On Tuesday (New Zealand time) December 12th, the Executive Committee of the ISSTD had its last meeting of the year (barring any emergencies!!). Our Secretary, Bob Slater, had a foot of snow outside his upstate New York office. Christine Forner, our current treasurer and next year’s President-Elect, was hunkered down in Calgary with many layers of clothing on. Our Executive Director, Mary Pat Hanlin, was feeling the chill in Virginia. Kevin Connors, our current President-Elect, was sitting outside in Southern California enjoying the midday winter heat. Our Immediate Past President Warwick Middleton was sweltering in Brisbane’s summer humidity, and I was enjoying a pre-christmas heat ‘wave’ (by New Zealand standards) in Christchurch, where temperatures were reaching 33˚C (91.4˚F).
Like the membership of the ISSTD we were geographically spread and sharing in no way the same season or weather conditions. But we were joined by a shared purposed, a weekly tradition, a set of acknowledged and time-honoured customs, and an opportunity to connect with each other. The holiday season represents a time when many of us are drawn to local, familial, cultural and religious traditions. We may engage in activities that are reserved for this time of the year, and bring us together with specific people that we don’t see at other times. We may get an opportunity to take a ‘breather’ from the year as it has played out, and join with others to share and connect. We may get some wanted or unwanted time alone. Whatever the customs, traditions, and activities you engage in this holiday season, I hope they are peaceful, rejuvenating, connecting, and bring some internal comfort and pleasure. Whether you are rugged against the cold, or trying to find ways to stay cool, I wish every member of ISSTD a very safe holiday season and an exciting start to the new year.
Martin Dorahy, President, ISSTD
One of the exciting aspects of this holiday season is the beginning of a new year (for those of us marking time via the Gregorian calendar). With the New Year comes the sense of a new beginning and new opportunities for growth and change.
For ISSTD we have new board members joining us, Lisa Danylchuk, Dana Ross, and Michael Salter are all beginning their first terms on the ISSTD Board of Directors. We are excited about the fresh ideas and innovative approaches they will bring to the challenges facing our Society. We are excited about the new directions and projects they will guide us along.
I am personally excited about what the future holds for us. I have seen our Society rise on the excitement that came in the early 1980’s, recognizing dissociation and the amazing way traumatized people have coped with horrific abuses. I watched in grave concern as our Society faced two tremendous challenges; the Memory Wars of the mid 1990’s and our financial crisis of the early 21st century. I was honored to be part of the rebuilding process as our Society found solid fiscal footing and academic rigor. I am proud of our continuing commitment to educating and furthering the understanding of trauma and dissociation as evidenced by our flagship publication, the Journal for Trauma and Dissociation. I am thrilled that in the last two years our Center for Advanced Studies and the Professional Training Program awarded the first graduating scholars their Certificates of Training in Trauma and Dissociation. I am excited about extending the reach of regional seminars to global sites from Australia to England and across North America, and the renaissance of our annual conference (which by the way is now celebrating its 35th birthday in its hometown of Chicago)!!!! Annual Conference Website
Looking to the future of education, I am thrilled by our growing on-line presence. Our webinar program has already identified and planned for a full schedule of illuminating trainings showcasing the depth and breadth of ISSTD’s clinical and research based knowledge. Check out the full schedule here. 2018 Webinar Schedule
ISSTD continues to expand our on-line presence with the intimate and inspiring dialogues of our Virtual Book Club. The newest books and cutting edge Journal articles are shared and discussed. You have the opportunity to chat on-line with the authors, skilled clinicians, and knowledgeable researchers. The interplay is dynamic and inspiring. If you haven’t signed up to participate in one of the Virtual Book Club events, I heartily recommend you do so.
Brand new in 2017, and still in its fledgling stages, is our newest contribution to our educational offerings; Frontiers, our clinical e-Journal. In this innovative new approach we are sharing solid clinical acumen and information. Look for our next articles to come out in early 2018. (Frontiers can be accessed by logging into ISSTD’s Member’s Corner and clicking on the Frontiers Logo on the main page)
The New Year offers new hope, new opportunities, and new challenges. Your Board of Directors are keen to hear from you. What do you want to see in 2018? Where do you want our Society to go? I invite you to share your thoughts with us. More so, I invite and encourage you to get involved helping to grow our Society and guide our growth into the future.
All the best for 2018
Kevin Connors, President-Elect, ISSTD
At Christmas all roads lead home. For all those who have an additional home within our Society, the warmest wishes for the festive season!
Warwick Middleton, Immediate Past President, ISSTD