Full day and half day workshops will take place on 14 June at Queen's University Belfast. Attendees can sign up to attend during registration for the conference.
Details of workshops will be added here as they are confirmed.
Becoming a peer reviewer: Everything you always wanted to know but were too afraid to ask
Population Type: Adult
Presentation Level: Introductory
This workshop aims to provide participants with the skills and strategies required to perform high quality peer reviews for academic journals. As part of this workshop, participants will learn about the peer review process from an editorial perspective – for example, which different peer review models exist, how peer reviewers are selected, and what happens when peer reviewers disagree. Following this introduction, participants will carry out a mentored group peer review of an article currently in submission. Through this process, participants will learn how to structure the peer review report, what tone should be taken in writing the report, and what happens when ethical issues arise.
This workshop is delivered by Dr. Talya Greene, an Associate Editor of the European Journal of Psychotraumatology.
- Understand the role and responsibilities of the peer reviewer
- Develop strategies to evaluate a journal submission and write a peer review report
- Identify and respond to ethical issues in the peer review process
One-day Workshop “Paper in a Day”
Paper in a Day grew out of a wish to foster collaborations between young researchers from around the world. Many of these researchers will be future leaders in the domain of posttraumatic mental health and the field will benefit from their partnerships and teamwork. Paper in a Day is designed to stimulate international connections and the exchange of ideas by working on a tangible outcome: a brief paper or commentary for a peer-reviewed journal. This will be an intensive, productive, and enjoyable day. Previous editions have led to conference contributions, journal articles, and lasting contacts (see for instance Lenferink et al., 2019). Because Paper in a Day will take place prior to the ESTSS conference, participants will have the opportunity to continue dialogue with colleagues during the rest of the conference.
At the ESTSS conference in Belfast, Paper in a Day will make use of the multi-wave dataset of the ADJUST Study on psychosocial responses to the COVID-19 pandemic (see Lotzin et al., 2020, https://estss.org/adjust). In March 2020, the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS) launched a pan-European study with the aim of exploring relationships between COVID-19-related stressors, risk and protective factors, coping strategies, and symptoms of adjustment disorders in affected populations (N~15,000).
After selection and registration, participants will virtually meet prior to the workshop and discuss a topic based on shared interests and the availability of relevant data. The workshop leader will facilitate the process from choosing a research question and supervising the workflow to achieving the final product. In the weeks prior to the workshop, participants will individually prepare (e.g., read relevant articles) and draft sections of the paper. The conference workshop will include plenary discussions about the topic and the drafted sections and writing time in subgroups. Following the workshop, the draft will be finalized for submission.
The workshop is facilitated by Prof. Annett Lotzin and Prof. Brigitte Lueger-Schuster
To make the workshop a success, we ask participants to commit to:
a) Prepare in advance of the meeting - dedicate ~8 hours prior to the workshop.
b) Be present for the entire workshop.
c) Contribute to the final editing and referencing following the workshop.
How to participate
This event is aimed at early career academics who have obtained their PhD after 2018 or are in the final stages of submission of their Ph.D.
If you would like to participate, please submit the following documents to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 April 2023:
1) A short CV listing your publications and main research interests. Please also let us know if you have an idea
for a research question that could be addressed with ADJUST study data to complete a relatively contained
empirical paper or commentary.
2) A statement of commitment to the required preparation, attendance and follow-up activities as described.
Please note: seats are limited; selection may apply, exclusive to ESTSS2023 registered participants
Problem Management Plus (PM+): A WHOs brief scalable psychological intervention for psychological distress
Population Type: No specific population
The aim of this workshop is to share and transfer experiential information on the structure, content and implementation of the evidence-based, scalable psychological intervention PM+.
To bridge the gap between the need for mental health care and the limited number of mental health care specialists, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed the brief psychological intervention “Problem Management Plus” (PM+). PM+ is based on task-sharing, meaning that it is delivered by trained non-professional mental health workers. PM+ is based on CBT and problem-solving techniques for individuals or groups affected by adversities. It incorporates relaxation/stress management, problem management, behavioral activation and social support enhancing strategies. PM+ is adapted and available in several languages. PM+ has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress and improving functioning in several randomized clinical trials, such as in Pakistan, Kenya, Nepal, Jordan and many others.
