Publications of Interest

Childhood Trauma’s Impact on Sexual and Gender Minorities

Lynn Hazard, LCSW, POI Editor

Lynn Hazard, POI Editor

For the second quarter, the overall theme is childhood trauma’s impact on sexual and gender minorities. There is a higher risk for polyvictimization and serious adverse mental health outcomes for these groups. The trauma field around the world is gradually increasing research in this area.

Clements-Nolle, K., Lensch, R., Baxa, A., (2018). Sexual Identity, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Suicidal Behaviors. Journal of Adolescent Health, 62(32), pp. 198-204. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.09.022
To link to this article:

Abstract: PURPOSE: The objective of this study was to examine the influence of sexual identity
and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on suicidal behaviors in a population-based sample of high school students. METHODS: A two-stage cluster random sampling design was used to recruit 5,108 students from 97 high schools. A total of 4,955 students (97%) provided information that allowed for classification of sexual identity into three groups: (1) lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) (10%); (2) not sure (4.6%); and (3) heterosexual (85.4%). Five measures of childhood abuse and household dysfunction were summed, and the ACE score was categorized as 0, 1, 2, and 3-5 ACEs. Weighted logistic regression was used to assess the influence of sexual identity, ACEs, and their interaction on suicide ideation and attempts in the past 12 months.
RESULTS: Compared with heterosexual students, those who were LGB and were not
sure had higher odds of suicide ideation and attempts. There was also a graded relationship between cumulative ACE exposure and suicidal behaviors. Although sexual identity/ACE interaction was not observed, LGB/not sure students who experienced a high number of ACEs were disproportionately affected. Compared with heterosexual students with 0 ACE, LGB/not sure students with 0 ACE (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 3.32, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.96-5.61), 1 ACE (AOR = 6.58, 95% CI = 4.05-10.71), 2 ACEs (AOR 13.50, 95% CI = 8.45-21.58), and 3-5 ACEs (AOR = 14.04, 95% CI = 8.72, 22.62) had higher odds of suicide ideation. A similar pattern was observed for suicide attempts. CONCLUSIONS: LGB and students not sure of their sexual identity with greater exposure to ACEs have disproportionately high levels of suicide ideation and attempts. Trauma-informed interventions for these populations are warranted.

Gartner, R.E. & Sterzing, P.R. (2018). Social Ecological Correlates of Family-Level and Environmental Microaggressions Toward Sexual and Gender Minority Adolescents. Journal of Family Violence 33(1), pp. 1-16. DOI: 10.1007’s10896-017-9937-0.
To link to this article:

Abstract: Microaggressions are associated with mental and behavioral health problems and are common experiences for sexual and gender minority adolescents (SGMA). Little is known about the social ecological correlates of family-level interpersonal and environmental microaggressions for SGMA. Utilizing a national sample of SGMA (N = 1,177), this study (a) identified the frequencies of family-level interpersonal and environmental microaggressions by participant demographics and (b) examined individual-, family-, and structural-level factors associated with interpersonal and environmental microaggressions. Outness to parents, a transgender or genderqueer identity, and higher levels of gender role non-conformity were associated with higher frequencies of interpersonal microaggressions. Higher levels of family-level child maltreatment and religiosity were associated with higher frequencies of interpersonal and environmental microaggressions. State-level non-discrimination protections were associated with lower frequencies of environmental microaggressions. Suggestions for increased individual-level support for gender non-binary adolescents as well as family targeted preventive strategies are discussed. Areas for future research are highlighted.

