Spring 2019 | Vol. 14 No. 1

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Presidential Voice

By: Sylvia Marotta-Walters, PhD

The news every day seems to provide a panoply of potentially traumatic experiences (PTE) affecting our families, our political systems, and our global society. At the time of this writing, families are hearing that their loved ones have lost their lives in an airplane crash. Communities are bracing for yet another catastrophic storm, introducing new phrases such as “bomb cyclones” and “polar vortices” to characterize extreme weather conditions. Relentless school shootings continue to happen, resulting in children having to learn to cope with active shooter drills starting in kindergarten.  This is also a world where parents are forced into a Sophie’s choice – stay in a homeland that threatens their children with a life of violence, if not death, or risk losing them to a broken immigration system in a country that is hostile to the kinds of attachments that are fundamental to healthy human development.

Because our social systems appear to be in chaos, I’ve chosen as my presidential theme, “Developing well in a traumatizing world.”... Full Article

Editor's Note

By: Jonathan Cleveland, PhD


Welcome to an expanded spring issue of Trauma Psychology News.  The earlier portion of the current issue is devoted to a special section on the topic of dissociation.  We are fortunate to have Dr. Tyson Bailey serving as the guest editor for this section.  Dr. Baily is a former editor of TPNand a current associate editor of Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy. Please visit the following page for his introductory note... Full Article

Guest Editor's Note

By: Tyson D. Bailey, PsyD, ABPP

During my internship year, I sat in group supervision listening to the story of a person who had experienced horrific abuse coming to understand the effects of these repeated experiences over time. This client moved from a place of terror toward curiosity about their internal world and how dissociation helped protect them from the intensity of the abuse and their emotions. Listening to my colleague honor this survivor’s story while they came to know their parts and how each one has been integral in their survival was a powerful learning experience. Then, the person was admitted to a hospital where a psychiatrist stated “Dissociation is not real... Full Article


Three Problems with Dissociation

Bryan T. Reuther, PsyD

In the minds of clinicians and researchers, the term ‘dissociation’ conjures up a variety of intriguing and controversial phenomena; it should therefore come as no surprise that some have complained that the term is vague and imprecise (Cardeña, 1994; Frankel, 1994; Spitzer, Barnow, Freyberger & Grabe, 2006). Complaints notwithstanding, there is little disagreement that dissociation has been, and will remain, an important part of human psychology (Erdelyi, 2005), particularly as a reaction to trauma... Full Article


The NGO Committee on Mental Health in Consultative Relationship
to the United Nations Trauma Working Group Annual Meeting:
“The Fight for the Suffering Other”

This year’s annual meeting of the Trauma Working group took place on February 14th and was entitled “The Fight for the Suffering “Other”. The program provided a valuable opportunity to hear from colleagues... See Full Announcement


Refugee Mental Health Resource Network Database Report
An APA Interdivisional Project

The surge in crisis-affected migrants seeking asylum and refugee resettlement globally has demonstrated the increased need for mental health/psychosocial support.  When the Refugee Mental Health Resource Network (RMHRN) and Database began development in 2016, we did not anticipate the great numbers of refugees that would be seeking asylum. This project began with an APA CODAPAR grant... See Full Announcement

Special Section Article

Dissociation in a Non-clinical Sampleof Performing Artists and Athletes: A Review

Paula Thomson, PsyD & S. Victoria Jaque, PhD

Performing artists and athletes are generally regarded as highly skilled and disciplined. In order to achieve professional / elite level performance, they must dedicate long hours to attain expertise in their field. To manage these demands, many performers and athletes employ dissociative processing, both within the normative and pathological range (Thomson, Keehn, & Gumpel, 2009; Thomson, Kibarska, & Jaque, 2011). Our laboratory mission is to address the reality that minimal attention is given to the investigation of trauma exposure and dissociation in these populations... Full Article

Special Section Article

The Development of a Validity Scale for the Dissociative Experience Scale (DES)

Ana Abu-Rus M.A., Ken Thompson M.L.A., Cassie Brown B.A., Monica Ortiz B.A., Brandi Naish M.A., & Constance Dalenberg, Ph.D.

