International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
ISTSS 31st Annual Meeting | November 5-7, 2015 | Pre-Meeting Institutes, Nov 4, 2015 | New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Keynote Addresses

Wednesday, November 5

Changing Hearts and Minds: Can We Use Mass Media to Prevent or Heal Trauma?










Laurie Anne Pearlman
, PhD, Independent Trauma Consultant, USA

Dr. Pearlman is a clinical psychologist and independent trauma consultant based in western Massachusetts. She is a member of the complex trauma task force of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies; a fellow of the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence and of the Trauma Division of the American Psychological Association (APA) and chair of the APA Trauma Division Fellows committee; senior psychological consultant for the Headington Institute; co-founder and immediate past president of the Trauma Research, Education, and Training Institute; and co-founder and former co-director and research director of the Traumatic Stress Institute/Center for Adult & Adolescent Psychotherapy. She has received awards for her clinical and scientific contributions from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) and the Connecticut Psychological Association; for her work in media and trauma from ISTSS; and for contributions to professional practice from the APA Trauma Division. She has conducted research on direct and vicarious traumatization. Her recent publications focus on vicarious trauma, trauma recovery following group violence, and moral dimensions of trauma therapies. Her latest book, Treating Traumatic Bereavement, was published in 2014.

Marten deVries
, MD, Maastricht University, Netherlands

Prof. Dr. Marten W. deVries is Honorary Professor of Social Psychiatry en Public Mental Health, Maastricht University and Chair of the Mind Venture International Institute (MVI). Previously, President and Secretary General of the World Federation of Mental Health and founder of IPSER Institute.  In the 90’s, he was instrumental in facilitating the WFMH psycho-trauma group. Dr. deVries is an investigator and clinician with a rich experience with studies of human development and the experience of mental illness and interaction of individual and group behavior within a variety of circumstances and socio-cultural contexts. He was educated in medicine, psychiatry and anthropology and has worked globally with mental health and media professional, NGOs, GOVs and business leaders on public mental health projects. Over the last decade with the realization of the impact of today’s global mental health need, the increasing suffering due to psycho-trauma and the shortcomings of the health system to stem this process, motivated him to lead a concerted effort advocating the crucial role media can play. His current interest is in combining the rapidly developing high profile of mental health, self care and life style sector with the power and social impact of mixed- media formats. These projects aim at co-producing social interventions with target populations themselves to deliver significant mental health and social benefit. 

Llew Smith, Filmmaker, California Newsreel, USA

Peabody and duPont award-winner Llewellyn Smith is producer/director of Wounded Places: Confronting Childhood PTSD in America’s Shell-Shocked Cities, an episode of the forthcoming documentary series, The Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of our Nation.Smith was co-executive producer for the California Newsreel series Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? (2008, which explores the root causes of our alarming class and racial inequities in health. As a writer/producer, Smith has contributed to such PBS series as Eyes On The Prize and was the series editor for the PBS series American Experience. Other producer/director credits include Africans In America: America’s Journey Through Slavery; Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory; RACE: The Power Of An Illusion; Reconstruction: The Second Civil War; Forgotten Genius and Herskovits At The Heart of Blackness. He's a producer with Vital Pictures of American Denial, which will be broadcast on PBS by Independent Lens in February, 2015.  Llew a founding partner and production director at BlueSpark Collaborative, a film and research company in Boston.


Thursday, November 6 

Windows of Vulnerability: Impact of Type and Timing of Childhood Traumatic Stress on Neurobiology and Psychopathology

Martin Teicher, PhD, MD, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA

Dr. Teicher has a PhD in psychology from The Johns Hopkins University, MD from Yale and received his residency training in psychiatry at Harvard.  He is the director of the Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program at McLean Hospital and an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Teicher has been a committee member of the Neurochemistry and Neuropharmacology Study Section, the Small Business Innovative Research Study Section, and Neuroscience Fellowship Review Committee at the National Institute of Health. He is the author of over 200 articles in the scientific literature and holds 17 U.S. patents primarily for diagnostic technology and pharmaceutical agents.

The primary mission of Martin H. Teicher’s research programs are to improve the life of children, adolescents and adults by exploring the etiology and treatment of psychiatric disorders that arise during development.

Dr. Teicher has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology since its inception and he is the child and adolescent psychiatry section editor for BMC Psychiatry. He has received continuous funding from the National Institute of Health over the last 26 years.  He is currently funded by investigator initiated (RO1) awards from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. A major focus of his work is on the effects of childhood traumatic stress and he pioneered studies into the effects of abuse on brain development. Another focus has been on the use of technology to aid in objective psychiatric diagnosis.


Friday, November 7

 “This is My Story, I Am!” Facing Childhood Trauma within the Individual and the Community

Maggie Schauer, PhD, University of Konstanz, Germany

Maggie Schauer, PhD, Director of the Center of Excellence for Psychotraumatology at the University of Konstanz, Germany, has achievements in both research and clinical settings for her work with survivors of severe traumatic stress. Dr. Schauer is a founding board member of vivo (, an alliance that works to overcome and prevent traumatic stress and its consequences within the individual, the family, and the community, safeguarding the rights and dignity of people affected by violence and conflict. She works as an advisor for NGOs, UN, World Bank, IOM and other governmental organizations on sexual and gender-based violence projects establishing psychosocial care and mental health services for victims, child soldiers and ex-combatants in different contexts of war and crisis.