Within the large EU Horizon 2020-funded ‘STRENGTHS’ project, PM+ has been adapted for Syrian refugees in Europe and the Middle East. The PM+ programme can be implemented across a range of settings to scale up services for communities affected by adversity, and with the potential to be part of stepped care. Currently, it is being implemented in several countries, including in Jordan and Switzerland, as part of large scale-up projects.
This workshop is delivered by Dr. Naser Morina, a senior researcher/lecturer at University of Zurich, and head of research and co-head of the Outpatient Unit for Victims of Torture and War, University Hospital Zurich along with Julia S, a PhD student and clinical psychologist and Anne M. de Graaff, a PhD candidate at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
- understand the subsequent steps and the content of the PM+ and the context in which PM+ may be
- practice in an interactive way (e.g. in role plays) and engage with several elements of PM+
- understand the structure of the training programme for non-professional helpers, and the required
qualifications of the helpers, trainers and supervisors
- consider outcomes of effectiveness with the PM+ individual programme in clinical trials
- know ways of implementing PM+ in various settings
The Network Approach in Traumatic Stress Research
Population Type: No specific population
The network approach has gained increasing attention in clinical research and practice, and much work has been published in the field of posttraumatic stress (Armour et al., 2017; Birkeland et al., 2020; Isvoranu et al., 2021). The network approach focusses on the interplay of elements of psychopathology, such as symptoms, risk factors, and other problems (Borsboom & Cramer, 2013). In a network, elements are represented by nodes
and the connection between the elements by edges. Statistical network models can be used to estimate and visualize these inter-relations. In this emerging literature, researchers have studied PTSD risk factors (e.g., Armour et al., 2017), comorbidity (e.g., Price et al., 2019), and central symptoms (e.g., Hansen et al., 2021). Most of the published work utilized crosssectional data.
In the first part of the workshop, we will provide an overview of current best practices in estimating and reporting cross-sectional networks (Burger et al., 2022). This will be followed by a discussion on the limitations of this approach, which may fall short in discovering inter-individual differences and separate idiographic from nomothetic processes (Fisher et al., 2018).
The second part of the workshop focuses on dynamical network models using longitudinal studies, based on dynamic data collected, for example, via ecological momentary assessment (EMA; Larson & Csikszentmihalyi, 1983) where participants fill in questionnaires multiple times a day for a certain time period (e.g., Greene et al., 2020). This method allows to look at the dynamics within individuals (e.g., Reeves & Fisher, 2020), groups of individuals, or specific group constellations such as family triads (Veenman et al., 2022). We will demonstrate the use of network models for longitudinal data, question how these networks can be incorporated into interventions for PTSD, and discuss future challenges of the network approach regarding traumatic stress.
This workshop is delivered by Myrthe Veenman, a PhD candidate at Leiden University.
- Explain what the network approach entails and provide an overview of network studies on traumatic stress
- Demonstrate tools to apply network models.
- Open discussion on what the network approach could mean for research on traumatic
Experiencing the Novel Immersive Exposure-Based Treatment with Motion-Assisted Multi-Modal Memory Desensitization and Reconsolidation (3MDR)
In this premeeting institute, we will introduce, demonstrate and present evidence for an innovative treatment, Multi-modal Motion-assisted Memory Desensitization and Reconsolidation (3MDR). This therapy changes the context in which exposure is delivered by combining virtual reality, a dual attention task, and movement, personalizing treatment with patient-selected pictures and music. Veterans with PTSD often do not fully benefit from current evidence-based treatments. Persistent avoidance of traumatic memories and low therapy engagement are associated with reductions in treatment effectiveness and require alternative treatment approaches. Results from two RCTs will be presented in which Veterans with treatment-resistant PTSD received 6 sessions of 3MDR followed by either 10 weeks or 16 weeks of treatment as usual. Comparisons of these groups on PTSD symptom severity, comorbid symptoms, and neuropsychological functioning, measured at baseline, posttreatment, 12 weeks and 16 weeks follow-up will be shown. Results demonstrated a significant change in half of the Veterans with treatment-resistant PTSD receiving 3MDR. We will also share other results from Dutch, US and Canadian research studies on 3MDR. The treatment process was perceived as a breakthrough, resulting in increased treatment effects over time during longitudinal follow up.