Cárdenas, M., Barrientos, J., Meyer, I., (2018). Direct and Indirect Effects of Perceived Stigma on Posttraumatic Growth in Gay Men and Lesbian Women in Chile. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 31(1), pp. 5-13. Published by the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. DOI: 10.1002/jts.22256
To link to this article:

Abstract: This study examined the direct and indirect effects of perceived stigma on
posttraumatic growth (PTG) in a sample of gay men and lesbian women in Chile, with coping strategies (positive reappraisal, social support seeking, and active coping strategies) as intermediate variables. Data from 467 gay men (57.4%) and lesbian women (42.6%) were analyzed. A respondent‐driven sampling (RDS) method was used. The hierarchical regression analysis indicated the important predictive role of active coping, β = .23, and positive reappraisal, β = .45, in PTG, R2 = .31, p < .001, f2 = 0.16. Results revealed that, in the presence of positive reappraisal coping as an intermediate variable, partial indirect effects are detected between perceived stigma and PTG. Seeking instrumental social support did not produce indirect effects between perceived stigma and PTG, whereas active coping produced partial indirect effects. These findings suggest that the positive reappraisal of a traumatic experience is essential for reporting personal growth. Implications of these more complex relations for counseling interventions and further research are discussed.

McConnell, E.A. (2018). Risking It Anyway: An Adolescent Case Study of Trauma, Sexual and Gender Identities, and Relationality. Journal of Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 15 January 2018, pp. 73-82. DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2017.1400134
To link to this article:

Abstract: This article presents the case of a Chinese–American adolescent with a significant trauma history who was questioning her sexual and gender identities. The implications of the client’s intersecting identities for case conceptualization and treatment are considered within the framework of affirmative practices for sexual and gender minority (SGM) clients. The impacts of stress and trauma on this client’s experiences—and SGM clients more broadly—are also considered, particularly with respect to how this client understood and negotiated her experiences of relational trauma. This case is intended to illustrate some best practices with SGM clients within an intersectional framework which underscores the importance of multiple salient cultural identities.

Wright, A.L. (2018). Relationship Between Obesity, Childhood Sexual Abuse, and Attitudes Toward Obesity in Sexual-Minority Women. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health. DOI: 10.1080/19359705.2018.1429975
To link to this article:

Abstract: Sexual-minority women (SMW) are more likely to be overweight, have a history of
childhood sexual abuse (CSA), and have more positive attitudes toward obesity compared to their heterosexual counterparts. In this exploratory study, the author sought to identify any associations between CSA, obesity, and attitudes toward obesity among SMW. Eighty-five SMW completed a survey assessing their weight, history of CSA, and attitudes toward obesity. An ordered logistic regression (OLS) and an analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed CSA to be negatively correlated with BMI, as well as no association between SMW’s attitudes toward obesity and CSA nor BMI. Lastly, SMW did not report significantly different attitudes toward BMI based on their own BMI and history of CSA. This study provides evidence that SMW, particularly those residing within the Deep South, are at high risk for both CSA and for obesity, and highlights the importance of developing future culturally tailored weight loss programs designed specifically for SMW with histories of trauma.

Giovanardi, G., Vitelli, R., Vergano, C.M., (2018). Attachment Patterns and Complex Trauma in a Sample of Adults Diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria. Frontiers in Psychology 2018. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00060
To link to this article:

Abstract: The current study investigated attachment representations and complex trauma in a sample of gender dysphoric adults. Although it has been proven that the psychological wellbeing of gender diverse persons is largely mediated by family acceptance and support, research on their relationships with parental figures is scarce. A total of 95 adults took part in the study. The attachment distribution was as follows: 27% secure, 27% insecure and 46% disorganized. Regarding early traumas, 56% experienced four or more traumatic forms. Further, gender dysphoric adults showed significantly higher levels of attachment disorganization and polyvictimization, relative to controls. Comparisons of subgroups, defined by natal gender, showed that trans women, compared to control males, had more involving and physically and psychologically abusive fathers, and were more often separated from their mothers; trans men, relative to female controls, had more involving mothers and were more frequently separated from and neglected by their fathers. The research has several implications for treatment, clinical health psychology, family support and education.

