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 –

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