Annual Conference

Plenteously from the Plenaries: Get to know the 2024 ISSTD Annual Conference Plenary Speakers!

The 2024 ISSTD Annual Conference, “The Healing Power of Dignity in the Treatment of Complex Trauma & Dissociation,” is featuring a diverse group of plenary speakers you won’t want to miss out on. Continue reading to get to know this years plenary speakers and why you don’t want to pass up on the opportunity to attend the 2024 ISSTD Annual Conference. Early bird registration ends January 16, 2024, so be sure to register today!

On Saturday, March 23, Heather Hall, MD and Michael Salter, PhD will co-present, Beyond Trauma-informed Care: Dignity Affirming and Shame Sensitive Practice
Heather’s passion for her topic stems from her work as a psychiatrist, where she regularly sees patients suffering from dissociative disorders but who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.  Heather has found that many, if not most, psychiatrists do not include dissociative disorders in their differential diagnosis. For many years, Heather wanted to see that change.  She long feared that the significant overdiagnosis of schizophrenia in disadvantaged minority populations was at least in part due to this misdiagnosis.

Heather hopes her attendees will leave with a new understanding of how social defeat and discrimination interact with other forms of childhood trauma to create dissociative disorders in people, who are not routinely recognized as having dissociative disorders. She believes that “We underestimate just how prevalent social defeat is in our society.”

Michael Salter’s research engages with policy and practice across multiple sectors, including mental health, social work, law enforcement and internet regulation. Michael is a member of several advisory groups, including the Advisory Group of the National Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women and Their Children, the Expert Advisory Group of the eSafety Commissioner, and the Expert Advisory Committee of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. Current projects include a study of legal and practice responses to the intersections of domestic violence and child sexual abuse, a study of trauma-informed responses for sexual violence survivors, and a national survey of LGBTIQ+ experiences of sexual violence. 

On Sunday, March 24, Emma Christensen, PhD, LCPC will present, Dignity in Dissociation, Dignity in Treatment
Emma has been in private practice since 2004 as licensed clinical counselor. She also has experience in ER triage, inpatient psychiatric, residential treatment, school-based, and outpatient settings. Emma has served as the international clinical coordinator for humanitarian aid organizations offering counseling and trauma resiliency training to government leaders, humanitarian aid workers, and first responders in war zones, refugee camps, and natural disaster sites. She lectures internationally about trauma and resiliency, and they are the voice behind “System Speak: A Podcast About Dissociative Identity Disorder,” which has aired for nine years in 101 countries around the world thus far.

On Monday, March 25, Maggi Price, PhD, will present, Breaking Barriers to Healing: Confronting Stigma in Mental Health Treatment
Maggi’s primary research focus centers on the reduction of mental health disparities, particularly among stigmatized youth populations, including transgender youth and youth of Color. Her research efforts are bifurcated into two core domains: (1) Examination of Mental Health Inequities (2) Development of Interventions to Promote Mental Health Equity. Maggi’s contributions to the field have earned her numerous accolades and prestigious fellowships from both local and national entities, including the National Institute of Mental Health and the American Psychological Association. Her intervention research has been supported by grants from Boston College, the American Psychological Foundation, and a distinguished Early Career Award from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Be sure to mark your schedules accordingly, and register for the 2024 ISSTD Annual Conference now, so you can benefit from the plenteous expertise of this year’s plenary speakers! The Early bird deadline for registration is January 16, 2024! Please email ISSTD staff at if you have any questions. We hope to see you there!