Taylor, S.W., Goshe, B.M., Marquez, S.M., (2017). Evaluating a Novel Intervention to Reduce Trauma Symptoms and Sexual Risk Taking: Qualitative Exit Interviews with Sexual Minority Men with Childhood Sexual Abuse. Journal of Psychiatry, Health, & Medicine, 23(4), pp. 454-464. DOI: 10.1080/13548506.2017.1348609
To link to this article:

Abstract: Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) continues to affect sexual minority men (SMM) at
disproportionate levels and contributes to multiple negative health outcomes, including sexual-risk taking and HIV acquisition. This paper presents qualitative evaluative feedback from SMM (N = 9) who participated in a 10-session Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Trauma and Sexual Health (CBT-TSH) intervention to reduce CSA-related posttraumatic stress reaction and distress. The treatment was designed to increase accurate sexual risk appraisals and to improve self-care health behaviors related to HIV/STI acquisition. The researchers identified four emerging themes: (1) motivation to participate, (2) response to cognitive therapy, (3) process of change, and (4) considerations for intervention improvement. These qualitative findings provide useful feedback on the acceptability of an innovative program that integrates CBT for trauma related to CSA with sexual risk-reduction counseling.

Crump, L. & Byers, E.S. (2017). Sexual well-being of sexual minority women in dating
relationships who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and/or adolescent and adult sexual victimization. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, Vol. 26(2), pp. 163-173. DOI: 10.3138/cjhs.262-a4
To link to this article:

Abstract: Few studies have examined the sexual sequelae of child sexual abuse (CSA) for sexual
minority women (SMW), particularly SMW in dating relationships. We examined the impact of CSA on several aspects of sexual well-being. Participants were 299 SMW in a non-cohabiting dating relationship who completed an online survey that assessed CSA, adolescent and adult sexual victimization (AASV) and their behavioural, motivational, and cognitive-affective sexual responses. Four groups were formed based on sexual abuse experiences before the age of 14: No lifetime sexual abuse (NSA Group); AASV only (AASV Group); CSA limited to fondling (CSAfon Group); and, CSA involving attempted/completed vaginal, oral and/or anal penetration (CSApen Group). Women in the CSAfon and CSApengroups were significantly more likely to report having experienced AASV (77% and 56%, respectively) than were women in the AASV and NSA groups (32%). Women in the CSApenGroup reported significantly lower sexual desire and sexual satisfaction, and more frequent negative automatic sexual thoughts than women in the other groups but no differences in their frequency of sexual behaviours, sexual duration, sexual esteem, or sexual anxiety. The AASV Group did not differ from the NSA Group on any of the sexual well-being variables. Overall, women in all four groups generally reported positive sexual well-being. These results suggest CSA involving attempted/completed penetration with or without subsequent AASV negatively affects only some aspects of SMW’s sexual well-being. They also suggest SMW who have experienced sexual abuse can and do enjoy healthy sexual well-being within the context of a dating relationship.


Spotlight on Volunteer: Susan Hykes

Susan Hykes

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was raised in Lorain, Ohio, and am a graduate of the University of Michigan (1963) with a BA in Mathematics. I worked for IBM and moved to Oklahoma. I ‘retired’ to raise five children -two adopted children from my first marriage and three step-children from my second marriage.

I’ve been sober since 1970. After my second divorce it was suggested by a pastor and a good friend that I become a counselor. I was living in Colorado where it was legal to be an unlicensed psychotherapist. So in 1989 I became an unlicensed psychotherapist and was supervised, just as licensed people were, and there I began the career-long journey to get the professional development and the supervision I needed to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. Ultimately, I ended up serving nine years as a professional member of that same supervisory board – a volunteer position. This included three years as chair of the board.

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

Camping out as a form of self care: Susan’s tent where she camps each year to get away from it all

Good self-care is a priority for me. I have a hot tub, get massages regularly, take voice lessons and sing in a community choir. The best self-care I do is ten days of tent camping on my 2.5 acres at 9500 ft. altitude. I’m really just an old Girl Scout!