Dr. Schauer’s focus includes the trans-generational impact of life stress, prenatal assessment of psychosocial risk factors for development, as well as early childhood abuse and neglect. Along with understanding behavioral and epigenetic transmission patterns, she aims towards establishing evidence-based practice for the protection of infants and young children from adverse consequences of stress and trauma. This practice includes the formation and research on the effectiveness of inter-collaborative networks of pediatricians, family nurses, midwives, gynecologists, social welfare in early outreach and preventative treatments to at-risk mums and their babies.

Additionally, Dr. Schauer has extensive experience working with victims of war, genocide and torture within countries in the aftermath of organized violence such as Kosovo, Romania, Sri Lanka and countries in East Africa. Together with Thomas Elbert and Frank Neuner she took the lead in developing Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), a treatment for survivors of multiple and complex trauma following experiences of severe forms of violence and disaster, as well as developmental trauma including childhood sexual abuse and maltreatment. In NET, the patient, with the assistance of the therapist, constructs a chronological narrative of her/his life story with an exposure focus on the traumatic events, modifying the emotional networks, regaining of the survivor’s dignity and allowing for corrective relationship experiences when reprocessing the entire life. Fragmented reports are integrated meaningfully and transformed into a coherent biographical narrative, complemented by a testimony. NET, a well-tolerated and straightforward yet robust approach, is easy to teach to non-expert practitioners, has proven efficacy not only in low-income, resource poor contexts of continuous traumatic stress, but also in western in- and outpatient clinical settings for trauma spectrum and borderline personality disorder.

Saturday, November 8

 Pioneers in Child Trauma: Lessons Learned and Future Directions

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Michael Scheeringa, MD, Tulane University, USA

Dr. Scheeringa is the vice chair of research and holds the Remi Gonzalez, MD Professorship of Child Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA. He has authored numerous scientific papers and book chapters on PTSD in young children over the last 19 years. Dr. Scheeringa has carried out a series of studies of PTSD in youth, specializing in very young children. His initial studies pioneered the assessment of the diagnostic criteria. He has conducted NIMH-funded studies of traumatized preschool children to assess their psychiatric symptoms, neurobiological profiles, and family functioning. He has conducted randomized clinical trials to treat PTSD in preschool children and older youth. Dr. Scheeringa also has developed and validated a diagnostic interview for very young children.  He has provided training on CBT for PTSD internationally. He founded a Traumatic Stress Clinic and a Preschool Clinic.  He has also served on numerous local and national advisory committees.

Irene V. Intebi
, MD, Past President ISPCAN, Argentina

Dr. Intebi is a child psychiatrist and clinical psychologist from Buenos Aires, Argentina, who has worked in the child protection field as a practitioner and a trainer since 1985. She has worked and directed several governmental and non-governmental multidisciplinary child abuse intervention programs in Latin America and in Europe. She was the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) President from 2009-2012, and a board member since 1998, chairing the Education, Training and Consultation Committee in 2000-2008. She is an international lecturer and a speaker on child protection topics and the author of several books and articles in Spanish and English on child protection issues.  Dr. Intebi was also the founder and vice president (2000-2004) of the Argentinean Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect: Asociación Argentina para la Prevención del Maltrato Infantil (ASAPMI).

Lenore C. Terr, MD, University of California San Francisco, USA

Dr. Terr is known for her work with PTSD in children, and its long-term effects on adult lives. She has been studying the psychology of normal and disordered children her entire medical career.  Dr. Terr graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School with honors.  She started as an academic psychiatrist at Case Western Reserve University, where she published two pioneering studies on “battered children,” then went on to practice psychiatry in San Francisco and taught at UCSF.  She is the winner of the Blanche Ittleson Award for her research on childhood trauma.  Dr. Terr is best known for her landmark naturalistic and longitudinal study of the children involved in the 1976 school bus kidnapping in Chowchilla, California (and a comparison group of 25 children 100 miles to the south).  It set the standards for what is now accepted as childhood PTSD.

William Yule, PhD, University of London, United Kingdom

Dr. Yule received his first degree in psychology at the University of Aberdeen. Dr. Yule trained as a clinical psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry and Maudsley Hospital in London where he became professor of applied child psychology. He received his doctoral degree for his studies of specific reading retardation. He has researched into training parents of autistic children to use behavioural techniques; training teachers to use behavioural techniques in mainstream classrooms; the effects of lead on children's development. He is a founder member of the Society for the Study of Behavioural Phenotypes, devoted to the better understanding of the genotype/phenotype link in certain mentally handicapping disorders. Following the capsize of the Herald of Free Enterprise in 1987 he  showed that PTSD is both a commoner and more chronic reaction in children and adolescents than had hitherto been suspected. He was an advisor to UNICEF on its psychosocial programme for war affected children in former Yugoslavia in 1993. Until recently he was foundation chair for Children and War, Bergen, Norway (  He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from ISTSS in 2005 for his studies on child traumatic stress. The Bill Yule Adolescent Unit at the Bethlem Royal Hospital was named in his honour in July 2005. He was awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship to study the effects of tsunami disasters on children, and more generally the mental health needs following complex emergencies. He was elected an honorary fellow of the British Psychological Society in March 2006 and awarded the Aristotle prize of the European Federation of Psychology Associations in 2007. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Roehampton University in 2011 for his international work with children. In 2014 he was named by the UK Science Council as one of the top 100 scientists.

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