Trauma Lines is a quarterly e-newsletter produced by the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists. It includes updates and information about ATSS and its members.

It also includes articles about current developments in the field of trauma and trauma recovery. Many articles are written by ATSS members.

Read the most recent edition of Trauma Lines here.

Spring 2013
In This Issue
Farewell To Our Leader, Kent Laidlaw
ATSS Certifications: Valid v.s. Invalid
PTSD in the News
Trainings, Webinars & Conferences
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ATSS Welcomes New Members

Charlotte "Carla" Archuletta, TN, USA

Ophelia Austin-Small, NY, USA

Judy Beahan, MSW, MI, USA

Beth Bickel, PA, USA

Yolanda Burnom, LA, USA

Claire Capron, MA, USA

Hendrik Van Dooren, ON, Canada

Lisa Dorn, WI, USA

Danielle Dronet, NY, USA

Michael Elder, CA, USA

Pamela Fasullo, ON, Canada

Stephanie Gibbs, PA, USA

Shirley Gibson, MO, USA

LeighAnne Goldstine MS, TN, USA

Jeff Gorter, MSW, MI, USA

Wm. Allan Gray, ON, Canada

Lori Gray, ON, Canada

Linda Hochstetler, MSW, MI, USA

Allen Howell, MA, USA

Carla Ingeborg, MO, USA

Rick Lewis, BC, Canada

Ali Lienaux, MI, USA

Scott Mentzer, MA, USA

Anthony Nastasi, NJ, USA

Ilissa Nicco, NJ, USA

Jessica Pena, NC, USA

Cortnie Pickett, MA, CO, USA

Tonya Pignato, FL, USA

Wendy Rafuse, RN, NS, Canada

Jennifer Richmond, ON, Canada

Brent Richter, MA, LPC, MN, USA

Karen Simmonds, ON, Canada

Stephanie Smith-Jefferson, MS, USA

Bob VandePol, MSW, MI, USA

Christine Vicencio, BC, Canada

Rochelle Von Hof, PA, USA

Johnnathan Ward, GA, USA

William Webber, TX, USA

Agency/Team Memberships

Chatham-Kent Victim Services, ON, Canada

Crisis Care Network, MI, USA

Renewing ATSS Members


Frank Abate, VA, USA

Lois Abrams, CA, USA

Gregory Armstrong, ON, Canada

John Barbato, NJ, USA

James Baxendale, NC, USA

Dena Bazzie, NC, USA

Murray Bernstein, WI, USA

Robert Bray, CA, USA

John Bredin, ON, Canada

Alan Brett, MD, USA

Dawn Brett, MD, USA

Dawn Brock, IL, USA

Linda Brown, CA, USA

Barry Bryant, TN, USA

James (Jim)Caruso, BC, Canada

Daniel Casey, MN, USA

Jay Christianson, WI, USA

Sterling Claypoole, AR, USA

Lisa Compton, VA, USA

Darrell Coons, IL, USA

Keri Cooper, TX, USA

Denise Coyle, WA, USA

Joe Davis, CA, USA

Nancy Day, MO, USA

Patricia de Courcy-Ireland, ON, Canada

Kathleen Deakin, AB, Canada

Linda Diaz-Murphy, NJ, USA

Ellen Diedrich, WI, USA

Joanne Doyle, ON, Canada

Kevin Drab, PA, USA

Terrance Dushenko, CA, USA

Corinne Enright, ON, Canada

Barbara Ertl, PA, USA

Michael Fagel, Ph.D, CEM, IL, USA

Venessa Farn, WI, USA

Kenneth Farnham, OK, USA

John Fazio, OR, USA

Lynn Friedman, LA, USA

Kathleen Gajdos, PA, USA

Vera Garcia, TX, USA

Sarah Getman, WA, USA

Charles (Chuck)Goodwin, WA, USA

Lori Graves, MO, USA

Michae lHaley, OH, USA

Patrick Hamlin, TX, USA

Sandra Hardie, WI, USA

Steven Herman, PhD, IN, USA

Lisa Highgate, ON, Canada

Trina Hole, CA, USA

Mariah Hughes, MO, USA

Candace Johnson, MI, USA

Jennifer Jones, ON, Canada

Dennis Jones, WA, USA

Judith Joseph, AZ, USA

D. Jane Kennedy, ON, Canada

Kent Laidlaw, ON, Canada

Kevin Lefevre, BC, Canada

Danie lLovin, IL, USA

Lisa Madron, VA, USA

Laurie Martin, ON, Canada

Bridget Matte, MA, USA

Dave McCauley, BC, Canada

Patricia McCracken, ON, Canada

Sky McKeown, BC, Canada

Thomas Meany, NY, USA

Arthur Michalak, ON, Canada

Annmay Michelle Morant, VA, USA

Madeline Neumann, MO, Australia

Margare tO'Connor, Ed.D., AZ, USA

Richard Ottenstein, MD, USA

Teresa Parker, FL, USA

Bruce Ramsay, BC, Canada

Geri-Lynn Rempel, BC, Canada

Stacey Root, ON, Canada

Peggy Ruesink, CA, USA

Astrid Saragosa, Weilheim, Germany

Robert Scruton, BC, Canada

Jane Shea, VA, USA

Ofelia Sigarroa, NJ, USA

Sandra (Sandy)Smith, Alberta, Canada

Jennifer Thacker, MO, USA

Marisa Thornburn, ON, Canada

Steven Tice, WA, USA

Holly Tracy, VA, USA

Diane Travers, NJ, USA

Patricia Tritt, CO, USA

Gillian Villanueva, ON, Canada

Joddie Walker, PA, USA

Karen Wallace, ON, Canada

Lindsie Whitted, PA, USA

Kay Williams, CA, USA

Melanie Williams, ON, Canada

Cynthia Jo (CJ)Wright, KY, USA

H. Norman Wright, CA, USA

Chuck Wright, WA, USA

Tania Zulkoskey, BC, Canada

Renewing Team/Agency Membership

London Police Family Consultant/ Victim Services Unit, ON, Canada

Sand Hook Shooting Resources:
For VA Providers
Free PTSD consultation for anyone working with Veterans.
Call 866-948-7880 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
ATSS Members: We want to hear from you!

