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Bethany L. Brand, Ph.D.

Martha E. Mitten Professor, Towson University, Towson, Maryland

presenter photoBethany Brand, Ph.D. specializes in the assessment and treatment of trauma related disorders including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dissociative disorders. She has over 25 years of clinical experience, including training at Johns Hopkins Hospital, George Washington University Hospital, and at Sheppard Pratt Health System’s Trauma Disorders program. She is a Professor of Psychology at Towson University. Dr. Brand has been honored with the Martha Mitten Endowed Professorship as well as awards including the Cornelia B. Wilbur Award, the Presidential Award, the Pierre Janet Award, and the Morton Prince Award. She is sought after for media interviews including by National Public Radio’s show, Science Friday. Dr. Brand has served on three national task forces that developed guidelines for the assessment and treatment of trauma-related disorders. Dr. Brand conducts research on the assessment and treatment of trauma related disorders, including the assessment of feigned dissociative disorders. Dr. Brand is the Principal Investigator on the largest longitudinal treatment outcome study to date of dissociative disorders (the TOP DD studies). She has delivered clinical and research presentations around the world. Dr. Brand assesses and treats trauma patients at her private practice in Towson, Maryland, as well as serves as a forensic expert.

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Martin Dorahy, PhD, DClinPsych

University of Canterbury, Christhchurch, New Zealand

presenter photoMartin Dorahy, PhD, DClinPsych, is a clinical psychologist and associate professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. Most of his published work has focused on complex trauma and dissociative disorders, their phenomenology, and cognitive and affective underpinnings. He is a fellow of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation (ISSTD) and a director on the Board of the ISSTD. Along with his academic and research work, he maintains a clinical practice focused primarily on the adult sequelae of childhood relational trauma.

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030 – Research on the Trauma vs. Fantasy Models of Dissociation: The TOP DD Studies' Implications for the Debate about Treating Individuals with Dissociative Disorders

Plenary 4: Research on the Trauma vs. Fantasy Models of Dissociation: The TOP DD Studies' Implications for the Debate About Treating Individuals with Dissociative Disorders

Saturday, November 28

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Room: Ballroom 1 & 2

Presenter(s):

Bethany L. Brand, Ph.D.

Martha E. Mitten Professor, Towson University, Towson, Maryland

Chair(s):

Martin Dorahy, PhD, DClinPsych

University of Canterbury, Christhchurch, New Zealand

The debate between proponents of the Trauma vs. Fantasy Models of dissociation has recently been advanced by thorough reviews of the literature and published discussion between proponents of both models. In this plenary talk, Dr. Brand will provide an overview of the research addressing this debate. Proponents of the Fantasy Model argue that iatrogenic and cognitive variables cause dissociation and DID, and that DID treatment is harmful to patients. Contrary to these hypotheses, the preponderance of the evidence indicates that trauma causes dissociation and that DID treatment that is consistent with expert consensus guidelines is beneficial to patients. Using results from the Treatment of Patients with Dissociative Disorders (TOP DD) study, Dr. Brand will address the notion that DID treatment is harmful to patients. Dr. Brand will also share emerging results from the newest TOP DD study, that is, the web-based psychoeducational program called the TOP DD Network study. The TOP DD Network study offers DD patients and their treatment providers with online videos, as well as written and practice exercises, that teach patients a variety of methods to use to improve their safety, affect regulation, and management of dissociation. As the first systematic intervention for chronic, complex dissociative disorders, this study has the potential to yield crucial findings for the trauma field.