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Thursday Pre-Conferences
Friday Pre-Conferences
ASCH Basic Hypnosis Training


Thursday, March 31, 2016
8:30am - 4:30pm

P1 - Dissociation 101: Introduction to Dissociation
Faculty: Christine Forner, BA, BSW, MSW

This workshop is designed to demystify dissociation and provide participants with a broad based understanding of it as a response to overwhelming stress.For many students and emerging professionals who first enter the field of dissociation and trauma, there is often not a great deal of information that describes the theoretical foundations and history of the dissociative field. This workshop is intended for students, emerging professionals and others who are interested in learning about the fundamentals of dissociation as a distinct response to trauma. This workshop will cover basic information regarding dissociation and the dissociative disorders field. This course will include: 1) basic theories of trauma and dissociation; 2) the history of the dissociative field, including theories and treatment recommendations from the 1800's, to the eighties, nineties and today; 3) the impact of the false memory "war;" 4) finer details of current dissociative models (covering various theoretical foundations, e.g. structural dissociation, dissociative symptoms/phenomena, dissociative defenses; 5) rate and prevalence; 6) a breakdown of the dissociative disorders (DSM); 7) basic neurobiology of trauma and dissociation; 8) assessment and evaluation; and 9) current treatments. The basic goal of the pre-conference session is to equip those who attend with enough information to take into their scholarly or new professional practices, as well as have a solid foundation for the rest of the conference.

P2 - Breaking the Silence: Men Healing From Sexual Trauma
Faculty: Jim Struve, MSW, LCSW & Bill Burmester, MS, MFT

Current research indicates that one of every six males will experience some kind of sexual trauma, either during childhood or as an adult. This Pre-conference Institute will explore the complex, and often misunderstood, dynamics of being a male survivor and some of the unique challenges and pressures faced by this population. We will define terms, focus on sharing the truths and debunking the myths surrounding male sexual victimization, distinguish between recovery experiences of male and female survivors, and review effective assessment approaches for males victims of childhood and/or adult sexual trauma, and the dynamics, challenges, and healing strategies in clinical work with this population. 

P3 - The Systematic Acquisition of Mastery in the Use of Hypnosis to Facilitate the Treatment of Complex Chronic Dissociative Disorders
Faculty: Richard P. Kluft, MD, PhD

This is an advanced level workshop designed for those who 1) have taken introductory (and preferably intermediate) workshops in hypnosis that fulfill American Society of Clinical Hypnosis criteria for such training; 2) are well-grounded in their knowledge of trauma and the dissociative disorders; 3) and who have more than minimal clinical experience working with DID and related disorders. It will not address the basic elements of the above topics. It is predicated on Cornelia B. Wilbur’s injunction to think long and in depth about the steps we take in working with this group of patients. Rather than teach a wide variety of interventions one at a time, with their implication that one size fits all, this workshop will instead teach building blocks and their assemblage. It will define, normative trance, spontaneous trance, and auto- or self-hypnosis, distinguishing them from heterohypnosis, and discuss the dynamics and demand characteristics of induction, relaxation, and imagery with traumatized populations. After reviewing the importance of relational factors in creating a reasonably safe environment for the use of hypnosis, it will discuss cautions in the use of hypnosis and in its introduction into the treatment. It will review “hypnosis lite” suggestions and the establishing of safe places before teaching a simple trance ratification technique, and how it can be incrementally augmented until the therapist-patient dyad has reached a level of collaborative competence that permit the reassembly of those elements into over twenty techniques useful in work with this patient population.

P4 - Lean on Me?: Dependence and Collaboration in the Psychotherapy of Relational Trauma
Faculty: Kathy Steele, MN, CS

Attachment involves an innate need for a felt sense of security and safety. Dependence is a particular relational strategy in which the client attempts to gain relational security through ensuring the presence of a “stronger and wiser” other. Often, both clinicians and clients are confused about the differences between secure attachment and dependence, and seek to establish the former by engaging in the latter. However, dependence is a state of helplessness that evokes panic, and thus inhibits exploration, so that highly dependent clients are preoccupied with access to the therapist rather than the work of therapy. The more their dependence is evoked, the more shame they feel, and they may subsequently become enraged at themselves and/or the therapist in an endless cycle of need-shame-rage. Our clients need to learn how to balance an effective and flexible combination relational and self regulation. They not only need to feel safe, but also have a need to understand themselves and others, and to be understood. This need is a motivation in its own right, although strongly connected to relational strategies. What is actually most essential in the development of secure attachment is not dependence on the therapist, but rather the client’s growing capacity to rely upon implicit and explicit mentalizing capacities in cooperative relationships. Practical strategies to contain and resolve maladaptive dependence and to foster mentalizing and cooperation will be discussed. Therapists will learn how to compassionately set firm but flexible boundaries that support the client's competence. There will be time for audience participation in discussion about how to talk with clients about dependency needs, and how to decide when additional contact with clients may be helpful and when not. Case examples will illustrate particular strategies. Time permitting, participants may practice with role plays.

