Kevin Connors, MS, MFT
Gooood Mornnnning ISSTD!
Welcoming in the changes as we move into 2018, I would like to acknowledge all that has been done for us by our former Board members Warwick Middleton, Christa Krüger and Michael Dadson. They leave behind big shoes to fill. Luckily we have a great crop of new Board members in Lisa Danylchuk, Dana Ross, and Michael Salter; bringing with them energy, insights, and fresh ideas.
We are a short eight weeks away from our 35th Annual Conference. As you probably know by now, we are returning to Chicago where so many of our earliest conferences took place. To me this feels like coming home. We’ll be staying at the historic Palmer House Hilton Hotel (Hotel Information), which should be a treat in itself. However, with the stellar line-up of plenary speakers, pre and post conference workshops, and dazzling array of accepted submissions from members, clinicians, and scholars it may be hard to find time to get out of the hotel to explore Chicago’s rich architecture and historical sites.
To make our conference experience more manageable, we are scheduling a New Attendee Orientation on Friday night, March 23rd. The goal is to help attendees better understand how to navigate the hotel, use the on-line conference planner, and find the courses best suited to their individual wants and needs. With over 70 different workshops, panels, forums and papers arranged across 7 different breakout sessions, the choice can be a bit daunting.
At the New Attendee Orientation we plan to also introduce some of our senior faculty, ISSTD Board members and other notables. For me one of the joys of our conferences is the ability to network and chat with colleagues and luminaries between sessions, getting a more personal and intimate understanding of their thoughts and theories. Many of us have found ISSTD, our annual conferences, and regional conferences to be our clinical home. We hope to welcome new members into our collegial family. By the way: you don’t have to be a first time attendee to participate in this event. Stop by, learn a little, share a little.
For others on-site at the hotel on the Friday evening before the conference starts we have scheduled a fun Create & Connect Event. Tally Tripp, whose Creative Arts post conference workshops have been amazingly restorative and inspiring, is offering a chance to catch-up with old friends and colleagues, swap stories, share a drink (registration includes one free drink and then a cash bar will be available) and engage your creative, artistic self(s) while getting settled at the hotel. For $25, you get access, art supplies, and a drink ticket. Check-in and check it out.
While I’m on the subject of checking in, I want to remind everyone if you have not yet registered for the conference or reserved your room at Palmer House, time is running out. The Early Bird deadline for the conference is February 15th. After that the price for this not-to-be-missed event goes up. The reduced rates for Palmer House are only guaranteed through to February 19, 2018.
Noting that this is our 35th Annual Conference and a special event for our Society, I invite you to take a minute to reflect on all that we have accomplished in the past 35 years. This includes the development of the Professional Training Program; our honored publication, the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation; our new online clinical e-journal Frontiers in the Psychotherapy of Trauma & Dissociation; clinical and financial support for the ground breaking TOPDD Study; wide ranging webinars; and regional conferences. All of these are phenomenal activities which aim to educate and make clinicians, academicians, researchers, and the general public aware of the impact of trauma and dissociation on the lives of those struggling with the sequelae of abuse. However these activities don’t come without a cost. Moreover, we still have a long way to go in making people aware of and accepting of complex trauma and dissociative disorders.
To help grow our efforts and promote critical projects, we have launched the “35 for the 35th” campaign to commemorate our anniversary. Our goal is to raise $35,000 to develop our new website, expand virtual training offerings and expand the resources for students and emerging professionals.
Now some people have already begun donating in the theme of 35’s. In fact one person sent in $135.35! Others have sent more, some have sent less. I propose a simple plan. If each member sends only $35, we will easily reach our goal. Here is an easy and inexpensive way to contribute to significant change in our field: $35 for the 35th. Donate Here: One Time Donation or Installment Option
Thank you all for doing what you do to make a difference.
To be continued…..