One of the benefits of being an ATSS member is this newsletter. You can help make the Trauma Lines newsletter all the better by contributing your own articles, ideas, comments and more.

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Follow Up To the Conference

  Board Conference 2012  

From left to right: Elena Cherepanov, (top) Bill McDermott, Diane Travers, Barbara Maurer, Linda Hood, Bonita Frazer, Wayne Maxwell, Kent Laidlaw, (bottom) Chrys Harris.  

The ATSS 2012 conference was held September 27-29, 2012 at the Delta Meadowvale Hotel and Conference Centre in Mississauga, ON. The three days of workshops focused on the theme, From Victim to Survivor: Supporting and Promoting Resilience.

Claire Pain Delegates enjoyed the Thursday luncheon keynote speaker Dr. Clare Pain, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto; Director, Psychological Trauma Program, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON; Consultant, Canadian Centre for the Victims of Torture; Co-Project Director, Toronto Addis Ababa Psychiatry Project; and Coordinator, Toronto-Addis Ababa Collaboration. She spoke on Supporting and Promoting  Resilience.

A 2 day certified CISM course, Individual Crisis Intervention-Peer Support was also offered at the conference. The presenter was Approved CISM Trainer and ATSS member, John Robertson, Certified Trauma Specialist. 

Evening social activities included the Thursday evening, President's Reception and the Friday night Pizza Party. These were great evenings of chatting, catching up with old friends, networking and always lots of laughter! Another fun event was the Silent Auction. There was a great variety of items donated by delegates, supporters and sponsors. ATSS was indeed fortunate to have platinum sponsorship for the conference from the Crisis Care Network/Family Services Employee Assistance Program. We are grateful for their support.

Feedback from conference delegates has been very positive. The workshops were very well-received and very informative. The conference was a great combination of learning and fun.  

We want to thank all the volunteers who helped make the conference such a success. We appreciate all the time and effort that was given to put everything together. We look forward to the 2014 conference and hope to see many of you there.

-ATSS Board of Directors  

Farewell To Our Leader, Kent Laidlaw

By Diane Travers, LCSW, CTS

This past December, Kent Laidlaw stepped down after finishing two consecutive terms as ATSS President. This position is not a paid position and the countless hours spent guiding ATSS are purely voluntary. For those members who have had the privilege of meeting Kent or working more in depth with him, you know how much he will be missed. For those of us on the Board of Directors of ATSS, this has been a time for reflection about what his leadership meant to both the Association as a whole and to those of us who had the honor to work side by side with him.

In preparing to write this, I paused to reflect on Kent's innate ability to lead our organization from a time of transition to a period of stability and growth. The definition of a leader is "one's ability to get others to willingly follow." A leader with vision has a clear, vivid picture of where to go, as well as a firm grasp on what success looks like and how to achieve it. But it's not enough to have a vision; leaders must also share it and act upon it.
According to Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric Co., "Good leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion. A leader must be able to communicate his or her vision in terms that cause followers to buy into it. He or she must communicate clearly and passionately, as passion is contagious."

This definition clearly describes the traits that Kent possesses along with integrity, magnanimity, humility, openness, creativity, fairness, assertiveness, and last but not least, a sense of humor. Kent was a leader who was trusted and revered as he never strayed from his core values or his vision for ATSS. He gave credit to everyone on the Board for the Association's progress and successes and took personal responsibility when ATSS hit a bump in the road. At the same time, he used his assertiveness to make us work together as a Board and spread responsibilities fairly among all of the members. What most of you recall about Kent was his sense of humility. Clearly, he did not take on this role to elevate himself but spent his time as President recognizing others. If anything, Kent elevated others at the expense of minimizing his contributions and the effectiveness of his leadership and vision for ATSS.