P5 - Attachment: How does it link with trauma, dissociation and therapy? From basic principles to a critical review of the three phase approach.
Faculty: Adah Sachs, PhD

The basic premise of attachment theory (Bowlby, 1988) is that a baby holds on to an adult in order to survive. As this 'holding' or attaching signifies life or death, it is a powerful instinct in both humans and animals. In humans, attachment needs and the way we manage to fulfill them become our enduring attachment styleor attachment pattern, and greatly influences our major life choices, relationships and mental health. This workshop will explain in detail the process by which attachment patterns are created, and how they make a person feel and function. We will also consider how people with different attachment patterns aim to engage the therapist in a clinical setting, and how they each need to be approached. Focusing on recent developments in the understanding of disorganized attachment, people with DID will be identified as having a specific attachment pattern, with its own ways of reaching for contact. These ways can be extremely challenging, and a variety of techniques and approaches have been developed to support the therapist and patient. The window of tolerance and EMDR will be discussed as examples of treatments. The 3-phase-approch (ISSTD treatment guidelines for DID, 2011) emphasizes the (attachment) need to establish safety in the life of the patient in phase 1 prior to embarking on any potentially destabilizing trauma work (phase 2). Using contemporary contributions to attachment theory we will aim to understand what causes the great difficulty in establishing safety in the lives- and therapy- of people with DID. We will then evaluate potential solutions, keeping in mind theoretical, clinical and practical considerations. Based on attachment principles, an alternative to Phase 1 and 2 will be suggested when achieving safety at the start of treatment is not possible.

 Friday, April 1, 2016

P6 - Moving from Defense Reactions to "Attractive" Behavior: The link between Janet’s theory of action and its application in clinical practice.
Faculty:  Eva Zimmerman, PhD






There is nothing more practical than a good theory. Pierre Janet’s theory of action is a useful framework for therapy. Patients with complex trauma symptoms and dissociative disorders learn how to relinquish actions that stem from the defense system (e.g., hypervigilance, freeze, flight, fight and total submission) and promote actions in the system of daily life (e.g., play, exploration, taking care, energy management, and rest). In the case of severe childhood trauma, such as family violence, abuse and neglect, the child has been exposed to caregivers that have been threatening as opposed to protecting, and so they experience betrayal trauma. Often, children who survive such hostile environments are unable to totally integrate traumatic memories into their personality that determines their characteristic mental and behavioral actions. This includes subconscious as well as reflective actions. Consequently, traumatized individuals experience deep ambivalence in, for example, a need of relationship and fear of relationship; willingness to change and fear of change; and, taking care of oneself and neglecting oneself. These are mediated through a strong activation of the defense system. To overcome this ambivalence, different parts of the personality are created that have different minds, different wills and different body sensations. The activated defense system is the major mediator of both mental and behavioral actions. Thus, the individual in daily life is prone to avoidance (fleeing), aggression (fighting), letting things happen (total submission) or hypervigilance (not trusting). These behaviors are repeated over and over again. Positive actions are intended, but hardly executed throughout the total action motor cycle which includes: a) initially developing a will for positive change; b) initiating the action; c) executing the action; d) completing the action; and, finally e) evaluation and acknowledgement. This leads to the important sentiment of “triumph” that Janet describes, helping patients feel efficient and so improve their conditions. Patients learn to overcome the phobia of attachment; the phobia of loss of attachment; the phobia of new actions; and relinquish their general avoidance patterns. In addition, from the very first therapy session, they should learn how to overcome the general ambivalence expressed in different minds and different wills. These new actions and challenging behaviors need to be guided by sensitive therapeutic interventions - addressing presenting symptoms before trauma history. This enables the patient to move from low levels of action tendencies of defense towards higher levels of actions, which have a more integrative function. Many defense reactions like aggressive behavior, control, OCD or anxiety are, therefore, given the opportunity to fade away. This workshop robustly links theory with applied clinical practice. It uses video demonstrations and group exercises, and proposes a practical therapeutic framework.

