2019 Annual Conference

Introducing our Exciting Plenary Speakers

Abigail Percifield

Throughout its history New York City has been home to a diverse array of cultures and people, making it an ideal spot for ISSTD’s 2019 World Congress on Complex Trauma. The conference will take place on March 28 – April 1 and will feature Gabor Maté, MD, Stephen Porges, PhD and Allan Schore, PhD as plenary speakers.

Dr Gabor Mate
Dr. Gabor Maté is a renowned speaker and author, who co-founded Compassion for Addiction, a non-profit organization focused on addiction. Dr. Maté was born in Hungary and worked as a physician in Vancouver with a special interest in addiction, stress, and childhood development. His books have been published in over 25 languages. He has won numerous awards and is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Criminology at Simon Fraser University.

A strong advocate for social change, Dr. Maté’s clinical approach emphasizes the importance of a person’s early life experiences on their mental and physical health. The accumulation of stress and trauma can lead a person to become disconnected to themselves and it is this disconnection that leads a person to develop symptoms characteristic of a range of disorders. Dr. Maté will open up the 2019 conference with an experiential plenary address on how therapists can help guide clients to find and see the truth. This psychotherapeutic method, Compassionate Inquiry, reveals unconscious dynamics to promote deep healing and transformation.

Stephen Porges

Dr Stephen Porges
Dr. Stephen Porges will journey with us into our collective evolutionary history as he presents on The Polyvagal Theory. Dr. Porges is a Distinguished University Scientist at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina. He is a leading researcher in the field of neuroscience whose Polyvagal Theory has significantly reworked our understanding of how our bodily systems respond to trauma.

This theory links the evolution of the autonomic nervous system to affective experience, emotional expression, communication, and social behavior. It both acknowledges and provides an explanation for the states of hyperarousal and dissociation that so many of us see with our clients who are living with the consequences of trauma. Dr. Porges will present a strategy to understand the neural processes that are embedded in therapies to enhance the regulation of bodily and behavioral state. His approach emphasizes the importance of the interpersonal relationship inherent in therapeutic work alongside the ‘neural’ exercises involved in a specific therapy.

Dr Allan Schore
Dr. Allan Schore, who has been described as “a monumental figure in psychoanalytic and neuropsychoanalytic studies” will present on new ways to consider the paradoxical process of regression that often occurs during the psychotherapy of early relational trauma. Dr. Schore’s interdisciplinary studies have been directed towards integrating psychological and biological models of emotional and social development across the lifespan.

Dr. Schore will walk us through the neuroscience that details the critical role of the right brain in attachment mechanisms, dysregulated emotional states, and the dissociative defense. Rather than viewing regression exclusively as a sign of clinical deterioration, this process may represent a creative return to fundamentals that allows reorganization. This understanding will help facilitate therapists’ ability to remain psychobiologically attuned and use moments of heightened affectivity to increase safety and trust in the therapeutic relationship.

For more information about the Plenary Speakers and their presentations, visit the Conference Website!

Want to be part of ISSTD’s 36th Annual Conference? Call for Proposals is open through 17 September, 2018! Check out the Submission Guidelines to get started.

Early Bird Conference Registration is open 31 August 2018 through 24 January 2019.

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