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!

2018 Annual Conference

Congratulations to the 2018 ISSTD Annual Award Winners!

Those of us who work in the trauma and dissociation field are a prolific, creative and hard-working lot. In the last year, many articles, books and book chapters have been written about complex trauma and dissociation. Research has been creative, inquisitive and critical. Clinical practice and training has expanded, and some of us have expressed ourselves through the creative arts. Others have worked hard behind the scenes to help ISSTD operate efficiently, and to grow in new areas.

Naturally, we want to encourage all this and show our appreciation.

This is where the Awards Committee comes in. The Awards Committee is composed of senior members of the Society who have an in-depth knowledge of the Society and the wider field, as well as an awareness of those who contribute directly to the Society. We are privileged to have Onno Van der Hart, Rich Chefetz and Steve Frankel on our Awards Committee, ably assisted by Lynette Danylchuk (and others, as co-opted). We are most grateful for their efforts.

Each year during October- December they receive nominations for the awards in all categories, evaluate each and then make a decision about Awards, all before our Annual Conference in March.

As Rich Chefetz said last October when he called for nominations for this year’s awards: “Lean in to the reality of making somebody feel real, special, appreciated.”

Well, lots of you did just that. We are happy to announce this year’s winners.

Therese O. Clemens Advocacy Award
Therese O. Clemens

Lifetime Achievement Award
presented to
Professor Warwick Middleton, M.D.

Lifetime Achievement Award
presented to
Colin A. Ross, M.D.

Lifetime Achievement Award
presented to
Joan A. Turkus, M.D., D.L.F.A.P.A.

Cornelia B. Wilbur Award
presented to
Milissa Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D

Morton Prince Award for Scientific Achievement
presented to
Dr. Michael Salter

Pierre Janet Writing Award
presented to
Daniel P. Brown, Ph.D.

Pierre Janet Writing Award
presented to
David S. Elliott, Ph.D.

Media Award – Audio Visual
presented to
Despina Noula Diamantopoulos

Media Award – Written
Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM
Hon. Justice Jennifer Coate
Commissioner Bob Atkinson AO APM
Commissioner Andrew Murray
Commissioner Helen Milroy
Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald AM
Gail Furness SC

David Caul Award
presented to
Tuba Mutluer, M.D.

President’s Award of Distinction
Presented to
D. Michael Coy, M.A., LICSW

President’s Award of Distinction
presented to
Kate McMaugh

Student Award
Jonathan D. Wolff

Student Award
Abigail Percifield

ISSTD Fellow
Sheldon Itzkowitz, Ph.D, ABPP

ISSTD Fellow
Dolores Mosquera, Psy

ISSTD Fellow
Dr. Valerie Sinason, Ph.D MACP MInstPsychoanal FIPD

Taylor and Francis Richard P Kluft Award
Mentalization and Dissociation in the Context of Trauma: Implications for Child Psychopathology
Volume 18 Issue 1 (2017)
Karin Ensink PhD, Michaël Bégin BA, Lina Normandin PhD, Natacha Godbout PhD & Peter Fonagy PhD

Poster Award
A Look into Peritraumatic Dissociation in Childbirth-Evoked Posttraumatic Stress
Freya Thiel

Letter From The President

Updates & Opportunities

Kevin Connors, MS, MFT

Greetings ISSTD

We’re closing in on the final arrangements for our 35th Annual International Conference; Bridges to the Future scheduled for March 22nd through the 26th. I remember, as a kid, hearing television announcers remark that guests of Chicago based shows were staying at the historic Palmer House Hotel. I am so excited that we will be using that storied and beautiful hotel as the venue for this year’s conference.

If you haven’t yet made your reservations, be sure to do so as soon as possible. Hotel Reservation

I want to share a few conference highlights with you.

On Friday evening as you are all checking in we have two activities to make the evening and the conference experience much more enjoyable. For those new to our conference, we are holding a “New Participants’ Orientation at 6:30 on Friday evening. We’ll go over several key points to help those who might not be familiar with the rich and diverse parade of workshops, forums, symposia, and paper sessions all going on simultaneously. Helpful tips and important information will be shared. If you have colleagues who are first time attendees, be sure to let them know about this helpful meeting.

