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 (http://www.isst-d.org/default.asp?contentID=102); 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 (http://www.isst-d.org/?ContentID=417), launching a Spanish course (http://www.isst-d.org/?ContentID=418), 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: franwatersusa@gmail.com or Na’ama Yehuda at: naamayehuda@aol.com

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