Kevin Connors, MS, MFT
We’re closing in on the final arrangements for our 35th Annual International Conference; Bridges to the Future scheduled for March 22nd through the 26th. I remember, as a kid, hearing television announcers remark that guests of Chicago based shows were staying at the historic Palmer House Hotel. I am so excited that we will be using that storied and beautiful hotel as the venue for this year’s conference.
If you haven’t yet made your reservations, be sure to do so as soon as possible. Hotel Reservation
I want to share a few conference highlights with you.
On Friday evening as you are all checking in we have two activities to make the evening and the conference experience much more enjoyable. For those new to our conference, we are holding a “New Participants’ Orientation at 6:30 on Friday evening. We’ll go over several key points to help those who might not be familiar with the rich and diverse parade of workshops, forums, symposia, and paper sessions all going on simultaneously. Helpful tips and important information will be shared. If you have colleagues who are first time attendees, be sure to let them know about this helpful meeting.
Meanwhile, later on Friday evening, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, Tally Tripp will help us meet & greet everyone with our “Create and Connect” networking event. For a mere $25 you get the opportunity to join with friends as they arrive, tap into your creative parts, and share a drink with colleagues. (Did I mention that you get a drink coupon with the entry fee?) Registration for this event closed on March 5th, but there will be a limited additional number of tickets for sale on-site at the conference.
On Saturday afternoon, in addition to the regular academic content, we are offering our very first Professional Training Program Faculty Workshop. For those who are current ISSTD PTP Faculty or those interested in becoming a PTP faculty member, this workshop is essential. Su Baker and Joan Turkus will lead this first time workshop, offering their wisdom and experience in teaching tips and techniques. For more information on this workshop, click here!
Also on Saturday, we are holding our Student & Emerging Professionals Luncheon to welcome students and those new to clinical practice and to address their questions and concerns. We will be going off-site to sample some of Chicago’s fantastic pizza. Check in at the Society Lounge in the Exhibit Hall during the morning breaks to find out where we’ll be going.
Saturday evening, after the classes are done, we’ll still be going strong. From 5:00 to 6:00 will be our Poster Session offering you a chance to learn about interesting and important studies. The Poster Session blends into our President’s Reception where we have another opportunity to network and connect, to share thoughts and reacquaint ourselves with friends we only see once a year.
The President’s Reception leads into the Awards Dinner where we gather to acknowledge and honor people within our Society and within the field of Complex Trauma and Dissociation for how they have helped further our efforts. Join us in celebrating their work and in appreciating each other for all we do in helping and healing.
Sunday brings even more opportunities for connecting and networking. (I’m sensing a theme here.)
At lunch time there are several opportunities to explore different groups that ISSTD sponsors. Our Special Interest Groups will each have a room set aside where people can break bread and connect names to face as each group discusses issues important to them. Again, check in at the Society Lounge during the morning break to find out where the different SIGs will be meeting.
If you don’t have a special group meeting to attend, you can join plenary speaker Edward Tick who will be giving a reading of his poetry in the Society Lounge during the lunch break.
Note: All of these lunches are BYOB. So grab a To-Go lunch from a restaurant in the hotel or from one of the many eateries near to the venue and get back quickly to take part in in the activity of your choice.
Sunday evening, before the day wraps up, we hold our Annual Town Hall Meeting: Focusing on the Future of ISSTD and the field of Trauma & Dissociation. Bring your suggestions as to where you would like to see us going and your ideas on how to get there. This is a unique opportunity to share what is important to you and to help influence our discipline.
More ideas on how to maximize your conference experience can be found in another article here in the ISSTD News.
An on-going survey of new and established members has shown that the #1 issue people would like to see changed is an updated ISSTD website. Your Board of Directors is in complete agreement. Our website is our public face and often the first thing that people see when searching on-line for information about dissociative disorders.
We have charged D. Michael Coy LCSW, our new treasurer, with spearheading this overdue and much needed update. In last month’s ISSTD News he summarized the work ahead of us. Check out the article here!
However, as he noted and I must remind us, this level of over-haul does not come cheap. ISSTD has spent most of the last decade digging out from near financial collapse. We accomplished this gargantuan task by being extremely careful and financially conservative in any new expenses.
In order to raise the funds necessary for this important upgrade, we need to greatly supplement the limited revenue generated by our current projects. Therefore, we have recently launched our $35 for the 35th campaign. If we could get each member to donate $35 towards renovating our website, we would be able to complete this project in short order. If you believe that the work we do is critical to our clients and to the field of traumatology, please join me by making a small contribution here. Thank you for all you do to make our clients’ lives and our world a better place.
See you in Chicago!!!!