Meanwhile, later on Friday evening, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, Tally Tripp will help us meet & greet everyone with our “Create and Connect” networking event. For a mere $25 you get the opportunity to join with friends as they arrive, tap into your creative parts, and share a drink with colleagues. (Did I mention that you get a drink coupon with the entry fee?) Registration for this event closed on March 5th, but there will be a limited additional number of tickets for sale on-site at the conference.

On Saturday afternoon, in addition to the regular academic content, we are offering our very first Professional Training Program Faculty Workshop. For those who are current ISSTD PTP Faculty or those interested in becoming a PTP faculty member, this workshop is essential. Su Baker and Joan Turkus will lead this first time workshop, offering their wisdom and experience in teaching tips and techniques. For more information on this workshop, click here!

Also on Saturday, we are holding our Student & Emerging Professionals Luncheon to welcome students and those new to clinical practice and to address their questions and concerns. We will be going off-site to sample some of Chicago’s fantastic pizza. Check in at the Society Lounge in the Exhibit Hall during the morning breaks to find out where we’ll be going.

Saturday evening, after the classes are done, we’ll still be going strong. From 5:00 to 6:00 will be our Poster Session offering you a chance to learn about interesting and important studies. The Poster Session blends into our President’s Reception where we have another opportunity to network and connect, to share thoughts and reacquaint ourselves with friends we only see once a year.

The President’s Reception leads into the Awards Dinner where we gather to acknowledge and honor people within our Society and within the field of Complex Trauma and Dissociation for how they have helped further our efforts. Join us in celebrating their work and in appreciating each other for all we do in helping and healing.

Sunday brings even more opportunities for connecting and networking. (I’m sensing a theme here.)

At lunch time there are several opportunities to explore different groups that ISSTD sponsors. Our Special Interest Groups will each have a room set aside where people can break bread and connect names to face as each group discusses issues important to them. Again, check in at the Society Lounge during the morning break to find out where the different SIGs will be meeting.

If you don’t have a special group meeting to attend, you can join plenary speaker Edward Tick who will be giving a reading of his poetry in the Society Lounge during the lunch break.

Note: All of these lunches are BYOB. So grab a To-Go lunch from a restaurant in the hotel or from one of the many eateries near to the venue and get back quickly to take part in in the activity of your choice.

Sunday evening, before the day wraps up, we hold our Annual Town Hall Meeting: Focusing on the Future of ISSTD and the field of Trauma & Dissociation. Bring your suggestions as to where you would like to see us going and your ideas on how to get there. This is a unique opportunity to share what is important to you and to help influence our discipline.

More ideas on how to maximize your conference experience can be found in another article here in the ISSTD News.

Website Update:
An on-going survey of new and established members has shown that the #1 issue people would like to see changed is an updated ISSTD website. Your Board of Directors is in complete agreement. Our website is our public face and often the first thing that people see when searching on-line for information about dissociative disorders.

We have charged D. Michael Coy LCSW, our new treasurer, with spearheading this overdue and much needed update. In last month’s ISSTD News he summarized the work ahead of us. Check out the article here!

However, as he noted and I must remind us, this level of over-haul does not come cheap. ISSTD has spent most of the last decade digging out from near financial collapse. We accomplished this gargantuan task by being extremely careful and financially conservative in any new expenses.

In order to raise the funds necessary for this important upgrade, we need to greatly supplement the limited revenue generated by our current projects. Therefore, we have recently launched our $35 for the 35th campaign. If we could get each member to donate $35 towards renovating our website, we would be able to complete this project in short order. If you believe that the work we do is critical to our clients and to the field of traumatology, please join me by making a small contribution here. Thank you for all you do to make our clients’ lives and our world a better place.
See you in Chicago!!!!


News You Can Use

News You Can Use

Kate McMaugh, Editor, ISSTD News

Leading Australian Complex Trauma Service Launches Paper on Trauma and Memory
As Australia’s ground-breaking Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse draws to a close, Australia continues to forge ahead with advocacy in the field of complex trauma.

Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Complex Trauma, the Blue Knot Foundation has launched a paper on the topic of memory and trauma. The paper, entitled The Truth of Memory and the Memory of Truth: Different Types of Memory and the Significance for Trauma is co-authored by ISSTD Members Dr Pam Stavropoulos and Dr Cathy Kezelman.