3MDR is a novel virtual reality assisted therapy currently being studied, at various sites in the Leiden and Beilen/the Netherlands, Washington/San Diego/United States, Cardiff/United Kingdom, and Edmonton/Canada. This workshop will introduce the therapy, review current evidence base and provide a demonstration. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in multiple choice questions as a poll. Learning objectives will be discussed in the presentation.
In this workshop, we will also show video vignettes and demonstrate 3MDR to attendees, allowing experience-based learning about the intervention, including the virtual reality supported immersive environment, treadmill walking, dual task processing, reconsolidation, and meaning-making. The critical role of personalized images and music will be discussed, as will the role of the clinician as therapist and coach.
This workshop is delivered by Dr. Eric Vermetten, MD, Ph.D., Leiden University Medical Center and Suzette Dr. Bremault-Phillips, Ph.D., M.A., BMR (OT), B.SC., University of Alberta
- Participants will be able to appreciate factors associated with the complexity of PTSD and treatment
resistance amongst military members and veterans.
- Participants will be able to identify key components of Multi-modal, Motion-assisted Memory
Desensitization and Reconsolidation (3MDR) and their significance to PTSD treatment
- Participants will be able to describe the potential of virtual reality in the personalization of exposure-based
treatment of PTSD
The Management of Traumatic Stress within Organisational Settings
Population Type: Working age adults
Presentation Level: Intermediate
Traumatic events are by their nature unpredictable, uncontrollable and can provoke feelings of fear and anxiety in many. Some employers, by the nature of the work, routinely expose their staff to traumatic events. Examples of trauma-exposed organisations include the emergency services, military, media and charities operating in conflict zones all of whom have both moral and legal duties to ensure the health and wellbeing of their staff. The psychological wellbeing of employees is likely to significantly affect their functionality at work and can also have a ripple effect on their family, organisational productivity, and on wider society. Therefore, paying due care and attention to the psychological impact of traumatic events is an important consideration for all trauma-exposed organisations.
While most individuals do not suffer longer-term psychological problems after exposure to a traumatic event(1), a significant proportion are likely to experience short-term distress which generally dissipates after a few weeks. During this period, however, organisational productivity may be significantly affected and the risk of staff underperforming can be high. A small proportion of workers exposed to traumatic events may also suffer from trauma-related mental health problems, including but not restricted to, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression(2). For example, research carried out on trauma-exposed occupations shows that up to a third of security contractors; between 7% and 30% of combat troops(3); up to 20% of ambulance workers(4); and up to a quarter of war reporters are likely to suffer from PTSD, and many also report significant trauma-related guilt(5). These prevalence rates are perhaps not surprising since working in a trauma-exposed organisation can mean the possibility of, for example, attending the aftermath of a crisis, witnessing death and severe injuries, re-living incidents when involved in similar incidents in the future, trauma-related guilt, and heightened concern for colleagues and loved ones.
This workshop will discuss the evidence of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention approaches which trauma-exposed organisation may wish to use to help protect the mental health of their staff. Attendees will leave with information that will allow them to help organisations put in place an evidence based plan that will both help them discharge their duty of care and optimize productivity(6).
This workshop is delivered by Prof Neil Greenberg, King’s College London
- Explain the impact of traumatic events on worker’s mental health
- Describe and explore the evidence for primary preventative measures including the leadership, cohesion,
psychoeducation, managerial training and pre-role mental health screening
- Describe and explore the evidence for secondary preventative measures including post-exposure mental
health screening, peer support, supervisor delivered support and interventions and peer support.
