Special Interest Groups

Ritual Abuse, Mind Control and Organised Abuse (RAMCOA) SIG

The RAMCOA SIG is a special interest group for those members of ISSTD who research or provide clinical services to those affected by all forms of organised and extreme abuse. With over 150 members this is a vibrant online meeting place where clinical and other relevant issues can be discussed in a supportive and safe manner. The SIG is supported by the Executive made up of Michael Salter (Chair), Alison Miller (past Chair), Susan Hykes (moderator), Rosita Cortizo (moderator-elect), Kate McMaugh (Secretary), Valerie Sinason (Chair elect) and Lynette Danylchuk (secretary elect). The SIG has been very busy with online discussions of a wide array of therapeutic issues. Members new to the field particularly appreciate the assistance and guidance of those more experienced, as there are few other avenues to discuss and learn about these forms of abuse. In addition the SIG has also put together conference presentations at the 2018 ISSTD Conference including, for the first time, an all-day RAMCOA workshop during the pre-conference workshops. This was well-attended and well received. Discussions are already underway to plan more presentations at the 2019 Conference. Last year the SIG organised ISSTD’s first ever all-day webinar training. This was highly successful with participants asking for more. So once again this year the SIG will be hosting another all-day webinar on October 12. Presentations include:

  • Warwick Middleton – “A life sentence: How the study of ongoing incest during adulthood informs us about the nature of organised abuse”
  • Sue Richardson – “Clinical supervision of work with RAMCOA: An attachment-based perspective”
  • Richard Lowenstein – “Negative therapeutic reaction and stuck cases: Mind control transference in the treatment of dissociative identity disorder”
  • Joy Silberg – “Symptoms and treatment considerations for a group of 70 children abused in a presumed child pornography ring “
  • Michael Salter – “Understanding RAMCOA in the context of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation”

The SIG also has its own bookclub. This year it has held successful bookclub discussions of Sue Grand’s 2000 book “The Reproduction of Evil” and is currently holding a discussion of Alison Miller’s book “Healing the Unimaginable”. The SIG is always keen to welcome new members. If you have an interest in joining please contact secretary Kate McMaugh: For general enquiries about the SIG contact Michael Salter (Chair):