The paper was launched by Mark Tedeschi AM QC, the Senior Crown Prosecutor for New South Wales on 23 February in Sydney at the 20th Annual TheMHS Summer Forum, a two day conference exploring the impact of trauma on mental health. Speakers at the Summer Forum included ISSTD Immediate Past President, Professor Martin Dorahy and Dr Pam Stavropoulos, member of the Advisory Board of the ISSTD Scientific Committee, as well as other leading researchers and clinicians from the complex trauma field in Australia and New Zealand.

The paper aims to explain some of the complexities of memory and trauma to the general public, the media and policy makers and practitioners from all fields. It is a timely release, as there is confusion about trauma and memory among some professional groups, as well as the wider community. Much false information is circulated and this impacts negatively on both clients and therapists.

Broad in scope, the paper covers topics such as: different types of memory; the impact of trauma on memory; somatic memory; the protective role of ‘forgetting’; and recovered memory.

The Truth of Memory and the Memory of Truth is not a dense, academic document, but is instead a readable, general overview which references popular and accessible trauma books such as Levine’s Trauma and Memory. It promises to be accessible to a wide audience and will provide much-needed community education and serve as a valuable advocacy tool.

The paper, which is just as applicable to an international audience as it is to an Australian audience, is available here:

In addition, to complement this document, the Blue Knot Foundation has also released a series of facts sheets on Trauma and Memory. There are five facts sheets in total, all available at

Significant New Book Exploring Victim-Perpetrator Dynamics

Leading ISSTD Members, including past Presidents Warwick Middleton MD and Martin Dorahy PhD, along with board member Adah Sachs PhD, have co-edited a volume of work exploring victim-perpetrator dynamics. This volume was originally published as a special double edition of the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation in 2017.

The book contains contributions from leading thinkers and writers in the field, including many members of ISSTD. It is worth noting that five of the contributing authors have been presidents of the ISSTD in the past, and indeed two of the Editors are our most recent previous Presidents.

As the title suggests, the focus of this book is on exploring victim-perpetrator dynamics and it does so with great breadth and depth. Topics covered include dissociative processes in intimate partner violence; treatment strategies for programming and ritual abuse; organised abuse; betrayal trauma; mother-child incest; attachment dynamics; and the impact of dissociation and chronic shame, amongst many others.

The book is available for purchase this month. Information is available from the publishers Routledge—Perpetrator-Dynamics/Middleton-Sachs-Dorahy/p/book/9780815380115

Welcome ISSTD New Members – February 2018!

Jennifer Allran
James Asbrand
Joan Boyd
Marc Bush
Kevin Drab
Meira Ellias
Nancy Ellis
Jean Gargala
Amanda Hansen
Jennifer Jacyszyn
Beta Leung
Joyce Mojica
Sue Moran
Rita Petersen
Debora Romeo
George Abbott
JoAnne Clark
Johanna Dobrich
Lisa Rocchio
Tammy Rovane
Pamela Sobo
Andre Monteiro
Andrea Kremer
Christianna Flynn-Christianson
Anna Fogarty
Alena Kryvanos
Lori Woehler

Have News ISSTD 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 Editor, Kate McMaugh:

Regional Conferences

International Conference on Developmental Trauma & Dissociation 2018!

ISSTD is pleased to join with CTC Psychological Services for a special conference in the UK at the luxurious Grosvenor Hotel and Spa in the heart of the beautiful and historic city of Chester!

The conference will take place June 23-24, 2018, from 9:00AM – 4:30PM.

2018 sees both the 30th anniversary of CTC Psychological Services and the 35th anniversary of the ISSTD. To celebrate, we are presenting a two-day conference featuring four incredible keynote speakers: Richard Chefetz, Martin Dorahy, Ruth Lanius, and Joyanna Silberg.

Of key focus will be the work CTC undertakes as an Adoption Support Agency with adopted children and their families. Highlighting the impact of trauma on cognitive and emotional development, as well on the body, presentations will offer a variety of therapeutic approaches to both the impact and remedy of unresolved Developmental Trauma.

The conference will also feature two days of parallel sessions (papers and workshops).

