For Students

Resources for Students

If you are a student looking for information on psychological trauma, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or dissociative identity disorder (DID), formerly called multiple personality disorder (MPD), here are some information sources you can try. If you need more information after looking at all of these, please contact us by phone or e-mail.

We suggest you don’t use novels, movies, or biographies as information sources, since they may emphasize sensationalism rather than accuracy. Please don’t ask us for names of trauma survivors you can interview. Most survivors of traumatic events don’t want to talk to strangers. Please don’t ask us to provide you with case studies. Case information is confidential.

If you quote or paraphrase the information found in the sources suggested here or any other sources, you must acknowledge the author and publisher of the article. Remember that these are copyrighted materials. Copying information from the Internet is the same as copying from a book: if you don’t cite the source, it’s plagiarism.

Skip directly to the sections for College Students (General) or College Students (Majoring in Psychology or Related Fields).

High School Students

1. Read our three online brochures,
What Is Psychological Trauma?, What Is a Dissociative Disorder? What Are Traumatic Memories?

2. Several books offer excellent introductions to the topics of trauma and dissociation. Although most of these books were written for teens who are survivors of abuse, they are still helpful to others who are trying to learn about the subject. You can order several of the books listed from Sidran or you can check your public or school library.

How Long Does It Hurt?

A Guide to Recovering from Incest and Sexual Abuse for Teenagers, Their Friends, and Their Families
Cynthia L. Mather with Kristine E. Debye, L.C.S.W.-C.

This step-by-step, comprehensive recovery guide for teenagers who have been or are being sexually abused is written by an adult survivor and therapist in a sympathetic, yet straightforward, voice. The authors explain incest, sexual abuse, and sexual assault; finding safety; knowing who to tell and what the consequences (such as police reports, arrests, and going to court) may be; what others may say; living with family, and dealing with friends, after telling; becoming comfortable with your sexuality; surviving the trauma of sexual abuse; and therapy and healing.

Frequently quoting teen survivors, How Long Does It Hurt? also discusses and explains negative coping techniques (and suggests positive ones), boundaries, feelings, anger, what sex is and is not, fixated and regressed offenders, why abusers abuse, and more, including a chapter for friends of teens who have been abused.

This well-written, easily read, and realistic book offers many choices and alternatives. It will be of enormous help to teenagers who are learning to overcome their feelings of isolation, fear, sadness, confusion, and self-doubt.

Shining Through

Pulling It Together After Sexual Abuse
Mindy B. Loiselle and Leslie Bailey Wright

This workbook is specifically for young women who have been sexually abused, and it addresses them directly without talking down to them. The text and exercises help the reader to understand what happened to her and how it felt and why it is better to tell someone than to hide the truth. The exercises help the survivor explore her feelings and present coping resources such as friends, family, school personnel, and therapists. Shining Through closes with a discussion of safety, healing, and hope for the future.

The Way I Feel

Creative Books for Healing from Post-Traumatic Stress
Debra Whiting Alexander
For teens ages 11 to 17

These six creative booklets (The Way I Feel – All My Dreams – It’s My Life – It Happened in Autumn – When I Remember – In This House Called Home) are designed for use in the recovery of teens who have been direct or secondary victims of trauma. Written from a teenager’s perspective, each story is open-ended, so that individual experiences may be easily integrated, and is intended to normalize reactions in a supportive and non-threatening way. There are pages on which readers can describe their feelings and experiences; each book also includes a guide for parents, teachers, or counselors.

Back on Track
Boys Dealing with Sexual Abuse
For boys age 10 and up
Leslie Bailey Wright and Mindy B. Loiselle

The sexual abuse of boys is often overlooked, since it is far less common than the abuse of girls. This workbook is written for adolescent boys and addresses them directly, answering commonly asked questions, offering concrete suggestions for getting help, and dealing with unspoken concerns such as homosexuality. There are descriptions of what therapy may be like and briefer explanations of social services and courts, as well as sections on family and friends. Exercises (often called “Your Turn”) and interesting graphics break up the text. The book’s important message is “TELL: Just keep telling until someone listens who STOPS the abuse.”