What lead you to join ISSTD? What is your favourite thing about ISSTD?
One of my first clients was a survivor of ritual abuse. During the coffee break of a presentation, she said, “I am like that.” I said that I would find a therapist who had that experience and refer her. She said, “Why don’t I buy the book and you read it?” That is what we did and I also found a local therapist who was a member of ISSTD. I joined shortly after that. And some years later attended my first conference in Philadelphia. My favorite thing is the collegiality. The sense that we are all in this together and we share so generously with each other.

What are your volunteer roles in ISSTD? (or roles) and what led you to volunteer?
At that first conference I volunteered because there was a registration price reduction. The price reduction has gone away but I have volunteered at other conferences.

Two years ago there was a vacancy on the RA/MC SIG Executive for the position of Listserv Moderator. I waited for others to volunteer. Finally, I asked how much time it took. I am now in the second year of doing that job. In that time we have changed our name to the RAMCOA SIG (Ritual Abuse Mind Control and Organised Abuse) SIG in recognition of the wide and overlapping spectrum of organised abuse. We have a vibrant list serv, a book club, organise webinars and members present at conferences regularly.

What’s good about volunteering? What do you get from it?
I was a Girl Scout as a child and learned to volunteer there. My family were also volunteers in the community, so it was a family tradition as well. Today as a professional with significant experience I give back as the volunteer convener of a monthly trauma and dissociation study group for other therapists.

I don’t have wealth with which to endow ISSTD, but I can give back. I can share with the members of the SIG my experience and my questions. As Moderator I get to read every posting and sometimes kindly work through gnarly difficulties. And I get to work with members of the exec committee which is certainly a privilege for me.

I am thinking of something that I heard David Calof say some years ago: That we need tasks with a beginning and an end to sustain us in this work that can seem to have no end. Volunteering provides that.

Any drawbacks?
Because I have a full-time practice – about 39 hours a week on average – sometimes there are time crunches.

Letter From The President

Coming of Age in an Age of Interesting Times

Kevin Connors, MS, MFT

Greetings friends & colleagues,
There is a saying of dubious origins: “May you live in interesting times”.

I fear that this is more relevant today than at any other time in the past half-century. Without stirring the political pot, I am mindful that we confront numerous challenges to our fundamental human dignity. Groups attack each other with disregard to facts. Ad hominem attacks and mockery have replaced civil discourse.

Hackers and other groups are accessing our personal data, not only to steal our identities for profit, but now to develop marketing trends to manipulate people and movements. Given our dependence on and significant use of numerous internet sites to stay connected and informed; we must question where and when are we safe?

To address the issue of on-line/internet transparency, ISSTD has moved to meet the requirements of the newest data protection regulations. On May 25th, an important law passed by the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation, came into effect. The GDPR affects how groups collect, maintain, and use personal data. As ISSTD is an international organization conducting business in and with members of the EU, we needed to do our part to be in compliance with the EU regulation.

To that end, your Board of Directors discussed and approved a Privacy Policy that became effective on May 25, 2018.
The preamble states:

This Privacy Policy governs the manner in which the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation collects, uses, maintains and discloses information collected from users (each, a “User”) of the website (“Site”). This privacy policy applies to the Site and all products and services offered by the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.
The ISSTD Privacy Policy can be reviewed here.

I want to circle back to the larger issue of human dignity. We, who treat and study the impact of interpersonal trauma, see the cost of inequities and inequalities, the cost of abuse. We advocate for treating our clients with the utmost respect. We demonstrate and embody human dignity when we establish a safe and welcoming therapeutic framework in which to meet and address the extreme abuses and outrageous insults our clients have endured. We ask them to respect themselves, their dissociated self-states, and us as part of that healing alliance.

Yet I am mindful and curious that we must occasionally prompt ourselves to treat our colleagues and peers with the same “I-Thou” regard. I am struck by the need to measure our words, our letters and text messages with an eye to the feelings of our peers as we would to our regard for family, friends, and clients. So many colleagues speak of ISSTD as their clinical home and safe haven in a professional world that is often unkind to proponents of trauma and dissociation. How do we individually and collectively strive to ensure that safe haven still stands?