For more information on conference fees, check out the conference flyer!

To register, email


Board Briefs

The Latest News From Your Board

Willa Wertheimer, PsyD

The ISSTD Board is a busy group of members who meet every month for 90 minutes, to oversee the activities of the Society and drive many projects to help our Society grow and develop. Here are some of the newest developments.

The Board has been overseeing our growing conference program and planning well-ahead for a busy schedule. This year there will be regional conferences in New York City, Hobart, Australia, and Chester, United Kingdom.

We also continue our conference collaboration with ESTD. Our Immediate Past President, Dr. Martin Dorahy recently attended the ESTD conference in Bern in 2017, and met with the ESTD Board to provide updates on current joint projects, most pressingly the joint research task force. The president of ESTD, Andrew Moskowitz, will be speaking to us in Chicago, at the upcoming conference. In turn, the President-Elect of ISSTD, Christine Forner, will be presenting at the ESTD Conference in Rome in 2019.

The time is growing near and we are all quite excited about the upcoming 35th Anniversary Annual Conference in Chicago. Not only is there a great variety of seminars and skill-building inspirations, but many of us will see each other once again, from “all four corners” of the world. It is always so wonderful to see old friends and make new ones. It is a chance for emerging professionals and students to meet the leaders in our field of study.

At the conference we are looking forward to sharing the results of The Past Presidents Project, a collection of interviews with former presidents of ISSTD. Their perspectives, wisdom and stories of our history is a not-to-be-missed feature this year. This presentation will also be available later to members unable to attend the conference.

UN Collaboration
Internationally, we continue our active collaboration with over 4,000 other non-government organizations (NGO’s) via our Special Consultative Status at the UN’s Committee on NGO’s. We are working together in a connective and relational world to heal the effects of trauma.

The development of a new EMDR training module has been developing at a steady pace. The faculty of our expanding Professional Training Program has been increased. We now will have a much further reach, providing professional development to clinicians around the world. We have both in-person training, as well as teleseminars and asynchronous online courses. Our webinar program is expanding to include all-day programs such as the recent Ritual Abuse, Mind Control, Organized Abuse (RAMCOA) Webinar. We also now are pleased to offer connection via the new Creative Arts Therapy SIG. There, ideas for interventions take on a whole new language!

Other Activities
I will mention again, our Virtual Book Club, which this year has studied several books as well as articles. The Board has also been delighted to launch ISSTD’s new clinical e-journal Frontiers in the Psychotherapy of Trauma & Dissociation. If you have not already done so, check out the latest edition by logging in to Member’s Corner and clicking on the Frontiers image at the top right of the page.

These are the latest headlines of what the Board has been working to provide. We are striving to offer a rich and multifaceted array of educational opportunities to trauma clinicians around the world. Our next Board meeting will be face to face in Chicago.

Spring is around the corner, the beginning of a fresh new season of energetic ideas.

Warm Regards,

2018 Annual Conference

Conference Pro Tips: Insider Hacks

Kevin Connors, MS, MFT

Greetings Gentle Reader,

In this article, the members of the Conference Committee thought we would share with you some tips and “insider information” that might enhance your time attending our conference.

Come early and locate the workshop rooms in the hotel. Orient yourself.

Go over the conference program and note the workshops that appeal to you.

If you have questions about workshops, visit the Society Lounge and talk to the people who are there – they are ISSTD members, Committee Chairs, and Board members who are there to help you.

Don’t feel bad if you can’t get to all of the workshops you’d like to attend. Pick the one that fits best for the day – all of the workshops are recorded, and you can listen to the rest at home.

Sit up front.

Dress is usually business casual; although some prefer a more business formal, especially if they are presenting. Whatever you choose, dress comfortably and in layers. Temperatures in the different break-out rooms can vary quite a bit and getting hotel staff to adjust the thermostats can take time.

Hydrate. The air conditioners in the hotel tend to make the air dryer than normal and when one is spending most of several days inside, we need to keep up the “healthy” fluid intake.

Snacks at the refreshment breaks are just that; snacks. In the morning, there will be coffee & hot water for tea, some juice, and the occasional pastry. Afternoon breaks are usually just beverages, coffee, tea, maybe sodas or juices. If you want a more filling breakfast or afternoon nosh, there is the hotel restaurant, a Starbucks within the hotel, and several eateries within walking distance of the hotel.