Malingering is an issue that most, if not all, professionals in the mental health field will encounter. For various reasons, clients present with symptoms that may be overstated, exaggerating symptom complexity or severity, just as an individual wishing stronger dosages of a medication might exaggerate physical or mental pain. Conversely, they may try to minimize symptoms, understating their level of distress to protect their own or another’s self-image, as an individual interested in gaining custody might downplay their own or their children’s pathology. Individuals who complete trauma self-reports, a typical method for assessing trauma, may distort their reports in a way that casts them in a more or a less favorable light, depending on the desired outcome... Full Article

Special Section Article

What the Research Says about the Treatment of Patients with Dissociative Disorders—and an Invitation to Work and Learn Together with the TOP DD Research Team

Hugo Schielke, PhD, Amie Myrick, MS, LCPC, & Bethany Brand, PhD

Persons who meet criteria for dissociative disorders (DDs) often experience high levels of chronic impairment across multiple domains of functioning, including complex psychiatric symptoms as well as social, emotional, and physical health difficulties (e.g., Brand et al. 2009a, Foote, Smolin, Kaplan, Legatt, & Lipschitz, 2006; Sar, Akyuz, & Dogan, 2007). Such challenges result in marked suffering and significant treatment costs.  Patients with dissociative identity disorder (DID), the most complex DD, suffer from significant rates of psychiatric comorbidity, including depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder (BPD), substance use, disordered eating, somatic symptom disorders, and high rates of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicide attempts... Full Article

Intern Call: Association for Trauma Outreach and Prevention

Available Positions:
All internships are conducted under the supervision of both Dr. Ani Kalayjian-Founder and CEO, Board of Directors of ATOP, and the Intern Coordinator Meredith Carbonell.

1. Grant Writer/Researcher
2. United Nations Intern
3. Webmaster
4. Research Intern
5. Fundraising Intern
6. Clinical Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator

Kindly send your resume, statement of purpose, internship position of interest, 3 goals consistent with our mission, and names & contacts of 2 references to Dr. Kalayjian at DrKalayjian@meaningfulworld.com, kindly visit: www.meaningfulworld.com

See Full Article for Details

Who's Who

Please meet Bryann DeBeer, PhD, clinical research psychologist at the VA VISN 17 Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans and Director of the VA Patient Safety Center of Inquiry - Suicide Prevention Collaborative!

Special Section Article

“It’s Just a Donut” Working with Chronically Dysregulated Parts in a Client with Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Case Study

Lynne H. Harris, MA, MPH, LMHC, LPC

It’s “just a donut” became an unlikely catchphrase for my work with a client who has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). It started in the retelling of a routine, but fraught, Dunkin Donuts run and ended up as a way we use to signal the patient’s amygdala to turn off ... Full Article


Worlds Apart: Dissociation and Traumatic Temporality

Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D.

oined by Pierre Janet in his investigations of hysteria, the term dissociation has taken on a variety of not-always-compatible meanings and usages in contemporary psychoanalytic theory and practice. Donnel Stern (1997), for example, defines dissociation as a “refusal to interpret” (p. xii) experience, a defensive “avoidance of verbal [symbolic] articulation” (p. 114)—a formulation that, interestingly, comes very close to the way Atwood and I (Stolorow and Atwood, 1992) conceive of the process of repression... Full Article

Special Section Article

Embracing the Legitimacy of Dissociative Identity Disorder: An Opportunity for Trauma Psychologists to Stand United

Charles A. Benincasa, MA & Tyson D. Bailey, PsyD, ABPP

Narratives emerging from the #MeToo movement have illuminated the pervasiveness of sexual assault and positioned the associated psychological impacts within a broader sociopolitical discourse. The eruption of #MeToo anecdotes has also provided a commentary on the ways that social, legal, political, and cultural systems coalesce to protect individuals in positions of power and privilege... Full Article

Division 56 Listservs

Anyone who belongs to Division 56 is added to div56announce@lists.apa.org listserv, for news and announcements. Join any of the following lists by sending an email to listserv@lists.apa.org and typing the following in the body of the note:subscribe name (where name is the part before the @, for example, subscribe div56stu):

div56@lists.apa.org - Discussion among members
div56childtrauma@lists.apa.org - Child trauma topics
div56dissociation@lists.apa.org - Post-traumatic dissociative mechanisms development
div56ecpn@lists.apa.org - Early career psychologists networking
div56stu@lists.apa.org - Student forum