- Outline the evidence of tertiary preventative measures (treatment) paying particular attention to those
which may be helpful in helping workers who develop a post-trauma mental health condition return to
Complex-PTSD; recovery and resilience from Titanic experiences?
Population Type: Adult
Presentation Level: Intermediate
Region: Global (presentation in English)
Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been accepted as a formal diagnosis for less than a decade, having been suggested three decades ago, and most likely experienced for centuries.
The emphasis within healthcare and mental health research has tended to focus on (relatively) immediate effect. Perhaps without realising, we have a limited temporal perspective and understanding of the longer-term trajectory of potential traumatic experiences.
We do know, however, that either single or multiple incidents may result in a range of symptoms meeting C-PTSD criteria; this is not defined by the event itself but rather by the range of subsequent difficulties.
This workshop seeks to examine the individual, relational and situational factors that may influence this, and what we know of the effects of a potentially traumatic experience across an individual’s lifespan.
The RMS Titanic was constructed in Belfast, and set sail for New York in April 1912, overflowing with ambitions and expectation. The experiences of one family, who were aboard the Titanic on its infamous maiden voyage, are examined and explored within small groups. A mother and daughters contemporaneous and retrospective accounts of this maritime tragedy will facilitate this.
This workshop aims to explore and identify, from these accounts, what accords with our current understanding within traumatology, and what may offer an improved understanding of the potential life course of Traumatic experiences.
This workshop is delivered by Mark McFetridge, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Senior Lecturer at York St John University, UK. For many years he was the Lead Psychologist at the Retreat, York and head of the trauma service, until the closure of inpatient services in 2019. He has contributed several peer-reviewed papers and conference presentations addressing the longer-term outcomes of psychological therapy. Mark is a board member of the UKPTS and was the lead author of the UKPTS Guideline for Complex-PTSD (2017). Mark is a co-author of the forthcoming handbook Demystifying Trauma (the University Press). Aside from his clinical and academic interests, Mark breeds pedigree Shetland sheep in Yorkshire. He is consistently out standing in his field, even when it rains.
1. Consolidate understanding of the diagnostic criteria for C-PTSD (ICD-11; 2018), and what this does not
2. Explore the individual and relational context for the potential traumatic responses of one family to a
3. Identify how the potential lifespan effects of events can interact with our diverse cultural backgrounds.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: The approach underlying the WHO’s Self-Help Plus (SH+) intervention for psychological distress
There has also been a comparative lack of research investigating interventions aimed at supporting the mental health and wellbeing of forcibly displaced people (including refugees and asylum seekers). As a group, forcibly displaced people are at increased risk of experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, psychological distress, and PTSD.
SH+ is a scalable five session group-delivered intervention that has been developed by the WHO. The intervention is delivered by briefly trained facilitators drawn from local communities who use pre-recorded audio and an illustrated guidebook to help group attendees engage with the intervention work. The five sessions focus on Getting Grounded, Unhooking, Doing What Matters, Being Kind and Making Room.
SH+ is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which is an approach that aims to enhance psychological flexibility – our ability to have difficult thoughts and feelings and still being able to do what matters to us. As a trainer of ACT, I was consulted by the WHO in the development of SH+. As a Global Mental Health researcher, I have also been involved as an investigator in four large scale randomized controlled trials that have evaluated SH+ in Uganda, Turkey, and the EU which demonstrated the effectiveness of the approach. The SH+ programme has subsequently been translated and culturally adapted for use in a range of humanitarian including the Ukraine.
The aim of this workshop is to share information about the development and evaluation of the SH+ intervention and to provide insights in the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy approach to responding to distress.
This workshop is delivered by Ross G. White, PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology at QUB. He has expertise in Global Mental Health and has collaborated with the World Health Organization and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in developing and evaluating psychosocial interventions for refugees.