Talk to the people near you whenever possible – introduce yourself and find
out who they are and where they’re from. Who knows, you may meet neighbors,
or people from far, far away. These are your colleagues.

Feel free to introduce yourself to others and to join into conversations. Feel free to ask questions. We are gathered together to “confer”. We already share one common bond in our commitment to learn about and share about the important work we do.

Check out the extra-curricular activities.

Attend the President’s Reception on Saturday Evening. This is a great opportunity to meet and greet and get to know new people. There will be a cash bar to get a refreshing adult beverage to help relax after the full day of exciting and stimulating presentations.

The ISSTD Special Interest Groups (SIGs) will be having “Bring Your Own” Lunch meetings on Sunday. If you’re interested in learning about and possibly joining one of the SIGs, now is the time to go.

Invite people to join you for lunch or dinner. Most of us are traveling alone and would love some company. I have watched a small dinner party grow to an exciting and animated group that has since grown into long-standing friendships.

Take time to unwind and process what you’re learning. This conference is so jammed full of innovative and inspiring content, it can be a bit overwhelming. Know when to take a break and re-charge your batteries.

Have we mentioned we are in Chicago? Maybe you want to plan an extra day to play tourist. A certain ISSTD President will be spending time at the Chicago Art Institute to visit some of his favorite Impressionist and Modern art pieces. Chicago is home to world class museums, the Shedd Aquarium, amazing architecture, and great pizza.

Be bold – ask questions, reach out to others, show up, and make the most of your conference experience.

Welcome to ISSTD. We’re glad you’re here!

Committee Spotlight

Virtual Book Club

Rick Hohfeler, PsyD, Joan Haliburn, MD, and Garrett Deckel, MD, PhD

Our Origins
Some years ago our past president Lynette Danylchuk envisioned an online space where ISSTD members of all levels of experience could join prominent authors in our field for discussion of cutting-edge, clinically relevant literature. The idea was brought to life in 2014 with the formation of the Virtual Book Club.

What We Do
As it was then, it still remains our mission to bring you a lively discussion of the latest and best publications relevant to clinical work in the trauma and dissociation field. This is a free benefit of membership in ISSTD and can provide invaluable professional development and networking opportunities at no extra cost.

The Virtual Book Club offers ongoing, on-line discussions between ISSTD members and the authors of the featured works. These discussions are conducted in a listserv format on our Basecamp platform. This means that you have the opportunity to ask questions, make comments, and become acquainted with leading thinkers in our field!

Discussions are moderated by three well informed and experienced clinicians, Rick Hohfeler PsyD, Joan Haliburn MD, and Garrett Deckel MD, PhD. We strive to provide you with 3-4 books each year and various journal articles that we feel are pertinent and potentially pregnant for lively discussion.

Time frames for each book/journal article are varied, but are designed to encourage a thorough discussion of the books and articles, depending on their length and density of content. For books each discussion period can range from four to ten weeks and articles from three to five days.

Our selections aim to serve all levels of expertise and experience in our field of practice as ISSTD is an inclusive society. We believe that the literature in our field represents some of the most fertile and versatile thinking in the practice of psychotherapy. By its very nature ISSTD has been on the cutting edge of psychotherapy of complex trauma for decades. Our Bookclub showcases this innovation in a welcoming and accessible way.

Writing in the field of trauma and dissociation has now has become even more prolific, with a surge of new literature. Because of this growing momentum, we feel even more committed to helping all of our members to keep growing along with this steep learning curve. The discussion format of the Book Club also keeps us united as a Society dedicated to the treatment of those suffering from severe abuse and neglect.