Lastly, Kent led by example, by working harder than anyone and setting the bar high enough for us all to reach. He asked for volunteers to lead committees and to work on projects and if no one volunteered, Kent reached out to the person he felt that he could do the best job to encourage them to take on the task. We accomplished a great deal during Kent's tenure and moved in a direction of financial stability that most on the Board doubted could happen. We also implemented many positive changes including a new website; revising and streamlining certifications; implementing an expert's review of all of our certifications; setting up criteria for continuing education and endorsements or relevant workshops; filling vacant Board positions with recognized trauma experts; resurrecting defunct committees; and organizing two conferences with a small group of dedicated volunteers.  

As immediate past President of ATSS, Kent remains involved with the Board and serves on the monthly Board of Directors' meetings which means that we haven't really let him get too far. For that, I am grateful as I would miss all of his qualities but would miss his sense of humor the most. His gentle chiding and jokes about New Jersey accents and attributes won't be too removed. In closing, I just want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our leader, Kent Laidlaw, and to say, on behalf of ATSS, "Thank You, our friend." 

ATSS Conf- Kent

ATSS Certifications: Valid v.s. Invalid

Certification through the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists (ATSS) has always aided trauma workers to become valuable service-providers. In this day and age, where there is a fairly constant need for trauma counselors, trauma specialists, and trauma responders, those who are certified to do this work have a leading edge over those who remain uncertified.

Unfortunately, the world-view of ATSS certification is being undermined by ATSS members with invalid certifications. Invalid ATSS certifications are held by those members who have let their membership and/or their certification lapse (usually due to non-payment of fees or lack of continuing education or both). Additionally, many of these members (with invalid ATSS certification) continue to promote themselves as ATSS certified. The truth is, if an ATSS member lets their membership or certification lapse, for whatever reason, their certification becomes invalid. One must be a member in good standing of ATSS to have a valid certification and one must keep the certification up to date for it to remain valid.

Those who have invalid certifications and continue to promote themselves as ATSS certified are committing, at least, a breach of ethics and, at most, an act that may be unlawful. The ethical issues associated with promoting an invalid certification should be obvious to most. However, the unlawfulness may not be so obvious. Many ATSS certified members are licensed to practice in their respective states. If their ATSS certification is invalid and they continue to promote themselves as certified, this is usually grounds to file a complaint to a licensing board. Further, if one obtains employment based on promoting an invalid certification, the employer can terminate the employment based on a false claim. Finally, the general public can take legal action against an individual who has an invalid ATSS certification for implying they are certified when they are not.

The impetus of this commentary is to keep ATSS strong by strengthening the world-view of our certification. I invite you to renew your membership; pay your fees; bring your certification(s) up to date; get your continuing education credits. If you choose not to do so, please do not promote yourself as being certified by ATSS.

Would you like to be an ATSS Sponsor?

Many of our members might not be aware of the fact that ATSS is led by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Association relies on volunteers for all committees and functions except for the administrative support that our management company, The Mental Health Association in New Jersey, provides. One of the committees that relies heavily on volunteer members is the Certification Committee. Certifications are the back bone of this organization, and require certified members to serve as sponsors. Sponsors provide the needed support and guidance for new members during the application process.

If you are presently a certified member of ATSS, in good standing, in any certification category (CTS, CTSS or CTR) we would like to ask that you consider volunteering to become a sponsor.  

We presently have a dedicated group of sponsors, but are in need of more.  

Sponsors are responsible for guiding the member through the certification process by answering questions and helping with the organization of their application. After providing the final review, the sponsor will write a letter recommending the applicant for certification. You can sponsor up to 3 applicants per certification cycle.

In recognition of serving as a sponsor, you are eligible to receive:

  • 5 contact hours for each application you successfully sponsor. A total of 15 hours may be used toward the 30 hour recertification requirement.
  • $50 sponsor coupon which can be used toward your re-certification fee or toward the registration fee for the ATSS Biennial Conference.  

If you are interested, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Need a Certification Sponsor?

If you are looking for a Certification Sponsor, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.?" shape="rect" target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with "sponsor needed" in the subject line. A sponsor will be assigned by an ATSS representative.  

PTSD in the News, Research and Information
Trainings, Webinars and Conferences

Certificate Program in Trauma Studies at Cambridge College

The Certificate program in Trauma Studies is tailored to satisfy the academic requirements for the certification in trauma services by the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists (ATSS) as CTS, CTSS or CTR. Additional ATSS requirements must be met in order to be certified. The student' individual eligibility depends on their training, coursework, highest earned degree and the professional interests. The students can use some credits if they have Bachelor degree and decide to continue their education in the SOPC graduate and post-graduate programs.

Click here for more information.
Click here for the brochure.

International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICIFS)
 See a list of offerings.