As part of the ISSTD growing pains, the Board has found it to be an essential aspect of an organization’s ‘Coming of Age’ to need to establish a policy outlining ethical standards of conduct for and between members. (ISSTD Member’s Code of Conduct adopted 14 November 2017) The opening paragraph reminds us:

“… ISSTD is dedicated to the academic and professional development of its members by providing sound training and resources for students and emerging and seasoned professionals, as well as promulgating guidelines to encourage ethically sensitive and responsible treatment of, and research concerning, persons with experiences of chronic trauma and dissociation. Just as we maintain certain expectations for ourselves in the context of working with such persons in professional settings, it behooves us to hold ourselves to expectations in our collegial interactions. The following Code of Conduct has been developed in the spirit of encouraging independence, maturity, and respect for the rights, viewpoints, and self-determination of all members of ISSTD.

Our common humanity transcends the divisions between us: between our roles, our politics, and our status. May we continue to greet each other with kindness and respect when next our paths cross.

All the best,

Clinical E-Journal

JTD and Frontiers Table of Contents (May 2018)

Journal of Trauma & Dissociation

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

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

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

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

Frontiers in the Psychotherapy of Trauma & Dissociation

Table of Contents


  • 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.)


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

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

News You Can Use

New Colin Ross Book on DID Treatment

Kate McMaugh, Editor, ISSTD News

The latest book from ISSTD Fellow and Past President, Colin Ross, MD, offers therapists practical and accessible strategies and techniques for the treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder: Techniques and Strategies for Stabilization is written in a similar practical and ‘how-to’ vein as one of his earlier books Trauma Model Therapy. A Treatment Approach for Trauma, Dissociation, and Complex Comorbidity (co-authored with Naomi Halpern).
It will be useful to many therapists, particularly those new to the treatment of DID. The information is presented in a brief, to-the-point format which is quick and easy to access for therapists. The book also includes many illustrative therapist-client dialogues.
Topics covered include:

  • When to suspect and how to diagnose DID
  • Explaining DID to the client
  • Therapeutic neutrality
  • Talking through to the alters
  • Orienting alters to the body and the present
  • Journaling, drawing, therapeutic letters, and homework assignments
  • Group therapy for DID
  • Working with dangerous alters; and
  • Ritual abuse and mind control cases

Treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder: Techniques and Strategies for Stabilization is available to order at the following:
(Remember to Use your Amazon Smiles to raise money for ISSTD)

Welcome ISSTD’s May New Members!

Kathleen Brennan
Steve Carlson
Sinead Fahey
Sara Franks
Alice Godfrey
David Kleinschuster
Ailine Ostby
Amy Padron
Suzanne Rouleau
Claudia Warren
Shoshana Elkins
Rebecca Gerbig
Briar Haven
Brenda Hayes
Jewel Jones
Andrea Patten
Carolyn Waterstradt
Kimberlee Harrison
Charles Martinez
Gail Phelps
Katrina Klaehn
David Smith

Patricia Baginski
Kristine Fleitz
Graham Pringle

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

Submission Deadline: 20th of the month
ISSTD News Contact:
ISSTD Editor, Kate McMaugh:

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 regional and annual conference program planning, to continue to provide a wide array of learning opportunities. It may seem far off, but planning has been underway for the 2019 Annual Conference, in New York. There will be a great variety of education and resources.

Significant improvements are coming along with our website, so that it is easy to navigate, educational and inspirational. There will be many interesting ways to connect with other ISSTD members and build community.

