Who We Are

Sidran InstituteBecause many people underestimate the developmental, emotional, psychological, and spiritual injuries that can result when people experience or witness traumatic events, Sidran Traumatic Stress Institute, Inc. (formerly Foundation) is:

  • a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of international scope that helps people understand, recover from, and treat:
  • traumatic stress (including PTSD)
  • dissociative disorders, and
  • co-occurring issues, such as addictions, self injury, and suicidality.

We develop and deliver:

  • educational programming
  • resources for treatment, support, and self-help
  • trauma-informed community and professional collaboration projects
  • publications about trauma and recovery

Sidran’s constituency is made up of any individuals or organizations touched by the effects of trauma, including

  • adults, adolescents, and children who have experienced or witnessed traumatic events,
  • supportive friends and family members,
  • health, mental health, crisis, public safety, and victims services professionals
  • support networks, schools, faith communities, and more


Sidran (SID-run) began in 1986 out of a family tragedy when a beloved family member who had been abused in childhood was subsequently diagnosed with serious, debilitating psychiatric problems and a related life-threatening medical disorder. Frustrated in their search for help for the complex needs of their family member at the time, the Sidran family convened professionals from a variety of disciplines, support program representatives, and national organizations to determine how they could best help their own loved one, and others. With each meeting it became apparent that gaps in basic understanding existed in service delivery, continuity of care, public policy, and sound research.

“We were stunned by the lack of knowledge, information, and support we encountered, and became resolute in our desire to help expand the resources available for other recovering trauma survivors, their families, and caregivers.”

— Sheila Sidran Giller, 1931-2017, Founding Board Member 

After assisting their own family member, the Sidran family decided to use their personal struggle and hard obtained knowledge to create an organization to fill these gaps. Sidran Institute now provides useful, practical information for child and adult survivors of any type of trauma, for families/friends, and for the clinical and frontline service providers who assist in their recovery.  Sidran’s philosophy of education through collaboration brings together great minds (providers, survivors, and loved ones) to develop comprehensive programs to address the practical, emotional, spiritual and medical needs of trauma survivors.

The Sidran family provided the Institute’s founding gift and continues to provide a portion of the organization’s operating funds annually.


Because we believe that connection is the active ingredient in healing, Sidran’s philosophy reflects RICH relationships (Respect, Information, Connection, and Hope) in all our professional and interpersonal interactions. Recovery from the effects of trauma, (especially human-caused trauma) requires growth-promoting relationships and the willingness of survivors to risk re-connecting over time with friends, family, treatment providers, and community. Simultaneously, those providing support must also risk connection, with colleagues, with the survivors in their care, and with their own, true inner selves. Sidran’s programming emphasizes respectful, empathic connection and hope for the future.

Sidran believes that information is power and empowerment is the key to healing (and helping others heal) from trauma. We understand where you are coming from because our staff members have lived experience as survivors, family members, clinical and frontline professionals. Our aim is to empower you by building your knowledge-base, your confidence, and your capacity for healing and helping. Each Sidran training topic can be presented for any audience, at any level of academic and developmental sophistication. Our web-based product catalog has information and recovery tools appropriate for all audiences as well.

Because complex trauma requires a complex response and often causes victims and those who care about them to feel isolated, Sidran is devoted to fostering integrated service systems to support survivors holistically.