I’m not sure if we have this in common, but I consider ISSTD my professional ‘home’. Maybe you do, too. I am admittedly selfish, I guess, because I want to keep it that way.
That’s way I am reaching out to you today, as ISSTD Treasurer, to enlist your support to keep ISSTD alive as we move into 2023 and beyond.
Keep it alive? Yes.
(Read on, if you can. I promise not to keep you too long.)
You may be well aware that the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) is the world’s oldest and largest organization focused on supporting professionals who treat and/or research complex trauma, dissociation, and dissociative disorders.
What you may not know is that ISSTD members over the past 50 years have been integral in establishing, fostering, and breaking down formidable systemic barriers to the recognition and study of dissociation in all its forms, from which we have all continue to benefit even if we don’t realize it.
With that said, I want you invite you to consider the different ways you may have benefitted from your engagement with ISSTD over the years, whether through rich educational offerings via our Center for Advanced Studies PTP, EMDR, and hypnosis trainings; the staggering 400+ hours of content (and growing!) found in our Online Learning Center; participation in vital discussion, sharing of resources, and forging of meaningful professional connections in our SIGs, RCs, ROCs, and the ISSTDWorld Member Forum; delving into the amazing, years-deep archives of the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation; contributing to the field as a CFAS trainer, conference/workshop presenter, or journal author; or even volunteering precious time on the Board, a committee, or a project-focused workgroup; or reviewing articles for the JTD.
Maybe you’ve done a bit of many of these. I know I have, especially as the needs of my clients intensified these past handful of years, in the face of persisting socio-cultural and political upheaval.
It has been a challenging few years for not-for-profit organizations, as well, and ISSTD is no exception. We’d like to think that our annual Membership dues and course fees are enough to keep ISSTD in financial health. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
You may not realize that ISSTD for years has run with only two full-time staff. Imagine that: A 1700+ member organization, offering all that ISSTD does, supported by only two full-time staff. In 2023, that number will expand to three. Inflation these past two years has demanded significant increases in staff compensation, to ensure that they receive a wage commensurate with both their hard work and the steep cost of living increases.
Additionally, 2022 saw ISSTD tentatively returning to in-person events such as the Annual Conference and regional conferences. Despite bothh careful planning and high-quality offerings, we were faced with both ballooning event costs and lower attendance figures–a potentially lethal combination. A lot of us understandably stayed home, and there are a lot more virtual offerings in the ‘marketplace’ vying for our hard-earned dollars. And you might think that running a livestream event simply means logging on to Zoom and clicking ‘Record’. Alas, this is not so: Reliable streaming and high-quality recordings that will stand the test of time in the Online Learning Center mean investing funds to do it right.
Even in a ‘good’ year, our Membership dues and course fees are not enough, unfortunately, to keep ISSTD in solid financial health. And 2022 has been a tough year. Because of that, I have committed to a $50.00 recurring monthly contribution to ISSTD’s General Fund–now possible, as of last week, with the upgrade to a new association management platform, hastened by the forced retirement this month of our old platform.
Contributing to the General Fund helps ISSTD with daily operating costs, and that’s where we need the support right now.
So, whether you can see fit to offer ISSTD a one-time, tax-deductible contribution of, say, $25.00 or more, or a tax-deductible, recurring monthly contribution in an amount that is sustainable for you, please know that we (and, frankly, I) both appreciate your generosity and will do everything we can to ensure your investment is used wisely to keep ISSTD alive as our shared professional home in 2023 and beyond.
Thank you, both for your continued commitment to your professional development, and to those who benefit from it, through ISSTD.
Most sincerely yours,
D. Michael Coy, MA, LICSW