P7 - Developmental Trauma in Children and Adolescents: Behaviors, risk factors, and practical solutions; a workshop for child professionals
Faculty: Na'ama Yehuda, MSC SLP; Frances S. Waters, LMSW, DCSW, LMFT; Eva T. Young, MFA,MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT; Frances Doughty, MFT

Problematic behaviors are common in children encountered by child professionals. These behaviors can often be the consequences of adverse childhood experiences and developmental trauma. Research shows that the more adverse experiences a child encounters, the higher the impact on behavior, development, and health. Chaotic environments; neglect and maltreatment; medical traumas; prematurity; attachment disruptions; and parental mental illness, are among the paths to childhood trauma. Children who have developmental disorders, communication and learning issues, disabilities, congenital issues and chronic illness, are at an especially high risk for trauma. Practically all child professionals come into contact with children who had developmental trauma: teachers, educators, speech-language-pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, first responders, emergency personnel, medical professionals (pediatricians, dentists, ER staff, ENTs, Ob/Gyn), school psychologists, foster-care agencies, foster and adoptive parents, CPS workers, forensic personnel, school nurses, residential treatment staff (for disabled persons, autism, etc) and more. These professionals are often confronted with behaviors and reactions that reflect children’s experiencse of trauma and can complicate interactions, communication, relating, and treatment. This workshop will describe developmental trauma, the many factors that lead to and/or contribute to it, and behaviors children might utilize to survive overwhelming experiences (e.g. dissociation, numbing, hyper-vigilance, somatic complaints, inattention). The workshop will explore what posttraumatic coping can ‘look like’ in infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents, and its links to neurodevelopment, attachment, dysregulation, and other risk factors. Interventions to improve regulation, minimize posttraumatic and dissociative responses, and address difficult behaviors in varied clinical, educational, and home settings will be presented, Participants will also receive information for further resources.

P8 - The Role of Yoga in Complex Trauma Recovery
Faculty:  Lisa Danylchuk, MFT, MEd

As yoga becomes a popular modality for reducing stress and treating trauma, clinicians integrating yoga into therapeutic settings need to learn how to skillfully apply principles of yoga to trauma treatment. The purpose of this training is to explore the impact trauma has on the mind, brain and body, and develop an understanding of how yoga and mindfulness practices help heal symptoms of complex trauma and extreme stress. In this pre-conference intensive we will discuss the risks and rewards of integrating yoga into trauma treatment, and explore best practices in adapting yoga to specific populations recovering from posttraumatic stress. We begin by defining trauma and discussing the evolving understanding of psychological diagnoses related to this mental health challenge. We then clarify the connection between yoga, somatic psychotherapy and theories of nervous system dysregulation, paying special attention to therapeutic applications of yoga and pranayama (breathwork). Participans will learn the philosophical fundamentals of yoga, how they can connect these principles to individual and group trauma treatment, and how to apply them to specific client populations. Throughout the workshop we will outline best practices in trauma-informed yoga. Yoga is a low cost, non-invasive way to address the mental, emotional and physiological impacts of trauma. When taught skillfully, it can reduce stress, increase resilience, cultivate nervous system balance and help facilitate neuroplascticity. Join this workshop to deepen your understanding of the therapeutic applications of yoga and to offer your clients avenues of healing through this ancient and modern modality. This course contains lecture, discussion, and a short yoga practice; please come prepared to move.

P9 - When Words Are Not Enough: A Graphic Narrative Approach for Treatment of PTSD
Faculty:  Tally Tripp, MA, MSW, LICSW, ATR-BC and Linda Gantt PhD, ATR-BC

This course teaches an integrated set of techniques and methods that can be used to bring about rapid and lasting treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. The procedures can be applied individually and in groups. The first objective of treatment is to process and integrate the verbal and nonverbal trauma narratives without reliving the trauma, which is accomplished by graphic narrative processing and re-presentation. The second objective of reversing dissociation uses the externalized dialogue individually or in groups to repair traumatic dissociation. Participants will learn the essential tasks of trauma therapy and how to treat post-traumatic stress disorder by the use of two art therapy based procedures: the graphic narrative and the externalized dialogue. The training is appropriate for non- art therapists and will include hands-on experience working with art and narrative processes. 

