Preconference: March 28-29, 2019   Conference: March 30-April 1, 2019   Sheraton New York Times Square, NYC 

Presenter Guidelines

Call for Proposals
Open 1 August 2017 – 20 September 2017

Call for Proposals is open 1 August 2018 and close at 11:59pm EDT on 17 September 2018. We anticipate a large number of submissions for this year’s conference and as a result we will not be accepting late submissions or extending the submission deadline.

Guidelines and policies for submitting an abstract for 2019 ISSTD Annual Conference.

  • All presenters, including invited, plenary and pre-conference workshop speakers must submit proposals online.
  • All presenters must register for and attend the conference.
  • Each individual is limited to no more than three (3) submissions. These submissions include any presentation where you are in the role of presenter, co-presenter, chair, or discussant. Poster sessions are not included.
  • Incomplete, mailed, or faxed proposals will not be accepted.
  • We also suggest that one individual gather all the required information from all individuals (presenters, co-presenters, authors, etc.) ahead of time and be responsible for making the submission.
  • We strongly suggest that you prepare a word processing file that contains all of your submission information from each individual involved in your submission in advance. This will save time online and ensure that you have a backup copy of all of your information. The following information is needed:
    • Title and abstract of your proposal.
    • If you are submitting a symposium, you will need:
      • the title and abstract of the symposium, AND
      • the titles, abstracts, and authors of each paper that will be presented in the symposium
    • The names, degrees, unique email address, complete mailing address, and phone number of all individuals involved in your submission (i.e. presenters, co-presenters, authors, etc.)
    • A MS Word file or PDF file of the CV for each individual involved in your submission (i.e. presenters, co-presenters, authors, etc.)
    • 3 learning objectives that use acceptable verbs to complete the sentence, “Participants will be able to…” We recommend that you download and use the list of acceptable verbs.
    • 3-5 citations from peer reviewed sources from the last 10 years in American Psychological Association style. Go to the American Psychological Association style Quick Answers-References Web pages.
    • The submission site will not allow you to submit your proposal until you have entered or uploaded all items.
  • 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
  • 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 of the individuals involved in your submission (i.e. presenters, co-presenters, authors, etc.) must sign a financial conflict of interest disclosure, and a presenter’s agreement in 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 complete, clear, concise, and grammatically correct, and otherwise well-written in order to be considered by the program committee. For suggestions on how to improve your conference proposal, view our guide, Tips for Writing a Great Conference Proposal.
  • Those for whom English is a second language or have expressive language difficulties 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 Mary Pat Hanlin 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 and online in the Itinerary Planner.
  • 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 Mary Pat Hanlin, Executive Director,
  • You will be notified by e-mail about your proposal’s status approximately six to eight 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 Mary Pat Hanlin 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.

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.

ISSTD Certificate Program Questions
Each submission, except for posters, must include 3 multiple choice questions and answers. Presenters must also designate the Core Area of Knowledge for each presentation.

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.

Accreditation for continuing education specifies that each proposal must be accompanied by 3-5 complete citations of peer reviewed sources less than 10 years old (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, submitters must obtain appropriate releases for display and presentation of all 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 individuals involved in your submission (i.e. presenters, co-presenters, authors, etc.) 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:

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 words max 1 or more presenters Discussant n/a
Session Length: 90 minutes
Several presentations on a specific theme, issue, or question. Overview: 50 words max

Each presenter’s abstract: 200 words max

2–5 presenters, including discussant Discussant Optional
Panel Presentation
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 max 2–5 presenters, including discussant Discussant Optional
Forum Discussion
Session Length: 90 Minutes
A 30-45 minute presentation followed by 45-60 minutes of discussion with the audience. Note: Audience interaction and discussion is encouraged. 200 words max 1-3 presenters, not including the moderator Discussant Optional
90 Minutes or 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 max 1-5 presenters Discussant n/a
Poster Paper presentation in poster form. Download & Save Details for Poster Submissions. 200 words max 1-4 presenters Discussant n/a
Session Length:
90 minutes
Film, videotape, music, artwork,
or other forms of media
200 words max 1-2 presenters, including discussant Discussant Optional

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 31 October 2018). The individual submitting the proposal is then responsible for notifying all other individuals involved in the submission. 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 2020 in San Francisco.

Information About the Online Submission Site
ISSTD uses the CadmiumCD Abstract Management System for online submission of proposals for the 2019 Annual Conference. The button at the bottom of this page takes you to the Submission Site where you will log in and submit your proposal. Please follow each step carefully.  For submission site assistance please contact:

Cadmium CD Submission Site Technical Support:

Hours: 9 – 6 ET, Mon – Fri
Phone: (Direct) (410) 638-9239
Phone: (Toll Free) (877) 426-6323
Fax: (410) 638-6108

Thank you for your interest in submitting your proposal to the ISSTD Annual Conference for consideration.

Click Here to Access the 2019 Submission Site 

Further Questions?
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

2019 Conference Supporters
ISSTD Annual Conference