Call for Papers Presentation Submission Guidelines

Submission deadline:
Extended to wednesday, 10 april 2013, 11:59pm EDT

Individuals who submit completed proposals by Monday, 25 March 2013, 11:59PM EDT will be entered in a drawing to win a free conference registration (some restrictions apply).

Guidelines and policies for submitting an abstract for ISSTD's 2013 annual conference. Carefully read this information before you proceed to the submission site. Link to next page and submission site found at bottom of this page.

  • All presenters, including invited, plenary and preconference institute speakers must submit proposals online. See link to the submission site on your right.
  • All presenters must register for and attend the conference.
  • Each individual is limited to no more than three (3) submissions, including in the roles of presenter, co-presenter, chair, or discussant (excluding posters).
  • Incomplete, mailed, or faxed proposals will not be accepted.
  • We strongly suggest that you prepare a word processing file that contains all of your submission information in advance. This will save time online and ensure that you have a backup copy of all of your information.
  • We also suggest that one individual gather all the required information from all co-presenters or co-authors ahead of time and be responsible for making the submission. You will need title(s), abstract(s), full name and credentials of each author/presenter, address and unique email for each presenter; CV for each presenter; and audiovisual needs.
  • Abstracts must be relevant to and mention trauma and/or dissociation.
  • Therapists may not present with their own clients at this conference. See Statement of Ethical Standards below.
  • We do not accept first-person accounts of trauma.
  • We request that details of clients’ traumatic experiences not be discussed during presentations, since explicit details of trauma may be distressing to the audience and do not enhance learning. Each author/presenter must sign a financial conflict of interest disclosure, and a presenter’s agreement in Step 7 of the submission process. 
  • The most common reason a proposal is rejected is for an incomplete, poorly written, or unclear abstract, and other failures to follow submission guidelines. Your submitted abstract must be clear, concise, and grammatically correct, and otherwise well-written in order to be considered by the program committee. 
  • Those for whom English is a second language may request help from someone on the program committee in editing their abstracts to meet acceptable grammatical standards. Such requests should be made BEFORE the proposal is submitted. You may contact Therese Clemens at to receive support.
  • Presentations should be original contributions (i.e., they have not been published prior to the date that you submitted the abstract).
  • Abstracts will be published in their original form in the Conference Proceedings Book.
  • All case material, including biographical information, must be disguised so that the client’s identity is carefully concealed.
  • If you do not have internet access, are unable to access the online submission site, or have difficulties with the online submission process, please contact Therese Clemens, Executive Director,
  • You will be notified by e-mail about your proposal’s status approximately four to six weeks after the close of the call for proposals. If your e-mail address changes between the time of your submission and notification, or at any time during this process, please immediately inform Therese Clemens at
  • All decisions of the program committee are final.

Skill Level: Presentations must designate the knowledge/skill level required of the participant (i.e., Introductory, Intermediate, or Advanced). Although these are only general guides, they are required in order to comply with continuing education regulations.

  • Introductory: Suitable for all professional participants (including students). Such presentations include basic knowledge, techniques, or skills.
  • Intermediate: Requires participants to have at least some work experience in order to gain maximum benefit from the presentation.
  • Advanced: Participants require a high level of training and substantial experience in the topic. Such presentations are geared to specialists and to those in advanced stages of their career.

Text: Abstracts of research presentations should include the purpose, methods, findings, and conclusions. Submission of findings is strongly encouraged. Other types of abstracts should include purpose, population, main points to be covered, and conclusions.

Learning Objectives: Each submission must include 3 learning objectives. You may ONLY use verbs that are in the list provided for you: Click here to download and save a list of acceptable verbs. Each Learning Objective must be a complete sentence that begins with the words, “Participants will be able to…”. Note: The list of acceptable verbs also can be found on the conference abstract submission site by clicking on the menu option labeled CRITICAL DATES AND CRITICAL REFERENCE LISTS.

Statement of Ethical Standards: All work presented at the ISSTD annual meeting must conform to discipline-appropriate national or professional ethical standards. ISSTD strongly opposes the exploitation of patients for any purpose. Submissions wherein clinicians, researchers, or academics collaborate and/or co-present with their own patients are considered dual relationships and are wholly unacceptable. All case material, including biographical information, must be disguised so that the patient’s identity is carefully concealed.

Potential for Distress: All oral and media submissions must declare whether the presentation has potential to cause audience distress. The conference abstract submission site will ask about this. The submission site will ask you about this issue; you do not need to place a statement about potential for distress in your abstract.

Citations: Accreditation for continuing education specifies that each proposal must be accompanied by 3-5 complete citations of relevant publications (in American Psychological Association style). For detailed information on APA Style, click here.