P10 - Have We All Gone Mad? Understanding and working with complicated client-therapist interactions and covert communications in complex trauma and dissociative disorders
Faculty: John O?Neil, MD and Su Baker, MEd

 Your client comes into the office – you are a skilled professional, with years of experience treating people with trauma disorders. You feel curious, confident, creative but as always, a little cautious. Fifty minutes pass in a “flash” – your client leaves the office. You feel frustrated, confused, bewildered, disoriented, frightened, and definitely deskilled. What just happened? Have you gone mad? One of the greatest challenges in the therapy of the developmentally traumatized patient, and especially of the patient with DID, is handling interpersonal patient-therapist complications. These are uncommonly complex because of two aspects of the past that remain present: the trauma suffered, and unmet attachment needs. In the patient with DID, these may be further complicated by simultaneous incompatible ego state-therapist interactions. Often, being in touch with how we feel, think, and act in the therapeutic relationship is the best route to understanding and treating our patients’ relational needs and the trauma they have suffered. This advanced workshop will address the use of the framework of therapy, the use of therapists’ feelings, thoughts, and acts, and the use of “dramas” inadvertently re-enacted by the therapeutic couple as a guide to the resolution of traumatic and attachment material as it plays out in the therapy. The first half of the workshop will be didactic, a presentation of the role of alter personalities both in traumatic reenacting (through their relationships with each other and their interactions with the therapist) and also in preserving and striving for a secure attachment in the face of fear of attachment and dependency. In appreciating this double role, therapist and patient achieve new and deeper understanding of the process of therapy to repair relational damage.

In the second half, a single clinical case will be presented as illustration. Selected vignettes will be presented from various stages of treatment, which will focus on typical traumatic and attachment issues as experienced by the therapist. Participants will be encouraged to brainstorm with the presenters to deepen understanding and promote clinical skills.

Workshop participants are encouraged to bring in relevant case material to discuss.  Such case material may also be translated into role-play in order to underscore the centrality of the process of therapy.


Special Evening Pre-Conference 6:00pm-9:00pm

P11 - Five Trauma Therapists Walk Into a Haunted House: A Case Study in Fear, Detachment, Repair and Self-Care
Faculty: Christine C. Forner, B.A, B.S.W., M.S.W., R.S.W.; Becky Stewart, Ph.D. (candidate); Misty Brigham, MSW, RSQ; Lisa Danylchuk, EdM, MFT,E-RYT; Michael Dadson Ph.D

As trauma therapists we are trained to be compassionate, present, calm and non-judgemental of our client's experiences and emotions. We have also been trained in understanding the flight, fight, freeze, and attachment systems during fearful situations. In this case study, presented prior to entering the jail of Alcatraz, we will describe how five trauma therapists automatically reacted in different ways to the perceived danger of a haunted house in Long Beach, California. Each participant will describe their own experiences as well as interpretations of each other's reactions.

Workshop includes night tour of Alcatraz and round-trip transportation from the conference hotel. (Additional fee for this session)

ASCH Fundamentals/Basic Clinical Hypnosis Training

Brought to you by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH)

The ASCH Hypnosis Training is not included in the 5-Day conference package and must be purchased separately.

Please click here for important information on how to obtain your CE/CME Certificate of Completion

The three day, 20.5 hour training in the FUNDAMENTALS/BASIC of Clinical Hypnosis, approved by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH), is again being offered as a Pre-conference workshop at the 33rd ISSTD Annual Meeting in San Francisco. It will run from Wednesday, March 30 through Friday, April 1, 2016.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to: 

  • Observe, experience, and practice a minimum of three intermediate trance inductions and intensification methods, and clarify conditions of their use in the treatment of trauma and dissociation.
  • Name at least three principles of ego-state therapy in the treatment of trauma and dissociation.
  • Experience and practice two hypnotic strategies for use in pain management and somatic concerns.
  • Provide at least two examples of constructing therapeutic metaphors to be used as suggestions in the treatment of common clinical problems in a traumatized population.
  • Explain how and why depression, anxiety, habit disorders, and anger can be understood as altered states
  • Describe how this understanding can be utilized in effectively integrating hypnotic techniques into the treatment.
  • Describe the use of cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy principles in the treatment of dissociative disorders.
  • Describe at least three of these five exploratory hypnotic methods: 1) Affect Bridge, 2) Age Progression, 3)Age Regression,4) Ideomotor Signaling, 5) Hypnoprojectives
  • Discuss how they can be utilized for accessing and strengthening resources states.
  • Explain the indications and contraindications for using them as an insight oriented hypnotic approach in working with trauma.
  • Discuss the application of hypnotic techniques in the treatment of select clinical cases involving trauma and dissociation.
  • Identify professional conduct and legal issues relevant to clinical hypnosis.

State of the art training in clinical hypnosis, with a focus on trauma and dissociation, is brought to you by three clinicians who have a wealth of experience integrating Clinical Hypnosis into their clinical practices, and teaching Clinical Hypnosis to health care professionals. All are highly experienced in working with various forms of trauma across the lifespan.