Education and research are essential components of a continuing growth in our field. We are starting several Professional Training Program classes this Fall, both in person and online via teleseminar. Also available are several webinars on a variety of topics, including full-day programs, with continuing education credit. Some examples include:

  • June 8th – Dr. Phil Kinsler will be presenting Relational Aspects of Therapy. Register Here!
  • July 13th – Dr. Dolores Mosquera presents EMDR and Dissociation: An Introduction to the Progressive Approach. Register Here!
  • September 21st – Christine Forner and Mary-Anne Kate bring us a full-day webinar, Dissociation 101 Register Here!

You can register to attend these webinars live, or listen to them later as a recording.

On other Board matters: We are currently reviewing submissions for the David Caul Grants and will be announcing winners in June.

ISSTD’s new clinical e-journal Frontiers in the Psychotherapy of Trauma & Dissociation has been growing. 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 for trauma clinicians and allied resources around the world. Our next Board meeting will be June 23rd. Further updates will be in ISSTD News in August.

Journal of Trauma & Dissociation

Two Important Opportunities for Publication in the JTD!

Trauma, Advocacy, and Social Movements
A Special Issue of the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation

Special Issue Guest Editors: Joan Cook, Alec Smidt, and Alexis Adams-Clark
Deadline for Submissions: December 1st, 2018

The list of major societal ills is long — racism, poverty, gender discrimination, homelessness, domestic violence, sexual assault, hate crimes, human rights violations, homophobia, to name a few. As trauma specialists, we know that profound oppression, marginalization, discrimination, and disenfranchisement underlie, contribute to, and complicate a person’s recovery from trauma, violence, and abuse. Understandings of trauma are intricately tied to real-world social issues and movements, and trauma research can be used to inform activism and advocacy. To further research in this area, we are inviting submissions for a special issue of the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation focused on the scientific study of trauma advocacy and its impact in helping mitigate the negative consequences of trauma.

We are primarily seeking reports of original empirical research. But comprehensive reviews or meta-analyses of existing research, clinical case studies, clinical conceptualizations, and theoretical papers will also be considered. All submissions deemed potentially appropriate by the special issue editors will undergo peer review. The papers will be evaluated on their topic relevance, methodological rigor, scientific and/or clinical value, and implications for application. Final acceptance will depend on approval by the special issue editors and the editor-in-chief of JTD.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to the following issues related to the intersection of trauma, advocacy, and social movements: The influence of advocacy in assisting survivors in the process of their recovery, traumatic experiences as motivators for advocacy and activism, advocacy and dissemination of trauma science/research, trauma-related public policy advocacy, the impact of social movements (e.g., #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter) on trauma survivors’ healing or on public perceptions, how psychologists/mental health professionals engage in trauma advocacy, the effects of advocacy training on health providers’ knowledge, attitudes and participation;, and how trauma advocacy can combat stigma and prejudice against survivors.

Again, these topics are examples only; the guest editors are open to a variety of topics and interested in receiving submissions related to the overall scope of this special issue.

Complete submissions will be accepted for consideration until December 1st, 2018. Please refer to the journal website for specific submission requirements (including a submission checklist) and more information about the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation: Submissions should be submitted through the ScholarOne system: ; when entering the title of the submission into ScholarOne, please append the words “SPECIAL ISSUE” to the manuscript’s title when entering it into the title section of the submission portal.

We welcome your questions and correspondence prior to submission. Interested authors are also welcome to submit abstracts for feedback from the special issue editors regarding the fit of their proposals for this issue (

If you are interested in serving as a reviewer for this special issue, please contact the special issue editors (

Book/Media Reviewers Wanted

Kathryn (Kat) Quina, the new associate editor for book/media reviews for the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, is seeking reviewers for several books as well as individuals interested in being advised of future review opportunities. These reviews focus on academic works, but memoirs or movies that make an important point for JTD readers will also be considered. For more information about reviews, see

The books currently needing reviews are:

Jerry Flores, Girls, Surveillance, & Wraparound Incarceration.

Dylan Rodriguez, Suspended Apocalypse.

Briere & Scott, Principles of Trauma Therapy.

Frank Putnam, The Way We Are.