In our first four years we have featured a significant number of varied books and articles. Books have included:

  • The Child Survivor– Joy Silberg
  • Communicating Trauma– Na’ama Yehuda
  • Healing the Fractured Child– Fran Waters
  • Intensive Psychotherapy for Persistent Dissociative Processes– Rich Chefetz
  • Treating Complex Trauma and Dissociation– Lynette Danylchuk and Kevin Connors
  • Healing the Traumatized Self– Paul Frewen and Ruth Lanius
  • The Dissociative Mind in Psychoanalysis– Edited by Elizabeth Howell and Shelly Itzkowitz
  • The Way We Are– Frank Putnam
  • Traumatic Narcissism– Dan Shaw
  • Neurobiology and Treatment of Traumatic Dissociation– Ulrich Lanius, Sandra Paulsen, and Frank Corrigan
  • Treating Trauma-Related Dissociation– Kathy Steele, Suzette Boon, and Onno van der Hart

Upcoming Books
We will be kick-starting the bookclubs for 2018 very shortly and promise to bring you a year of studies just as rich and diverse as was offered in 2017.

Books planned for the near future include:

  • Understanding and Treating Chronic Shame– Patricia De Young
  • Complex Psychological Trauma: The Centrality of Relationship– Phil Kinsler
  • Dissociation, Mindfulness, and Creative Meditations– Christine Forner

And lest we forget some of the original and still relevant concepts in our field, we also plan to include some of the more timeless classic literature that we feel gives perspective to our field’s developmental trajectory.

Please join us as we put our collective minds together to discover, analyze, even critique new ideas that are being generated at a fast pace. Make sure you look out for updates in ISSTD News as we launch each new Bookclub event.

We also solicit your ideas for future books and journal articles that can be added to what we already have. Please send any ideas to

Rick –
Joan –
Garret –

Members Clinical Corner

Commentary on Lisa Butler PhD & Oxana Palesh PhD, `Spellbound: Dissociation in the Movies’, JTD, Vol.5 (2) 2004, pp.61-88.

Pam Stavropoulos, Editor, Member’s Clinical Corner

Dear Fellow ISSTD Members,

For this edition of MCC I have taken the liberty, as MCC editor, of contributing a commentary myself. This is largely because despite a few invitations from both myself and ISSTD News Editor Kate McMaugh, few readers have volunteered to contribute a short commentary on a paper of their choice from any past issue of JTD or the new clinical e-journal, “Frontiers”.

So, in introducing my own commentary on this occasion (on Butler and Palesh’s 2004 paper `Spellbound: Dissociation in the Movies’) I would like to again invite ISSTD members to register your expressions of interest to write a short (1000-1500 word) commentary on any paper previously published in JTD or “Frontiers”.

Please don’t be intimidated! ISSTD News aims for a more casual and relaxed article than a formal journal article and, as highlighted above, submissions can also be much briefer than a typical journal article. You do not need to be an ‘expert’ on the topic. This an opportunity for peer comment and analysis… or even just some intellectual pondering on the topic. Perhaps you have always wanted to write a journal article, but haven’t known where to start? Well, start with us! As Editor I can work with you and help you shape and develop the article, if necessary.

If you are interested there is an archive of previous MCC articles on the Website (to access the archive, please log in to the ISSTD Member’s Corner and click on “Member’s Clinical Corner” on the left side of the screen) This archive is currently in the process of being updated, but will still give you an idea of previous content. In addition some more recent articles are available on the ISSTD News Website (MCC Archive)

Submission dates for commentaries can be quite flexible; it would be great at this point to hear from those of you who think you may like to write such a commentary anytime in the future. The beauty and pleasure of this task is that due to the vast array of papers accessible in the JTD archive, as well as the new journal “Frontiers”, your choice of topic is virtually limitless.

Please contact me directly if you think you may like to write a commentary for MCC at any time over the next twelve months.

One of several papers addressing the theme of dissociation in culture, `Spellbound: Dissociation in the Movies’ explores issues of interest to researchers and clinicians alike. As the lead author notes in her editorial for this special issue of JTD, at the time of writing (2004) consideration of culture represented, as far as she was aware, one of the first attempts `to explore dissociative experience across a variety of relatively common, and surprisingly normative, life activities’ (p.1). As such, it also foreshadowed and delineated recurring challenges in conceptualization of dissociative processes and phenomena. Over a decade later, the questions to arise remain salient.

Of all the cultural practices to which the lens of dissociation can be applied, what is more richly suggestive than that of movie making and viewing? In `Spellbound..’, Butler and Palesh advance the provocative thesis that film makers both examine and exploit `the plot-expanding possibilities that inhere in the topics of memory, identity, and multiplicity’ (p.61). In so doing, we are told, `film-making and film-watching experience rely on the audience’s innate understanding of dissociative phenomena’ (p.61).

