Online Trauma Training
ISTSS Learning Collaboratives
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Welcome to the ISTSS Learning Collaborative Page


Registration for the 2011 - 2012 Learning Collaboratives is now open.

Download a registration form or register online.


What is a Learning Collaborative?

Ever wonder what you should do with your patients AFTER the pre-meeting institute ends? Interested in using a treatment you learned but not sure how to tailor it to your patient? Do you sometimes feel alone responding to challenging treatment issues? This year, ISTSS will be offering two Learning Collaboratives linked to PMIs*. A Learning Collaborative provides follow-up consultation during group phone conferences as well as access via a course interface to the PMI faculty and colleagues on an ongoing "real-time" fashion.

Each Learning Collaborative involves a total of sixteen conference calls approximately twice per month from January through the end of October, 2012. You must register for the initial PMI in order to participate in the related Learning Collaborative. Note: Individuals who have received prior training from the PMI faculty in these treatment approaches are also eligible to enroll in the Learning Collaborative without enrolling in the initial PMI. Submission of documentation of the prior training will be necessary. Enrollment in a Learning Collaborative requires an additional fee (325) in addition to the PMI registration fee. See future registration forms for fee details.

Questions? Contact Erika Moy at emoy@istss.org or 847-480-9080 x 290


Learning Collaborative Opportunities: (click on each title to register online)

The Trauma Recovery Group: A Guide for Practitioners (*Also Available as a Recorded Session After the Annual Meeting)
with Judith Herman, MD, Michaela Mendelsohn, PhD, Emily Schatzow, M.Ed, Melissa Coco, MSW, Diya Kallivayalil, PhD, Jocelyn Levitan, PhD (candidate) 

Download Registration Form

This workshop presents a unique approach to group treatment for survivors of interpersonal trauma. Based on a stage model of recovery, the Trauma Recovery Group (TRG) is explicitly designed to enlist the healing power of relational connection. Members are helped to develop skills in safe self-disclosure and empathic feedback, so that the processing of trauma memories can take place in a context of restored community. The workshop offers a detailed description of the implementation of the TRG. In-vivo role-play demonstrations of group process will be included to illustrate technical challenges of group leadership.


Complex PTSD: Complex Diagnosis, Complex Treatment 
with Christine Courtois, PhD, ABPP; Lisa Ades, PhD; Sylvia Marotta, PhD, ABPP; Nancy Hensler, PhD; Glenn Doyle PsyD; Kelli Sanness, MA, LPC; Emily Bauman, PhD

Download Registration Form

Christine Courtois, PhD, ABPP, author of multiple works on the diagnosis and treatment of complex traumatic stress disorders including: Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders: A Practical Guide for Clinicians, co-authored with Julian Ford, PhD (in press), Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders: An Evidence-Based Guide co-edited with Julian Ford, PhD, Recollections of Sexual Abuse: Treatment Principles and Guidelines and Healing the Incest Wound: Adult Survivors in Therapy, presents this full day workshop with clinical associates from her private practice. Associates have trained with Dr. Courtois and have experience working with traumatic stress disorders and dissociative disorders in inpatient and outpatient settings. Presenters utilize empirical research, recent clinical writings and case studies to describe the diagnosis and treatment of complex post traumatic conditions that develop as a result of chronic and cumulative interpersonal trauma. The curriculum includes: common characteristics and symptoms; assessment strategies and instruments; a sequenced and hierarchical approach to treatment; and the function of the therapeutic relationship in treatment. Issues related to therapist self care, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma are also highlighted. A constellation of symptoms is presented and discussed including: emotional dysregulation; dysfunctional self-soothing methods (such as self-injury, risk-taking, substance abuse); suicidality; excessive negative self-concept; profound despair and fear; chaotic relationships; physical/medical concerns; and dissociation. Dissociation is considered a mechanism adopted by children to contend with abusive situations, which results in structural changes in the brain. The relationship between complex traumatic stress disorders and dissociation is examined in this workshop, and recommendations for identifying, assessing, and treating dissociative disorders are presented.

The treatment focus will be on sequenced or staged models of treatment. The three-stage model, first proposed by Herman in her book Trauma and Recovery, is presented. This model describes the importance of pacing, titration and containment in trauma treatment and stresses safety and stabilization as primary treatment objectives. Trauma processing techniques are used after the client has been stabilized and has developed skills for emotion regulation and safety. Trauma treatment is presented from a relational/attachment perspective. Issues of transference and countertransference are addressed and interwoven throughout the workshop presentation. An overview of major areas of risk in treating cases of complex trauma is presented. Case examples are used to illustrate various treatment approaches, dilemmas and suggested risk management.

It is common for clinicians who specialize in trauma treatment to be impacted personally as a direct result of this specialty. Therefore, this workshop presents the issues of compassion fatigue, secondary trauma, vicarious trauma, and burnout. Resources for coping and therapist self care are discussed and the importance of collaboration and consultation with other professionals is stressed.