The training will encompass didactic, experiential, and practical learning about the role Clinical Hypnosis plays in the treatment of trauma and dissociation. You will be offered the opportunity to develop beginning skills in identifying, experiencing, and offering safe, respectful, and collaborative ways to access the powerful human potential for trance, and to utilize Clinical Hypnosis as a tool for healing.  

Many patients with complex traumatization use maladaptive auto-hypnotic trances to somehow make it through the day. Learning to utilize trance and dissociation constructively for stabilization, exploration, and integrations through Clinical Hypnosis can be an invaluable tool for helping clients to progress in their treatment and their healing.

No matter what theoretical orientation you embrace, training in Clinical Hypnosis will increase your range of skills needed to efficiently suggest therapeutic possibilities and reach therapeutic goals in the treatment of complex mind-body-soul disturbances through identifying and utilizing your patient’s inner resources.  Whether the goal is to reduce multi-determined symptoms such as headaches, gastrointestinal problems, diffuse pain syndromes, or to address a pervasive sense of hopelessness and disconnection from self or others, this training will give you a first set of applicable hypnotic tools to take to your patients and the know-how for when, and when not, to use them.

This is what you can expect from the FUNDAMENTALS/BASIC training in Clinical Hypnosis:

Day 1
Day 1 will offer a basic understanding and first experiences of hypnosis and trance through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, individual and group experiences of trance phenomena. Topics will address the utilization of hypnosis in the past and present, what hypnosis is / not, the development of informed consent, and the creation of a collaborative, constructive hypnotic experience within the context of trauma treatment. Furthermore, participants will begin to learn about the value of positive dissociation, the language of hypnosis and how to formulate suggestions, and they will observe as well as experience the eliciting of hypnotic phenomena.

Day 2
Day 2 will expand on the learnings of Day 1 and deepen the understanding of the power of hypnotic language and its therapeutic utilization, while considering different hypnotic skills and strengths, and different stages of hypnosis.  During two small-group practices, participants will have the unique opportunity to learn under close guidance how to competently evoke and deepen a trance, and how to successfully re-alert to the present moment.

Day 3
Day 3 will focus on hypnotic treatment planning and the integration of hypnosis into psychotherapy and phase I treatment of trauma and dissociation – creating safety through hypnotically informed self-regulation tools. Two small-group practices will allow participants to practice the utilization of trance and to “put it all together” at this basic level of training. Information about ethical principles and professional conduct, further training in hypnosis, and professional resources will round out the training. At the conclusion of this workshop, you will have been taught the basic skills required to utilize clinical hypnosis in your practice.

If you have completed a total of 20 hours of ASCH approved FUNDAMENTALS/ BASIC training in Clinical Hypnosis, you are eligible to attend the 2nd level of training, SKILLS and APPLICATIONS/INTERMEDIATE training in Clinical Hypnosis, which will be offered at ISSTD in 2017 as well as through ASCH regional trainings.

Meet the ASCH Instructors

Chair: Reinhild Draeger-Muenke, PsyD, LMFT
Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Bala Cynwyd, PA, working with traumatized individuals, couples and families across the life span. ASCH Fellow, Approved Consultant, Past Co-Chair of Education, Past Moderator, Regional Workshop Chair; Past President Greater Philadelphia Society of Clinical Hypnosis.  Trainer,  author, and speaker on the topic of clinical hypnosis in mind-body health.

Faculty: David S. Alter, PhD, LP, ABPP, ABPH
Co-Owner: Partners in Healing of Minneapolis
Founder: Institute for Brain-Behavior Integration
Clinical neuropsychologist/health psychologist in private practice working with adults presenting with conditions affecting mind-brain-body integration. Board Certified in Psychological Hypnosis and Clinical Health Psychology, ASCH Approved Consultant, Past President – Minnesota Society of Clinical Hypnosis, Current Chair of ASCH Certification Committee responsible for developing and running Individualized Consultation Training process for certification in clinical hypnosis. Author, Trainer, Speaker on topics involving vital aging, neuroresilience, clinical hypnosis and mind-body health generally.

Faculty: Delle Jacobs, LICSW, LMFT
Delle Jacobs, LICSW, LMFT, has an adult psychotherapy practice in which she is “hypnotic”.  She teaches at all levels of ASCH trainings, and is an ASCH Approved Consultant. Delle is a Past President of the Minnesota Society of Clinical Hypnosis, who practices in St. Paul, MN.