2019 Otautahi/Christchurch NZ Regional Conference

Changing Landscapes: Innovation and Challenges in the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation

22 -24 November 2019 | Rydges Latimer Christchurch

We warmly welcome you to join us at the 2019 ISSTD Regional Conference in Otautahi (Christchurch), New Zealand. The tangata whenua (Maori or people of the land) say Nau Mai Haere Mai (Welcome everyone). This is the first ever ISSTD Regional Conference to be held in New Zealand and it is brought to you by a bi-national committee of New Zealand and Australian members.

The conference will kick off on Friday with a series of half and full day pre-conference workshops followed by evening social events which will allow attendees to experience Otautahi/Christchurch. The main conference begins on Saturday with a powhiri ceremony (cultural opening) followed by plenary workshops from ISSTD Past President Kathy Steele, current ISSTD President, Christine Forner, ISSTD Board Member, Michael Salter and ISSTD Past President Martin Dorahy. The day of education will end with a plenary panel featuring Rick Hohfeler, Joan Haliburn, David Leonard, Matt Ball and Susie Farrelly, moderated by Warwick Middleton. Join us in the evening for the conference dinner during which, we will be entertained by a Maori Kapahaka group in full costume (separate registration required/guest tickets available). Sunday will feature a number of workshops and the cultural closing of the conference. Click here to view the preliminary schedule for more information on all of our education and social events.

As we finalised the program for this conference, the Christchurch mosque shooting occured on 15 March 2019. We never imagined the conference would be in the location of one of the globe’s worst massacres by a single attacker (who in this case was a citizen of another country). Our landscape, like that of Christchurch following the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, has shifted.  Our original plan was to ‘grasp the nettle’ of socio-political issues in the field of trauma and dissociation so we will keep you posted on how we do that in light of this recent event.  We plan to incorporate a presentation that addresses the shootings and the implications for the trauma field.

Looking forward to seeing you in Otautahi/Christchurch!

Registration Details

Student registrations are reviewed and accepted upon approval. Student registrants must provide proof of current status in a related field and must submit verification by email or fax. Discounts for Emerging Professionals (first three years after licensure or graduation) are available, please email a copy of your license or degree to ISSTD HQ for discount codes. All registration fees listed are in New Zealand Dollars (NZD)

Group rates are available for groups of five or more from the same hospital, facility, or university through 31 October 2019. Please email the ISSTD HQ for assistance with group rates.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations must be received in writing via email or fax. A processing fee of $75 will be charged for cancellations received on or before 31 October 2019. No refunds will be issued for no-shows. Refund requests will not be accepted after 31 October 2019. Not all requests will be granted. Substitutions for attendees are accepted at any time.

Registration Contact Information
Email: info@isst-d.org
Phone: 202.803.6332
Fax: 202.747.2864


Meet our Plenary Speakers!

Kathy Steele, MN, CS has been in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia for over three decades, specializing in the treatment of complex trauma, dissociation, attachment difficulties, and the challenges of complicated therapies. She is an adjunct faculty at Emory University, and a Fellow and past President of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. Ms. Steele teaches internationally and consults with individuals, groups, and trauma programs. She has received a number of awards for her work. She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters, and has co-authored three books on dissociative disorders.

Christine Forner BA, BSW, MSW, RSW, began her career early working at The Calgary Sexual Assault Centre, and Wheatland Crisis Shelter for survivors of domestic violence. In 1998 Christine started her clinical experience at The Calgary Women’s Health Collective. Since 2011, Christine has worked in her own private practice, which specializes in complex trauma and dissociative disorders. Christine has over twenty years of working with individuals with Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, Traumatic Dissociation, Developmental Trauma and Dissociative Disorders, with specialized training in EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Psychotherapeutic Meditation techniques, Neurofeedback and Havening. Christine teaches locally and at an international level on the issue of dissociation, complex trauma, and the intersection of dissociation and mindfulness . Christine is the founder of the Creative Meditation technique and Medial Prefrontal Cortex Processing for Trauma and Dissociation. Christine is the current President for the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. Christine has also served on the board of the ISSTD since 2010 and was the ISSTD Treasurer from 2011-2017. She is the author of Dissociation, Mindfulness and Creative Meditations: Trauma informed practices to facilitate growth (Routledge, 2017).

Michael Salter, PhD is a Scientia Fellow at the University of New South Wales, where he studies complex trauma, gendered violence, technology-facilitated abuse and primary prevention. A/Prof Salter is the author of two books, Organised Sexual Abuse (Routledge 2013) and Crime, Justice and Social Media (Routledge 2017), and numerous papers on violence against children and women. Current research projects includes a national study of service provision for women with complex trauma, an evaluation of a treatment program for sibling incest, and a survey of gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer men’s experiences of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Dr Salter is a Board member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD). He is currently Past Chair of the Society’s Ritual Abuse, Mind Control and Organised Abuse (RAMCOA) Special Interest Group (SIG). He is a member of the ISSTD Scientific Committee and he was the recipient of the 2018 ISSTD Morton Prince Award for Scientific Achievement.

Professor Martin Dorahy D.Clin.Psych, PhD is based at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. He has published extensively in the area of trauma and dissociation (including being the co-editor of five books and two journal special issues) and heads a range of research projects. He is a Past President and a Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and is the recipient of a number of ISSTD awards for his research and writing.