Someone I Know Has Multiple Personalities
A Book for Significant Others: Family, Friends, and Caring Professionals
Sandra J. Hocking

Adult survivors of childhood abuse often struggle with dissociative conditions. Although the ability to dissociate is life-saving and allows individuals to protect themselves, it can also interfere with the establishment of intimate relationships. Spouses, partners, friends, and family members may feel pressured to do or say the right thing and may feel stressed or confused. This book provides practical suggestions for understanding and relating to people you love who have dissociative conditions.

3. There are many good online sources. Start with Sidran’s Links section. Every site you find will lead to others. 

Hope for Recovery from PTSD – Video
by PTSD Alliance – Please Note: Involves dramatizations of individuals briefly describing interpersonal traumas, which may be upsetting for some individuals.

Podcasts and webcasts from Gift From Within
Gift from Within is an international nonprofit organization for survivors of trauma and victimization.

College Students (General)

1. Read our three online brochures,  What Is Psychological Trauma?, What Is Dissociative Identity Disorder? and What Are Traumatic Memories?

2. There are many good books that go beyond the basic introductory level. All the ones listed here are available from Sidran; some may be available in your college library or bookstore, a public library, or commercial bookstore. Sidran also offers a number of excellent videos for both therapists and the general public; let your instructor know about these and ask her/him to consider ordering them for a class showing.

Unspeakable Truths and Happy Endings
 – buy
Human Cruelty and the New Trauma Therapy
Rebecca Coffey

Note: This book contains some graphic descriptions of traumatic experiences that may be distressing to some readers. These sections are clearly marked for readers who prefer to skip over them.

With the electrifying tales of 15 survivors of catastrophic human cruelty at its narrative core, Unspeakable Truths and Happy Endings resoundingly illuminates both the necessity and difficulty of compassionate, sensible listening to survivors’ tales of trauma.

The book journalistically explores the effects of survivors’ stories on compassionate listeners—a group that includes therapists but that also includes friends, family, and even survivors themselves as they work and re-work the realities of their own experience. Along the way, the book addresses the flip side of compassionate listening: squabbles about victimhood and recovered memory. The book concludes that, as thinking and caring inhabitants of a menacing world, we must all learn to hear unspeakable truths. At the same time that we risk accepting the truths about violence and degradation that survivors’ memories hold, we must reasonably engage critical thinking when memories of violence and degradation stretch the limits of our credulity. We owe it to survivors to listen compassionately; we owe it to ourselves to listen prudently.

Trauma and Recovery

The Aftermath of Violence-From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror
Judith Lewis Herman, M.D.

Trauma and Recovery is a compassionate, brilliantly insightful re-framing of our contemporary understanding of psychological trauma. Drawing on her own research into domestic violence, as well as the vast literature on combat veterans and victims of political terror, Herman illustrates the parallels between private terror, typically female (battered women, incest victims), and public traumas, typically male (war veterans, prisoners of war). Central to the book is the common healing process for all these survivors.

This book begins with an outline of human adaptation to traumatic events. The second section develops an overview of the healing process and offers a new conceptual framework for psychotherapy with traumatized people. In a new afterword written for this edition, Dr. Herman describes the controversy that has surrounded her work, the new research that has emerged in the field, and the far-reaching implications that this book has had in trauma situations around the world.

Coping with Trauma
Hope through Understanding, Second Edition
Jon G. Allen, Ph.D.

This is one of the best books for helping the general reader understand the variety of issues that concern survivors of trauma and their families.

Written in plain language, Coping with Trauma provides a comprehensive summary of current professional knowledge about the effects of traumatic experiences. Dr. Allen helps survivors understand how severe trauma can have a major impact on the course of life, and examines how best to cope with its symptoms and aftereffects. Among the topics covered are dissociative disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, intrusive
memories, self-esteem, and treatment issues.

