Board Members

Amy Lucas


Amy Lucas, DClinPsy, is a Clinical Psychologist in UK, and collaborating researcher with The International Consortium for Maladaptive Daydreaming Research (ICDMR). She also offers guest lecturing and tutoring at Middlesex University in London, and research supervision for doctoral trainees at the Salomons Institute for Applied Psychology. Her professional interests include altered states of consciousness (including fantasy, psychedelics, and dissociation), trauma, and anxiety. She is the President of ISMD, in charge of overseeing the work of the board and the organization’s management team. 


Nirit Soffer-Dudek

Past president
& director of research and science

Nirit Soffer-Dudek, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, and a licensed clinical psychologist.
Her research focuses on the associations between psychopathological distress and waking and nocturnal altered states of consciousness, including dissociative states, unusual nocturnal dreaming, and in recent years – maladaptive daydreaming.
Prof. Soffer-Dudek has published several papers on Maladaptive Daydreaming and serves as the scientific director of the International Consortium of Maladaptive Daydreaming Research (ICMDR).
As past president, she consults the current president. She also oversees the field of maladaptive daydreaming research, specifically, its communication with researchers and the public.

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Eli Somer


Eli Somer, Ph.D., is a full clinical professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Haifa School of Social Work, Israel, and the founder and senior researcher at the International Consortium for Maladaptive Daydreaming Research (ICMDR).
He was the founder and scientific advisor of Trauma and Dissociation Israel (TDIL), associate founder and past president of the European Society for Trauma and Dissociation (ESTD), and past president of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD). 
Prof. Somer coined the term “Maladaptive Daydreaming” in his seminal 2002 paper and has published numerous papers in the field since then.


Hildy Wen

Vice President
& Membership and Outreach

Hildy Wen is an American researcher, writer, and behavioral health specialist with a background in clinical psychology and education.
Her research focuses on adaptive and maladaptive emotion regulation strategies, with a particular interest in the development, functioning, and treatment of maladaptive daydreaming and non-suicidal self-injury.
She is also working with When Toys Age to design an academic planner focusing on mental wellness, social-emotional learning, and professional skill development for high school and college students.

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Jayne Bigelsen

Treasurer and Legal Affairs

Jayne Bigelsen is an advocate who has spent over twenty-five years working in social justice and public policy in New York and now works on behalf of young people experiencing homelessness and survivors of human trafficking.  She has significant experience in communications, fundraising, grant management, and legislative advocacy. Additionally, Jayne struggled with Maladaptive Daydreaming from early childhood until the age of 25. Jayne has co-published three peer-reviewed journal articles on MD with Dr. Eli Somer and Dr. Cynthia Schupak.  She spoke of her experience regarding MD in this article in the 

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Valeria Franco

Media and Marketing

Valeria Franco founded the first Non-Profit association for Maladaptive Daydreaming in Italy. Former MDer herself, she is committed to spreading proper information about MD leading Italian and international online communities since 2016.
After a Master’s degree from the University of Padua in Cultural Tourism Management, she received a Counseling Diploma in order to provide better support for people in her communities.
She is and art communicator and works as Marketing and Communication freelance focusing specially in the Art and Non profit field.
She is Director for Media and Marketing ISMD team.

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Ramiro Cattelan

Diversity and Inclusion

Ramiro Figueiredo Catelan, Ph.D., is a licensed Clinical Psychologist in Brazil and a Board Certified Therapist by the Brazilian Federation of Cognitive Therapies. He is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he leads the Center for Maladaptive Daydreaming and Emotion Dysregulation Research. He is also a Collaborating Researcher with the International Consortium for Maladaptive Daydreaming Research (ICDMR). Ramiro has been trained in several evidence-based psychological treatments (especially dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy). His research interests include maladaptive daydreaming, dissociative experiences, emotion dysregulation, and borderline personality disorder. He is also the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director of ISMD, responsible for international community affairs.

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