. The group also needs a Secretary and welcomes applications for this position.

As this is a new SIG there is space for the scope and mission of the group to evolve as it gains in membership and is shaped by members’ specific interests. If interested in joining, please contact:
Irina V Diyankova, Ph.D: dririnadiyankova@gmail.com

More about ISSTD Special Interest Groups:
ISSTD Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are open to all ISSTD Members who have specific interest in certain areas of the field. ISSTD SIGs have been developed by members for members, and are geared to provide ISSTD members with particular in-depth interest in certain areas related to trauma and dissociation. There are five currently active Special Interest Groups:

  • Child and Adolescent Special Interest Group (C&A SIG)
  • Creative Art Therapies Special Interest Group (CAT SIG)
  • Ritual Abuse Mind Control Organized Abuse Special Interest Group (RAMCOA SIG)
  • Transitional Age Youth Special Interest Group (TAY SIG)
  • Vicarious Trauma Special Interest Group

For more information contact info@isst-d.org

References
Hernandez-Wolfe, P, Killian, K, Engstrom, D & Gangsei, D (2014). Vicarious Resilience, Vicarious Trauma, and Awareness of Equity in Trauma Work. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, May 2014, 1–20.

McCann, L & Pearlman, L (1990) Vicarious traumatization: A framework for understanding the psychological effects of working with victims, Journal of Traumatic Stress, 3(1), pp 131–149.

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