Richard Gartner, Understanding the Sexual Betrayal of Boys and Men: The Trauma of Sexual Abuse and Healing Sexually Betrayed Men and Boys: Treatment for Sexual Abuse, Assault, and Trauma (These two books would be reviewed together as they are basically Volume 1 and 2) and

Yochal Ataria, Body Disownership in Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

If you are interested in conducting a review, or would like to recommend a book for review, please contact Kat at


ISSTD Looking to Establish Three New SIGs

ISSTD Special Interest Groups (SIGs) provide ISSTD members with information and support targeted to specific areas within the trauma and dissociation field. Developed by members, for members, they are open to all ISSTD Members who share that interest. Members of our current SIGs report finding these forums a valuable source of education, information and collegiate support.

ISSTD is pleased to announce that several members have put forward exciting proposals for future SIGs. However, in order to move ahead with these ideas we need to determine the level of interest among members. If you are interested in participating in any of these new SIGs, please email the contact for the group.

Veterans’ Special Interest Group
The mission of the Veterans’ SIG is to advance the knowledge, research, and treatment of military related trauma spectrum disorders. Post traumatic stress presentations in Veterans are often complex and unique, and their needs for recovery do not always fall within the scope of a traditional PTSD diagnosis or manualized therapies; However, treatment can often be limited by systemic barriers. Thus the need for creative approaches, new ideas, and advocacy for both Veterans and their providers are important. This SIG would provide an environment of support, feedback, and creative strategies to enhance the care and understanding of military related trauma.

SIG Contact:
Heather N. Kacos, Psy.D.

Couple and Family Therapy Special Interest Group
I am interested in starting a Couple and Family Therapy SIG to bring together clinicians and researchers who work with couples and families in the context of trauma. What I have found over the past many years is that those of us who do couple and family work find ourselves divided–we attend couple and family conferences and continuing education sessions, and we attend trauma conferences but rarely do the two areas intersect. It would be the mission of this section to bring together clinicians and researchers working with traumatized couples and families to bridge that gap and develop opportunities for networking, continuing education and research that are specifically geared to trauma focused work with couple and family systems.

Of course, the mission of the group will be developed with SIG members, but I can see us working to develop a listserv to share resources, discuss clinical issues and engage in journal watch type activities; collaborative workshops and symposia at the conference; developing a special issue for JTD or Frontiers on couple and family work and generally providing support and community for those of us who straddle these two worlds.

SIG Contact:
Heather MacIntosh,

Transitional Age Youth Special Interest Group
The mission of the TAY Special Interest Group (transitional age youth being 18-24 years old) is to create a space where mental health clinicians who work with this population can connect and collaborate around effective assessment, research, and treatment in the areas of trauma and dissociation as it applies to TAY. It is also a space where clinicians who are new to working with this age range and the specific areas of difficulty that TAY often navigate can gain support as well as guidance in their work. In addition, the group will discuss ways to promote awareness among clinicians and other care providers of the unique ways in which trauma and dissociation manifest among TAY.

SIG Contact:
Katie Keech, LMFT

Interested in starting a Special Interest Group? Click here to learn more about the guidelines and registration process.

Creative Space

Seeking Works on Self Care and Expressive Arts

Creative Space is a new place for members to express their creative selves and share some of their work. For our next feature we are seeking submissions from therapists who use the expressive arts as a way of self care. Whether you write poetry, paint, draw, sculpt, collage, take photos or use any other creative form of self expression, we would like to hear from you. I encourage you to share your process with our community to help all of us pay attention to ourselves in creative ways.

If you choose to submit a piece of writing or photos of artwork please accompany it with a short piece (around 50 words) answering the following questions:

  • How does this form of self expression support your well being?
  • When do you engage in this process and how often?

Submit all pieces to Noula at

These will need to be submitted by: Monday 25 June for July publication.
In the meantime, perhaps to inspire you, we offer you a beautiful poem by Orit Badouk Epstein.