The Scarred Soul

Understanding and Ending Self-Inflicted Violence
Tracy Alderman, Ph.D.

Clinical psychologist Tracy Alderman takes a caring and compassionate look at why between one and two million people in the United States engage in acts of self-inflicted violence. She helps readers see that for some, SIV can be a means of breaking out of psychological numbness, while for others, physical pain is a way of focusing and controlling overwhelmingly chaotic feelings. The Scarred Soul is a step-by-step guide that helps victims of self-inflicted violence closely examine this behavior and take steps to reduce or eliminate it. This is the first book on the subject written for a general audience, the first to help educate those who have friends or relatives who are victims of self-inflicted violence, and the first to help victims understand they are not alone.

Someone I Know Has Multiple Personalities 
A Book for Significant Others: Family, Friends, and Caring Professionals
Sandra J. Hocking

Adult survivors of childhood abuse often struggle with dissociative conditions. Although the ability to dissociate is life-saving and allows individuals to protect themselves, it can also interfere with the establishment of intimate relationships. Spouses, partners, friends, and family members may feel pressured to do or say the right thing and may feel stressed or confused. This book provides practical suggestions for understanding and relating to people you love who have dissociative conditions.

Multiple Personality Disorder from the Inside Out  – buy
Edited by Barry Cohen, Esther Giller, and Lynn W.

Now in its eleventh printing, this book has helped thousands of people who have or know someone who has a dissociative disorder. In this groundbreaking bestseller, people with dissociative disorders and their significant others address the complex issues of diagnosis, therapy, and maintaining personal relationships. Viewed “from the inside out,” dissociative disorders take on a strong and impassioned voice as those who struggle with dissociation share their experiences, obstacles, and triumphs.

Contributions by 146 individuals diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder and the people with whom they share their lives have been gathered into an accessible and practical volume for therapists, clients, and lay readers interested in how to better be supportive of individuals who suffer with dissociative diagnoses. Many will find that the book validates their own experiences and feelings as it explores the post-diagnosis journey.

3. Look at the sites listed in Sidran’s Links section. Each site will lead you to others.


College Students Majoring in Psychology or Related Fields

1. If you are planning to make psychology your career, you may want to look at some books and videos intended for professional use. There are too many to list here, but you can find them in the Sidran online catalog.

2. In addition to the websites listed above, try some of these sites aimed at mental health professionals.

Child Abuse Prevention Network

A program of the Family Life Development Center at Cornell University. News and links, including direct links to child abuse newsgroups.

National Data Archive on Child Abuse & Neglect (NDACAN)

Contains extensive child abuse research databases and research support services.

Wounded HealerJournal
Online resources for therapists who are abuse survivors. Helplines, books, articles, networking information, forums, chat groups. Forums include: What’s New, Allies, Animal-Assisted Therapy, Bipolar, DD-MPD, Eating Disorders, Lighten Up, Parenting, PTSD, Relationships, Self-Care & Grounding, Self-Injury, Spirituality, SRA, The Park (for inside kids), and many others.

National Center for PTSD

Information, publications, links, PILOTS database.

Post Trauma Resources
PTR responds to potentially traumatic events to assist personnel and organizations to return to functioning and also provides consultation and training to organizations planning coordinated responses to trauma. Website includes information on trauma and links to other sites.

The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

A professional association with student affiliates. Focuses on current trauma-related research and practice guidelines.

The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation

A professional association with student affiliates. Focuses on research, diagnosis, and treatment of dissociative disorders.

3. The PILOTS database is an excellent starting point for researching the professional literature.

The PILOTS database is an electronic index to the published international literature on traumatic stress. It contains over 21,000 bibliographical records and represents the world’s largest bibliographic resource for traumatic stress studies. It is available to users worldwide and may be searched with no account or password required. As part of the Dartmouth College Information System, the PILOTS database combines a user-friendly search interface with a powerful range of search commands, offering researchers, clinicians, and students as well as librarians and other professionals a shortcut to the traumatic stress literature.