Association for Trauma Outreach and Prevention
Mental Health Outreach Project to Nigeria and Niger Delta:
Healing, Peace Building and Mindful Leadership

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, commonly referred to as Nigeria, is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. The federation comprises 36 States and 1 Federal Capital Territory... See Full Annoucement

Featured Article 

The Role of Trauma Core Competencies in Shaping Clinical Psychology Graduate School Education and Training

Amanda Wallick, Abbie J. Brady, & Lisa M. Brown, PhD, ABPP

Why are the New Haven Trauma Core Competencies important for graduate students, trainees, and psychologists? Applying a standardized set of knowledge, skills, and attitudes at all stages of professional development has the potential to improve education and training, advance standards of care, support use of evidence-based or informed practices in clinical settings, enhance delivery of care, and improve patient outcomes. Consistency in the content and quality of teaching and training programs contributes to a common shared language, defines expectations for optimal work performance, and ensures uniform quality of patient care across clinical settings... Full Article

International Committee

International Committee Report

Elizabeth Carll, Ph.D. with Laura Captari, M.A., M.S.

s part of the series of interviews conducted by student members with trauma psychologists from various parts of the world, Laura Captari, a student member of the International Committee, interviewed Dr.Brian J. Hall, an Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Global and Community Mental Health Research Group, Department of Psychology at the University of Macau in China... Full Article

Multicultural & Diversity

Transforming the Epidemic of Gender-Based Violence: The Case of Caribbean Immigrant Communities The 7-Step Integrative Healing Model

Patricia Mura Desert & Dr. Ani Kalayjian

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is defined as abuse that is directed toward women and girls because of their gender (International Organization for Migration [IOM], 2018). GBV includes “gendercide, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, emotional abuse, economic abuse, denial of resources and forced sex” (IOM, 2018). GBV is considered one of the “most rampant human rights violations against women and girls in the world” (United Nations Population Fund [UNPF], 2018). According to the World Health Organization (WHO) global report (2014) conducted in 133 countries, “1 in 5 women was sexually abused as a child.” GBV... Full Article


Division 56 Fellows Committee

Hi All – It is an honor to Chair this important Fellows committee that has been Chaired by Laurie Pearlman for many years. Laurie, thanks for your service and helping so many of us achieve Fellow status in the Division... See Full Announcement

Archived Issues

Have you missed any of our excellent content? Check out the archived issues page to read about the work our members are doing.

Book Review

Baffled by Love: Stories of the Lasting Impact of Childhood Trauma Inflicted by Loved Ones

Review By: Bianca Harper, DSW, LCSW

Working with individuals who have experienced child maltreatment at the hands of loved ones requires clinical expertise grounded in trauma research as well as the ability to bear witness to devastating emotional pain while managing one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In Baffled by Love, Kahn beautifully demonstrates this skillset... Full Article

Student Spotlight

Mental Health on the Line: The Effect of Attachment Trauma on Immigrant Families Facing Separation or Deportation

Lucybel Mendez, M.S., Jacqueline O. Moses, M.S., & Jacqueline B. Duong, B.A.

In the past decade, U.S. immigration policies have impacted the lives of immigrant families from Latinx countries.  Recently, the “zero-tolerance” policy has enforced the criminal prosecution of adults illegally crossing the U.S. border, including parents and caregivers traveling with children (Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs, 2018).  As a result, more than 2,600 children, some as young as 18 months (Kriel, 2018), have been forcibly separated from their families and placed in either the custody of a sponsor or held in a detention shelter... Full Article

Literature Review

Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy for Couples with Concurrent PTSD and Traumatic Bereavement Due to the Loss of a Child

Nicole Freeman-Favia, B.S., Mindy Merricle, Psy.M., & Jeremiah A. Schumm, Ph.D.

The following is a review of literature, focusing on Monson and Fredman’s (2014) Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy (CBCT) for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and its possible utility with couples concurrently presenting with PTSD and bereavement due to traumatic loss of a child. Suicide-bereaved parents and parents who have lost children to other traumatic deaths, frequently experience traumatic grief and symptoms of PTSD (Albuquerque, Pereira, & Narciso, 2016; Murphy et al., 1999; Murphy et al., 2003; Swan & Scott, 2009). Traumatic loss of a child is unique from other traumas because it may involve a shared traumatic loss that is experienced by both parents... Full Article