By the end of this workshop, participants will:
- understand the content of the SH+ intervention and how the approach is delivered
- critically reflect on the research evidence supporting SH+
- practice Acceptance and Commitment Therapy skills aimed at enhancing psychological flexibility
Note: Individuals with a background in psychology, psychotherapy, humanitarian work and/or primary care can participate in this workshop.
Moving Beyond the Trauma Trap: Exploring Resilience Following
Population: Open to All
Presentation Level: Beginner
Historically psychotrauamtology research has fallen into a ‘trauma trap’, focusing primarily on psychopathological outcomes following trauma. This is at odds with the wealth of evidence that suggests that the most common outcome following traumatic stress is one of resilience, where individuals reassume normal functioning or indeed never experience mental ill-health However, the study of resilience, while popular in recent decades, remains challenging. Primarily due to the lack of consensus surrounding how resilience is best defined and moreover, what exactly constitutes as ‘post trauma resilience’.
Despite this, the field has seen increasing interest and focus on the ability to bounce-back in spite of adversity, resulting in the formation of several theories of resilience, yet these processes continue to remain contested. Focusing on theory and research in post-trauma resilience, this workshop will: a) introduce participants to longstanding and emergent theories of post-trauma resilience, b) draw on current research on psychological resilience and its processes, and c) provide opportunities for critique and debate of their perspectives as psychotrauamtology begins to broaden beyond the trauma trap.
The aim of this workshop is to share current perspectives and debates on post-trauma resilience research, and to provide participants with opportunities to critique pathological and non-pathological outcomes following traumatic stress.
This workshop is delivered by:
Martin Robinson, Research Fellow in the STARC Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast
Emily McGlinchey, Senior Research Fellow at the STARC Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast
and Chérie Armour, Professor of Psychological Trauma and Mental Health in the School of Psychology at Queens University Belfast. She is the immediate Past President of the UK Psychological Trauma Society and serves the last year of her elected board membership for the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies in 2022.
By the end of this workshop participants will be able to:
- Recognise current debates on post-trauma resilience
- Appraise perspectives in Psychotraumatology centred on pathology outcomes
- Assess theories of post-trauma resilience and how these may be applied in situ
- Critique perspectives on post-trauma resilience, and post-traumatic growth
Note: Material will build from an introductory level, as such no previous experience of post-trauma psychological resilience theories and investigations is required.
Disclaimer: This workshop will discuss personalised vignettes of traumatic stress and coping.
Cognitive Therapy for PTSD: Tailoring treatment to different cognitive themes
Population Type: Adult
Presentation Level: Intermediate
NICE (2019) and international treatment guidelines recommend of Cognitive Therapy for PTSD as a first-line treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The treatment has been shown to be highly effective and acceptable to adults and young people. Ehlers and Clark’s (2000) cognitive model of PTSD guides treatment. This model suggests that people with PTSD perceive a serious current internal or external threat that has two sources, excessively negative appraisals (personal meanings) of the trauma and / or its sequelae and characteristics of trauma memories that lead to reexperiencing symptoms. The problem is maintained by cognitive strategies (such as thought suppression, rumination, numbing, safety-seeking behaviours) that are intended to reduce the sense of current threat but maintain the problem by preventing change in the appraisals and trauma memory, and/or lead to increases in symptoms.
Cognitive Therapy for PTSD aims to identify and change idiosyncratic personal meanings, elaborate the trauma memories, discriminate triggers of reexperiencing symptoms from the stimuli during the trauma, and drop maintaining behaviours. Treatment is tailored to the individual case formulation. The workshop will discuss how to tailor treatment to common cognitive themes in PTSD. Techniques used in treatment are described and illustrated with case examples and videos. A preparatory workshop on memory work in CT-PTSD is available at: https://oxcadatresources.com/ptsd-training-videos/ (free registration as a clinician is required).
This workshop is delivered by: Anke Ehlers, Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma, University of Oxford, UK
- Develop individualized case formulation according to Ehlers & Clark’s model
- Tailor cognitive and memory work to case formulation
- Identify a range of cognitive techniques for different cognitive themes