Letter From The President

April 2020 – Transition Plan 2020 & The Way Forward

Dear fellow ISSTD Members,

I hope you are all safe and healthy in these challenging times.

Following on our first-ever virtual Annual Business Meeting that was held on Friday April 24, at 3:30 pm EDT, I would like to report on behalf of the Board what our transition plan is for 2020 and how we see the way forward.

A large part of the plan is to become more proactive and strategic, and to start working with a 3-5-year strategic plan, rather than to focus in the shorter term mainly. If we could streamline the internal functioning (and rich inner life!) of our organization, so that things could move along smoothly and optimally in our day-to-day functioning, more time would become available for spending on strategic matters.

For this purpose, the Board has been looking at how ISSTD’s organizational structure aligns with our growing membership needs, conference needs, and administrative needs. We have also been addressing the flow of information between the many committees and groups in ISSTD, and expanding on our policies and procedures as needed to steer this large ship of ours. This process already started a couple of years ago, and has gathered good momentum in recent months.

A number of working groups and task forces are currently working on our policies and procedures as part of our 2020 transition plan. Amongst others, we are updating and/or formalizing a media policy, research policy, sexual harassment policy, and financial & staff policy (the need for the latter having changed since we became an independently managed organization).

Another prominent part of the 2020 transition plan is to enlarge ISSTD’s virtual footprint – which was obviously partly necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our expanding virtual footprint will not only benefit existing ISSTD members, but will also make ISSTD’s offerings available to an ever-developing international membership.

Our first-ever multi-day Virtual Congress will be held May 15-17, making it possible for ISSTD members and non-members to attend the entire conference without travelling or being physically present at the conference venue! There is still time to register for the virtual conference – do not miss out on this great opportunity. Visit the conference website for information on discounts available for groups, emerging professionals, and attendees from World Bank lower income countries. Please contact with any questions. 

Another great virtual development – ‘Regional online communities’ (ROCs) – have launched!. These ROCs will enable localized groups of ISSTD members, e.g., in certain cities, states, provinces, countries or even world regions, to connect virtually as a dedicated group on the ISSTDWorld platform. Here they can share common local and regional concerns, without having to meet in person – something that may have been impossible because of great geographical distance, and/or may be undesirable at this stage because of the Covid-19 pandemic. These ROCs will hopefully foster a deeper sense of community and support around the treatment and research of complex trauma and dissociation in certain regions, and also promote further membership growth. For more information, check out the article on ROCs!

ISSTD has also released a number of virtual social media resources about Covid-19, some directed towards therapists and some towards the general public.

As ISSTD goes virtual, we are thinking big and dreaming big, and remain committed to advancing clinical, scientific, and societal understanding about the prevalence and consequences of complex trauma and dissociation.

The minutes of our Annual Business Meeting and a link to the (partial) recording can be found here.

Take care and stay safe,

Christa Krüger, ISSTD President, Pretoria, South Africa