Examples of APA Style:

Journal article: 
Carlson, E. B., & Putnam, F. W. (1989). Integrating research on 
  dissociation and hypnotizability: Are there two pathways to
hypnotizability? Dissociation, 2, 32-38.
Book chapter:
Dell, P.F. (2009). Understanding dissociation. In P. F. Dell & J. A.
  O'Neil (Eds.), Dissociation and the dissociative disorders: DSM-V
and beyond
(pp.709-825). New York: Routledge.

Media Presentations: Media presentations should include thought-provoking presentations involving literary, artistic, and creative interpretative materials related to trauma and dissociation. Note: Training videos or media presentations that demonstrate treatment methods should be submitted as a Workshop. As a condition of acceptance, the presenter must obtain appropriate releases for display and presentation of media. Abstracts should specify the running time and type of media (e.g., 35mm film, VHS tape, DVD).

Disclosure of Relationships: ISSTD and its continuing medical education-accrediting partner require all authors/presenters to disclose any significant financial interest or other affiliation with any commercial supporter or manufacturer of any commercial products discussed in a presentation. This policy ensures that the audience is aware of such relationships and allows conflicts of interest to be resolved prior to the presentation.

Presentation Types:

Abstract Length
Number of

Welcome from All Submitters:
Single Paper or Case Study
Paper Sessions are 90 minutes in length and contain four (4) 20-minute papers
Research, theoretical, clinical, or case study. Authors of unaccepted submissions may be offered the opportunity to present their paper as a Poster (see Posters below).
200 words1 or more
Session Length: 90 minutes
Several presentations on a specific theme, issue, or question.
Overview: 50 words

Each presenter’s abstract: 200 words
2–5, including discussant
Panel Discussion
Session Length: 90 Minutes
Expert panelists conduct an organized discussion of a specific theme, issue, or question. Note: Audience interaction is limited with the panelists discussing answers to audience questions.
Overview: 200 words   Optional
90 Minutes
180 Minutes
Workshops help participants to increase their understanding and skill in a particular area of interest, or use case material to illustrate clinical, theoretical, or policy issues. Workshops should include both didactic and practical or experiential components.200 words  1-5
PosterPaper presentation in poster form. Download & Save Details for Poster Submissions
200 words  1-4
Session Length:
90 minutes 
Film, videotape, music, artwork,
or other forms of media
200 words 
1-2, including discussant 

Papers and Symposia
The Conference Chair may add an appropriate paper to a symposium which has fewer than four papers. The chair of the symposium and the author of the added paper will be informed if this occurs.

Review Criteria
All submissions are rated for importance, rigor (scientific, clinical or intellectual), scope of coverage of the topic, relevance to trauma and dissociation, and consistency with the meeting theme. Training presentations (Workshops and Pre-Conference Workshops) are additionally rated for presenter qualifications and usefulness of the training objectives (to the clinical or research work of ISSTD members). Proposals must be sufficiently detailed to allow evaluation of these criteria.

How to Write A Good Conference Proposal

Download and save the ISSTD instructional PDF file here to learn how to write a good abstract, how to make your title accurate and appealing, how to formulate educational objectives, how to use citations or references, and more. Examples are provided.

Notification of Acceptance

Only the submitting author will be notified of acceptance (or rejection) by email (on or around May 15, 2013). The submitting author is then responsible for notifying all co-presenters. Please notify headquarters immediately if your contact information changes after you have submitted your abstract. All decisions of the program committee are final.

Poster Award
The Poster Award is presented in recognition of outstanding poster presentation at the annual meeting. The award includes free registration for ISSTD's annual meeting in 2014 in Long Beach, California.

International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation
8400 Westpark Drive, 2nd Floor
McLean, VA 22102 USA
Phone: 703-610-9037
Fax: 703-610-0234

proceed to proposal submission site


2013 PROGRAM content DETAILS


Learn where thought leaders in treatment, research and training are headed. 

Are you new to the field, or just curious? Learn face-to-face from the experts and meet new friends.

Have you been at this for a while? Come to meet old and new friends, brush up, and improve your skills.

Are you an expert?
Don’t be selfish! Come and share your knowledge! While you are at it, become a better expert.

Clinician? Learn new clinical skills and what research is bringing you.

Researcher? Learn what your colleagues are working on, how the clinicians are applying the new knowledge, and where the clinicians desperately need new knowledge.

Students and Early Career Professionals: We know that the future belongs to you. Come to a conference where you can interact with leaders who welcome you and respect your contributions to our future.

Thank you to our 30th Anniversary Conference Supporters!

McLean Hospital

Professional Books Bookstore

Taylor & Francis

The New Orleans Institute at River Oaks Hospital

The Psychiatric Institute of Washington

The Ross Institute

Timberlawn Mental Health System

Treatment of Patients with Dissociative Disorders (TOP DD) Study


Future Annual Conference Dates

October 23 & 24 - Pre Conferences
October 25-27  Full Conference
Westin Long Beach
333 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90802
United States

April 16 & 17 - Pre Conferences
April 18-20 - Full Conference
Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
1751 Hotel Plaza Blvd
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
United States