The authors further contend that reliance on innate audience understanding of dissociation suggests `the pervasive nonpathological presence, integration and use of dissociative processes in everyday life’ (pp.61-62). Indeed, Butler and Palesh suggest that `the act of watching a film may be viewed as a voluntary engagement in a positive dissociative experience’ (p.61).

In considering this paper, it is helpful to attune to the organising perspective which underlies it. This is the `continuum’ model of dissociation to which other contributors to the special issue on culture and dissociation also subscribe. If, as Butler outlines in her introductory editorial, `mental disorders typically reflect alterations or perturbations in what are usually ordered processes, it would seem reasonable to look for the functional value of ordered dissociation in everyday life’ (Butler, 2004:4; original emphasis).

Intriguingly, Butler does this by identifying the `pathological counterparts’ of `three general varieties’ of dissociation in everyday life – namely, dissociation as `a forum for mental processing’, dissociation as `an escape’, and `positive dissociative experience as reinforcement’ (p.5). In the first case – that of dissociation as `a forum for mental processing’ – the normative experience of, for example, dreaming, has its pathological counterpart in the processing failures of intrusive, repetitive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, and traumatic re-experiencing (Butler, 2004:7, referencing Horowitz, 1986).

In the second case (dissociation as `escape’) the potentially restorative experience of distraction from daily life stress has its pathological counterpart in `involuntary immersion’ in maladaptive behaviours deployed to manage and potentially stave off disturbing affective states (p.8). In the third case, `positive dissociative reinforcement’ relates to the narrowing of focus in activities of personal significance of diverse kinds (and which potentially include `flow’ and `peak’ experiences). This variety of dissociation has its pathological counterpart in peritraumatic dissociation, in which the gratification afforded by self-efficacy is precluded by a challenge which `exceeds or overwhelms existing resources and capabilities’ (p.9).

The above is a fascinating encapsulation of the conceptual challenges posed by dissociative phenomena and processes. It repays consideration even if the reading of dissociation as `ubiquitous’ in `normative human activities’ (p.3) is contested. For Butler et al, the corollary is that `when voluntary phenomenal self-awareness is curtailed, when the full scope of internal and external reality is no longer engaged or accessible, when symptoms persist or reactions are overgeneralised, dissociation has become maladaptive’ (p.4).

The lead author of `Spellbound..’, as all contributors to this special issue of JTD on the topic of dissociation and culture, subscribes to the continuum model of dissociation according to which adaptive, non-pathological expressions fall at one end and dysfunctional, maladaptive manifestations at the other. This is a perception, we are told, which `both the classical and modern dissociation literature’ upholds (p.63).

As compelling as a continuum model of dissociation is, however, not all in the field subscribe to it. For example, van der Hart et al (2006) caution against too capacious a reading of dissociation, and seek to distinguish and preserve `structural’ dissociation from the many other and more benign forms of psychological experience to which adherents of the `continuum’ model lay claim. The Haunted Self was published after the issue of JTD in which `Spellbound’ appears. Nor was it the brief of Butler et al to examine the limits of a reading predicated on the pervasiveness of dissociation in everyday life.

Butler’s above described distillation of the `normative/pathological’ problematic remains enormously suggestive, and deserves wide citation for its succinct presentation of dilemmas we continue to debate. Nevertheless, while the `continuum’ understanding of dissociation remains powerful, it needs to be noted that not all in the field would agree with it.

So how does `Spellbound’ elaborate its contentions? Butler and Palesh contend that many Hollywood directors have `long intuitively recognised…and capitalized’ on recent epidemiological findings that dissociative experiences `are far more common to everyday experience than previously recognized’ (p.63). Referencing Greenberg and Gabbard (1999), a particularly interesting observation is the `mysterious parallelism’ between cinema and science as alternative but complementary sites for exploration of `the same inchoate notions about perception, consciousness and memory which arose synchronously in the collective mind-set because the time was ripe’ (p.76).

Not only is this a fascinating observation in its own right. It also evokes the disconcerting notion of popular culture (in this context via the medium of movies) as generator – albeit influenced by the findings of science – as well as contributor to conceptions of mental health.