Conference Schedule

Preliminary Online Schedule

Just Added! Our full online preliminary conference schedule is now available. This schedule will give you a full breakdown of the schedule for each day, provided details on each conference presentation and introduce you to our conference speakers. This site can be used to created your individual conference schedule and this information will link to our conference app.

Schedule Highlights

Friday, 22 November 2019
Pre-Conference Workshops (Half and Full Day Options)

  • Track 1
    • An Introduction to the Multidimensional Inventory of Dissociation (Half Day) – D. Michael Coy & Jennifer Madere
    • Which Brain Am I?: Identifying and Targeting Appropriate Interventions in the Triune Brain in Complex Trauma Disorders (Half Day) – Naomi Halpern
  • Track 2
    • When Experience Exceeds Integrative Capacity: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Autonomic Nervous System Dysregulation and Somatic Resources (Full Day) – Rochelle Sharpe Lohrasbe
  • Track 3
    • Perpetrator-Victims and Organised Abuse (Half Day) – Warwick Middleton & Michael Salter
    • When Nothing Else Works: Chronic Self-Regulation via Shame and Dissociation – Formulations and Treatment Considerations (Half Day) – Martin Dorahy & Rick Hohfeler
  • Track 4
    • Dissociation 101: A Comprehensive Exploration Into the Field of Dissociation and Complex Trauma (Full Day) – Christine Forner & Mary-Anne Kate

Evening Social Events

  • Antarctic Centre – $80 per person
  • Christchurch Walking Tour – $15 per person

Saturday, 23 November 2019
Conference Opening

Plenary Addresses

  • An Integrated Systemic Model for Treating Trauma-related Dissociation – Kathy Steele
  • Mindfulness in the World of Dissociation: What are the Hurdles, Benefits and Cautions – Christine Forner
  • Constructions of Complex Trauma and Implications on Women’s Wellbeing and Safety from Violence – Michael Salter
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder: Clinical Phenomena Under the Laboratory Spotlight – Martin Dorahy

Plenary Panel

  • Dissociation, Psychosis, and Borderline Personality Disorder Interface – Rick Hohfeler, Joan Haliburn, David Leonard, Matt Ball, Susie Farrelly and Warwick Middleton (Moderator)

Conference Dinner

Sunday, 24 November 2019
90 Minute Workshops (Three Tracks)
Full Day Workshop (One Track)
Closing Panel
Conference Closing

Explore Christchurch

Otautahi Christchurch is the perfect base to explore New Zealand’s South Island. As the largest city in the South Island, Christchurch is a beautiful kaleidoscope of European, English, and Maori cultures. It is a vibrant, energetic city where creativity and innovation thrive. Explore the city by bus, vintage bicycle, gondola, or take a walk and discover everything the city has to offer.

The city’s award-winning Christchurch Botanic Gardens offer a relaxing inner-city escape. Outside of the city, New Zealand’s South Island unfolds with opportunities for hiking, skiing, vineyards, and more incredible natural wonders.

With its beautiful meld of past and future and easy access to incredible outdoor adventures, Christchurch has something for everyone!

Hotel & Travel

Rydges Latimer Christchurch
30 Latimer Square, Christchurch Central | Christchurch 8011 New Zealand

Hotel Reservations
Hotel reservations may be made here.

Hotel Cancellation Policy

Wireless Internet
Free, unlimited WiFi is available in all guest rooms, public areas and conference spaces.

Why leave the comfort of the Hotel when we have Christchurch’s favourite premium steakhouse on-site.  If you don’t dine at Bloody Mary’s it would be a huge missed-steak!

Start your day off right with the renowned Mary’s Rise Buffet Breakfast – a café style buffet with a vast selection of breakfast favourites. If you have any room left after breakfast Mary’s brasserie menu on offer from 12 noon takes care of your afternoon appetite.

But you won’t want to miss our dinner menu – it’s a beef lovers paradise.  Our executive chef and his team have selected the best quality cuts from the best local producers to create a grill menu like no other.  Angus, Hereford and Wagyu feature – and a kiwi grill wouldn’t be complete without some fine Canterbury lamb.

Match our amazing grill menu with some delicious locally sourced seafood and house crafted desserts and Bloody Mary’s truly is a dining experience to remember.

Christchurch Airport
30 Durey Road, Christchurch Airport | Christchurch 8053 New Zealand
Public transport is available from the airport to the hotel via buses, shuttles, and taxis. More information is available here.


Sponsorship Opportunities

We anticipate approximately 300 social workers, marriage & family therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, general practitioners/primary care physicians, and counselors from across Australia and New Zealand, and beyond. This conference is an opportunity for your organisation to provide support to clinicians in the field and introduce your organisation to attendees. 


  • Sponsorship of one of three major events: Opening Ceremony, Conference Dinner or Closing Ceremony including signage
  • Two complimentary conference registrations
  • Acknowledgement on the conference website and online program
  • Acknowledgement on event signage and during conference 
  • Free conference totebag insert (400 provided by sponsor)


  • Sponsorship of one break or lunch including signage
  • One complimentary conference registration
  • Acknowledgement on the conference website and online program
  • Acknowledgement on event signage and during conference 


  • Acknowledgement on the conference website and online program
  • Acknowledgement on event signage and during conference 
  • Free conference totebag insert (400 provided by sponsor)

Contact Mary Pat Hanlin, Executive Director via email at mhanlin@isst-d.org for additional information or to develop a custom sponsor package today.

Thank You to Our Sponsors