Are you treating a severely dissociative patient who struggles with safety?

14 July 2014

1. Would you like to further assist your client in stabilizing their safety?

If so, you and your client may be interested in the Treatment of Patients
with Dissociative Disorders (TOP DD) Network study!

The TOP DD team developed a web-based educational video program for DD clients
and their therapists which focuses on improving clients’ safety and their ability to
manage dissociation and emotions. !

2. To be eligible to participate, patients must:

  • be 18 or older
  • commit to doing approximately 2 ½ hours of work per week including: watching short educational videos (between 5-15 minutes each week), completing weekly writing exercises, and practicing skills exercises each day;
  • be diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder or Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified/Other Specified Dissociative Disorder
  • be in treatment with a therapist who is willing to also participate by watching the videos and completing surveys

The TOP DD team will not collect the patients’ written reflection exercises. The written reflections are for the patient’s own learning, although we encourage patients to share what they are learning about themselves with their therapists. Therapists will watch the same short, weekly videos that patients will view, so they need to be able to commit to spending approximately 10-15 minutes each week in order to participate. Participants need to be able to read and understand spoken English at the eighth grade level. 

Participants will be given an access code that will allow them to sign in to a secure website created by the TOP DD team which will host the educational videos, written exercises and practice exercises. There will be no charge to participants for accessing these materials, which have been designed by the TOP DD team specifically to help dissociative patients learn how to improve their safety, and enhance their ability to manage dissociation and feelings. Participants need to have reliable, fast internet access. If a potential participant is using a cell phone to access the internet, he or she will need a plan that has unlimited data in order to be able to view the videos. 

As part of participating, patients will complete brief questions each week about their symptoms and progress in learning the skills taught in the videos. Patients and therapists will complete research questionnaires several times over the course of the year, as well as for an additional year of follow-up. Each of these surveys will take approximately 1-2 hours to complete. Patients and therapists will also evaluate each week’s materials with a few brief survey questions, which will enable the TOP DD team to learn how to improve the program for future participants. The TOP DD team believes that participants will learn ways to improve their safety, and manage their emotions and symptoms in healthy ways. In addition, future dissociative patients and their therapists will benefit from the participants’ feedback about the study’s educational materials, as well as from the research that will be based on the study. 

The TOP DD team will not be able to provide consultation, treatment, or feedback on any participant nor provide information on any patient’s progress, nor return calls or emails seeking clinical advice. 

The TOP DD Network program will launch in June, 2014. All email addresses will be “blinded” so no one can see the other people who are receiving the email or their email addresses. Patient participants can choose whether to sign in to the study using their therapists’ names (e.g., “Dr. Sue Smith’s patient) or their own name. For more information, see http://www.towson.edu/topddstudy/ 

If you have any questions or want to sign up for the study, please email us at TOPDD@towson.edu 
 

Thank you for your interest and support for the TOP DD studies! 

Kind regards, 

Bethany Brand, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, TOP DD Study
The TOP DD Consultant Team
Frank Putnam, M.D., Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
Ruth Lanius, Ph.D., M.D. and Paul Frewen, Ph.D., London, Ontario, Canada
Richard Loewenstein, M.D., Hugo Schielke, Ph.D., Gregory Chasson, Ph.D, and Amie
Myrick L.C.P.C., Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Claire Pain, M.D. and Catherine Classen, Ph.D., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Kathy Steele, M.N, C.S., Atlanta, Georgia
Suzette Boon, Ph.D., The Netherlands
Ellen Jepsen, M.D., Ph.D., Modum Bad, Norway
Vittoria Ardino, Ph.D. and Martin Knapp, Ph.D., London School of Economics, England 

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