As vehicles for portrayal of interior landscapes, movies possess a number of advantages. Film, say Butler and Palesh, `is the only medium in which time can be objectively expanded or condensed to parallel the subjective change in time perception commonly reported by trauma survivors’ (69) While home entertainment systems and a plethora of devices now challenge the monopoly of the multiplex, movies retain singular advantages in depicting the myriad complexity of psychic life.

Nor is it only trauma-related dissociation that movies compellingly convey. Of course audiences view movies for entertainment. But also not only for the purpose of pleasurable distraction. As Butler and Palesh (referencing Gabbard, 2001) point out – `audiences do not attend films merely to be entertained…. The screen in the darkened theatre serves as a container for the projection of their most private and often unconscious terrors and longings’ (p.73)

In addition to the 1945 Hitchcock thriller for which the paper is named (and which `conveys two major themes that have recurred in films since: the restorative potential of examining traumatic life events and the necessity of continuity in autobiographical memory for the maintenance of coherent identity’, p. 74) `Spellbound’ surveys a wide range of movies which, Butler and Palesh contend, presuppose dissociative experience even when it is not depicted in the plot line.

A major means by which this is achieved and exploited is via the mechanism of suturing, whereby `the filmgoer is able to connect and integrate separate scenes into a coherent narrative in spite of distinct story lines and cinematic editing cuts’ (p.61, referencing Silverman 1992). Successful suturing means that critical reflection and judgement is suspended, `viewers lose awareness of their surroundings and perceive the events on the screen as life-like’ (p.65). This is a process which `parallel[s] elements of some nonpathological dissociative experiences such as hypnotic states’ (p.65).

Unconscious processes including time disruption, depersonalisation, derealisation, and other dissociative indicators are portrayed with singular effectiveness by the medium of film, which, irrespective of the particular plotline, has a range of cinematic techniques at its disposal. Thus movies do not need to be `about’ dissociation per se (even as interestingly many are) to draw upon and amplify what Butler and Palesh contend to be the innate dissociative capacity and tacit acceptance of dissociative processes by audiences.

The plethora of movies surveyed in `Spellbound’ span a broad period. They include Three Faces of Eve [1957], Psycho [1960], The Manchurian Candidate [1962], Sybil [1976], Total Recall [1990], Color of Night [1994], The Matrix (1999); Fight Club [1999; there is a wonderful separate paper on this movie by Steven Gold in the same issue], Vanilla Sky [2001] and The Bourne Identity [2002], among others. In light of this `breadth rather than depth’, and the sheer scope of the authors’ key claims about the prevalence of dissociative phenomena and processes in everyday life, it might be surmised that Butler and Palesh draw too long a bow.

But this would be to misunderstand their intention. In inviting us to reflect on `the big screen dramatic elaborations of the smaller experiences many of us confront in daily life’ (p.80) Butler and Palesh challenge us to consider instances of normative dissociative more seriously. Correspondingly, they challenge us to explain why, and on what grounds, a vast array of everyday practices are not normatively dissociative if we want to contest their reading.

In `Spellbound’, Butler and Palesh contend that `the active pursuit of (nonpathological) dissociative activities…may represent a cornerstone of everyday existence – one so common and so second-nature, that its role in our lives has not been fully appreciated or examined empirically’ (p.67; original emphasis).

Even for those who disagree with the first part of this claim, it is hard at many levels to contest the second. In their enlivening account of the processes (and frequently plotlines) represented in and by movies, Butler and Palesh have also amply succeeded in highlighting conceptual challenges around dissociation which, well over a decade later, remain ongoing.

Butler, L.D. (2004) `The Dissociations of Everyday Life’, JTD, Vol.5 (2) 2004, pp.1-13.
Butler, L.D. & Palesh, O. (2004) `Spellbound: Dissociation in the Movies’, JTD, Vol.5 (2), pp.61-88.
Gabbard, G.O. & Gabbard, K. (1999) Psychiatry and the Cinema, 2nd edit, Washington DC, American Psychiatric Press.
van der Hart, Onno, Nijenhuis, Ellert & Steele, Kathy (2006) The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization, New York: Norton.

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