International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation

The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) is a nonprofit professional organization of health professionals and individuals who are interested in advancing the scientific and societal understandings of trauma-based disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder, complex posttraumatic stress disorder, and the dissociative disorders.[1][2]


The focus of the organization has broadened over the years. In the 1980s, the ISSMP&D, the International Society for the Study of Multiple Personality and Dissociation, grouped clinicians and researchers primarily interested in Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) had been called MPD since the 19th century, and was still called MPD in DSM-II and DSM-III. In the 1990s, DSM-IV changed the name of MPD to DID, and so the ISSMP&D simplified its name to the ISSD - the International Society for the Study of Dissociation, broadening its interest to include the other dissociative disorders. By the 21st century, the ISSD had broadened its interest to include chronic developmental traumatic disorders (also known as Complex PTSD), and so the name was lengthened to ISSTD: the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. Editors of the book Dissociation and the dissociative disorders: DSM-V and beyond describe the ISSTD as "The principle professional organization devoted to dissociation".[3]

The ISSTD has published guidelines for the treatment of dissociative identity disorder in both adults and children[4][5][6] through its peer-reviewed Journal of Trauma & Dissociation (formerly Dissociation: Progress in the Dissociative Disorders),[7][8] published five times per year.[9][10] These guidelines are often referenced in the field as a basic starting point for psychotherapy with highly dissociative clients.[4][11][12][13][14]

The ISSMP&D's official journal, Dissociation: Progress in the Dissociative Disorders ceased operation after 39 issues (March 1988-December 1997), though its full-text contents have since been made available online.[15]

In the 1990s, controversies surrounding repressed memory and the possible connections between child abuse, traumatic events, memory and dissociation arose.[2][16]

In 1995 ISSTD's founder and former president Bennett Braun was sued by a former patient who claimed that Braun had falsely convinced her that she'd engaged in Satanic rituals, cannibalism, and infanticide. The patient received a $10.6 million dollar settlement. Braun's medical license was temporarily suspended by Illinois state officials in 1999.[17]


The US-based ISSTD was officially formed in 1984 under the name of the International Society for the Study of Multiple Personality and Dissociation but changed to the International Society for the Study of Dissociation in 1994 and then to its current name in November 2006.[2][3][18][19]

The organization was resolved to be founded by Myron Boor, Bennett Braun, David Caul, Jane Dubrow, George Greaves, Richard Kluft, Frank Putnam and Roberta Sachs, a group of physicians and psychologists. Its first annual conference was held in December of the same year.[8] By the end of the 1980s, membership approached 2,000.[20]


George. B. Greaves, Ph.D. (1983–1984)
Bennet Braun, M.D. (1984–1985)
Richard Kluft (1985–1986)
George. B. Greaves, Ph.D. (1986–1987)
David Caul, M.D. (1987–1988)
Philip Coons, M.D. (1988–1989)
Walter C. Young, M.D., FAPA (1989–1990)
Catherine Fine, Ph.D. (1990–1991)
Richard Loewenstein, M.D. (1991–1992)
Moshe S. Torem, M.D. (1992–1993)
Colin A. Ross, M.D. (1993–1994)
Nancy L. Hornstein, M.D. (1994–1995)
Elizabeth S. Bowman, M.D. (1995–1996)
James, A. Chu, M.D. (1996–1997)
Marlene E. Hunter, M.D. (1997–1998)
Peter M. Barach, Ph.D. (1998–1999)
John Curtis, M.D. (1999–2000)
Joy Silberg, Ph.D. (2000–2001)
Steven Frankel, Ph.D., J.D. (2001–2002)
Richard A. Chefetz, M.D. (2002–2003)
Steven Gold, Ph.D. (2003–2004)
Frances S. Waters, DCSW, LMFT (2004–2005)
Eli Somer, Ph.D. (2005–2006)
Catherine Classen, Ph.D. (2006–2007)
Vedat Sar, M.D. (2007–2008)
Kathy Steele, MN, CS (2008–2009)
Paul F. Dell, Ph.D. (2010–2011)
Thomas G. Carlton, M.D. (2011–2012)
Joan Turkus, M.D. (2012–2013)
Philip J. Kinsler Ph.D. (2013–2014) Lynette S. Danylchuk Ph.D (2015) Warwick Middleton M.D. (2016) Martin Dorahy Ph.D. (2017)

See also


  1. "About the ISSTD". International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 Reyes, G; Elhai JD & Ford JD (2008). The Encyclopedia of Psychological Trauma. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 364. ISBN 0-470-38615-0.
  3. 1 2 Dell PF; O'Neil JA, eds. (2009). Dissociation and the dissociative disorders: DSM-V and beyond. Taylor & Francis. pp. xiii. ISBN 0-415-95785-0.
  4. 1 2 Chu 2011, p. 207-8.
  5. "ISSTD Treatment Guidelines for Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder".
  6. Wieland, Sandra (2010). Dissociation in Traumatized Children and Adolescents: Theory and Clinical Interventions. Taylor & Francis. pp. xxiii. ISBN 978-0-415-87749-7.
  7. Kihlstrom, J. F. (2005). "Dissociative Disorders". Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. 1: 227–253. doi:10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.1.102803.143925. PMID 17716088.
  8. 1 2 Hacking 1998, p. 52.
  9. "Journal of Trauma and Dissociation". Retrieved January 20, 2012.
  10. Ross, C. A. (2009). "Errors of Logic and Scholarship Concerning Dissociative Identity Disorder". Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. 18 (2): 221–231. doi:10.1080/10538710902743982. PMID 19306208.
  11. Petrucelli, J (2010). Knowing, not-knowing and sort-of-knowing: psychoanalysis and the experience of Uncertainty. Karnac Books Ltd. pp. 83. ISBN 978-1-85575-657-1.
  12. Chu 2011, p. 16-7.
  13. Luber, M (2009). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Scripted Protocols Special Populations. Springer Pub. Co. pp. 357. ISBN 978-0-8261-2245-2.
  14. McWilliams, N (2011). Psychoanalytic diagnosis: Understanding Personality Structure in the Clinical Process (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press. pp. 351. ISBN 978-1-60918-494-0.
  15. "Dissociation:Progress in the Dissociative disorders". ISSMP&D. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  16. Hacking 1998, p. 113-14.
  17. Laycock, Joseph. "Satanic Temple Protests Pseudoscientific Therapies for Satanic Abuse and Witchcraft". Religion Dispatches. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  18. Blaney, PH; Millon T (2008). Oxford Textbook of Psychopathology. Oxford University Press. pp. 456. ISBN 0-19-537421-5.
  19. Chu 2011, p. 14.
  20. Braude, SE (1995). First person plural: multiple personality and the philosophy of mind (2 ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 37. ISBN 0-8476-7996-9.


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