Abigail Percifield, ISSTD Conference Committee
ISSTD’s Annual Conference is filled with opportunities to deepen one’s understanding of the complex impact of trauma and learn cutting-edge training techniques. What is perhaps even more valuable, however, is the opportunity to socialize not only with your peers, but with luminaries in the field. ISSTD sets itself apart from other conferences in the way they provide attendees with specific activities throughout the event designed for this exact purpose. The social events planned for the 2018 conference go above and beyond anything we have done in the past as we recognize the networking potential as one of the greatest benefits attendance at our conference offers.
The conference kicks off with an orientation on Friday that details how you can get the most out of your conference experience. Valuable to students, emerging professionals, and long-standing members, this orientation highlights ways you can meet more people as well as suggestions to guide you as you decide which of our many sessions you want to attend. We’ll provide details about our Society Lounge —where you can find it and why you’ll want to make a special effort to stop by this year. Following the conference introduction, we invite you to join the ISSTD’s Creative Art Therapies Special Interest Group as they lead participants in completing their own art project. Registration for this event includes a drink ticket and we encourage everyone to make the most of their time by socializing with friends, old and new.
Our annual President’s Reception and Awards Dinner will be held on Saturday beginning at 6:15 PM. If you have joined us before for one, you already know this evening is filled with vibrant conversation and a dance floor that would make any wedding planner envious. As a first-time attendee last year, myself, I can assure you that there is no need to fret over who you will sit with at dinner. This is your opportunity to branch out and share a meal with people from around the world who share a common passion with you.
Are you considering joining a Special Interest Group? The conference is a great way to explore our interest groups and meet people who are already members of these groups. Share lunch with other professionals who are members of the Creative Arts Therapy, Child and Adolescent, or Ritual Abuse / Mind Control / Organized Abuse Special Interest Groups. These lunches are a great time to learn more about what these groups offer or to connect with people that you haven’t seen in a while.
As a graduate student and first-time attendee last year, I was anxious at the thought of being surrounded by people that I recognized as the top names in the study of complex trauma. If this sounds like you, I strongly recommend that you consider joining us for our Student and Emerging Professional Lunch. This lunch facilitates introductions with the researchers and clinicians who have helped to make the field all that it is today. You’ll have an opportunity to meet other people who may be attending the conference for the first time, or are just embarking on their journey to become an established trauma professional. ISSTD makes a special effort to make you feel welcome and there are many opportunities that can help you get better connected within the field. Beyond the events listed above, I would encourage you to consider volunteering to be a Conference Ambassador—an opportunity that provides you with a way to save money on registration while giving you an excellent reason to introduce yourself to other attendees.
ISSTD’s 35th Anniversary Conference is designed to maximize ways for you to interact and connect with other people who are passionate about trauma and dissociation. Please visit our conference webpage if you haven’t registered for the conference yet or would like more information on the social events planned for 2018. We can’t wait to see you there!