Trauma Therapy

If I give you my story
how would I know
that you won’t turn it
into rock and stones
rigid like my battered bones?
That your ears are not so broken
and your heart is not so shaken
like mine
that your imperfect mind
will not use some cheap metaphors
that our projections (you call countertransference)
become your shrine
and that your patient smile
is not for me to abhor
Instead, little by little
you can tell
that the need for my hell
Is to become a feather
then sail
floating on a broken wave
away from the daily rave
to unknown land
still close to our hearts
yet slightly further from the past
repeating old mistakes
(Admit) your truth is not universal
but for me to choose and take
I think that’s what you mean
when you talk about trust

Orit Badouk Epstein

Committee Spotlight

Member Engagement Committee

Logan Larson, LPC, Member Engagement Committee Co-Chair

The ISSTD would not have been born, nor would it survive, without its member-volunteers! Currently co-chaired by Logan Larson and Lisa Danylchuk, what used to be known as the Volunteer Committee has recently been “rebranded”. Now, known as the Member Engagement Committee, the group is dedicated to helping members find their place within the ISSTD. Although in the past this committee has been a committee of one or two, restructuring has allowed us to grow and ensure that those who want to be more engaged are able to do so.

One of the main goals of the Member Engagement Committee is to connect ISSTD members with opportunities for involvement that are right for them. Although the ISSTD is home to several committees and task forces, there are also opportunities that arise which are less intensive.

Obviously many ISSTD members come to us with skills and expertise in many areas and we value them sharing those skills with us. If you have a particular talent in marketing, writing, event management, media etc then we’d love to hear from you.

However you don’t have to be an expert to help out. Volunteering in ISSTD can be a great way to learn new skills and build your resume:

  • Have you ever wanted to learn more about organising big events? Join a conference organising committee, or just volunteer to help at the event.
  • Have you ever wanted to learn more about marketing and advertising? Volunteer to help out with developing brochures or with our social media campaigns.
  • Have you ever wanted to improve your writing or editing skills, but going straight to a big journal feels scary? Consider writing or editing for ISSTD News.
  • Do you like social media? A fan of Facebook, Linked In or Twitter? If so – we would love to hear from you. We need people to occasionally assist in sharing information about ISSTD, and trauma and dissociation in general, through these forums. Think of it as a simple, fun way to raise awareness.

If you put up your hand to help out there will be plenty of others to show you the ropes and help you learn any of the skills you need.

To become more involved with the ISSTD and learn about opportunities for engagement, reach out to headquarters, Logan or Lisa. Let us know your interests, skills and if you would like to pursue full committee membership.

You will be added to our Member Engagement Committee list, which will allow you to correspond with us and other group members via Basecamp (current software platform).

At our bi-monthly Committee Chair Roundtable meeting, we will present a list of ISSTD members who are desiring committee or task force membership, and obtain information about projects and tasks that each committee needs help with.

Once a member has been placed on another committee, they may choose to remain on the Member Engagement Committee or request to be taken off the list.

The Member Engagement Committee is a “low commitment” committee. Members who are not interested in any other committee, but would like to be involved are welcomed to remain on the Member Engagement Committee until an opportunity for volunteering comes along that feels right – and of course they are also welcome to stay beyond that if they choose!

Most of our communication is through Basecamp and e-mail, with an optional meeting taking place via ‘Zoom’, held quarterly. Becoming more engaged with the ISSTD is an opportunity to network, be heard, share ideas and give back.

Remember that this organization is only as strong as its members, and volunteering is a great way to support ISSTD.

If you are interested in becoming more involved with the ISSTD, please take the time to complete the ‘Member Engagement Form’ on the ‘Members Corner’ page of the website.

Click on this link to access the form:

Alternatively Email ISSTD headquarters at

If you are interested in getting involved with ISSTD News, there are a number of volunteer opportunities available now! You can read more about these opportunities in this article: Volunteer Opportunities for ISSTD News

We look forward to hearing from you!

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