Letter From The President

March 2020 – Inside the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic

Dear ISSTD Members,

I would like to salute all ISSTD members who continue to deliver ongoing therapy and care to your clients and communities, and wish you all the best in these difficult times, as well as strength, energy and good health to continue to serve those who are in need.

These are extraordinarily challenging times – having to deal with all the uncertainty around the potential outcome of the Coronavirus pandemic, a sense of sadness at the loss of life as we knew it, illness and death among ourselves and our loved ones, adapting to a new locked-down lifestyle, the list goes on. On top of that, many of our individual schedules have become even more packed and busy than usual, with clients needing more support than usual, and now mostly on online platforms. Training requirements have also become more intense as we have to adapt to using virtual platforms for training and reworking our curricula. We also need to spend more time to make our work environments safe for all who use it.

ISSTD remains committed to offering resources to assist clinicians in the treatment of patients who suffer from complex trauma and dissociation.

We realize that many ISSTD members may have been affected adversely financially by the Coronavirus pandemic. In this regard, another round of applications for funding from the Goodwin Educational Fund is currently being invited. The intent of the Goodwin Fund is to subsidize ISSTD training for therapists who are working with patients with dissociative disorders and dissociative identity disorder, and who seek help from ISSTD. The donor’s goal was to help treating professionals get the basic training they need to recognize and treat dissociative disorders, particularly dissociative identity disorder. To this end, the Goodwin Educational Fund is used to defray registration expenses of an ISSTD training event for professional therapists of limited financial means  who would otherwise be unable to obtain appropriate basic training in the treatment of complex trauma and dissociation. The defined criteria are quite strict, but we hope that ISSTD members who meet these criteria, will apply to make use of this upcoming opportunity to benefit from the rich training that ISSTD provides. Additional information and application instructions can be found here.

We also hope that the currently extended three months grace period before your ISSTD membership will lapse, for those who were due to renew during this period, and which will take you through June 30, will help those members who have been financially affected.

The Board is also here to support members, so please do not hesitate to connect with us. Our two staff members, Mary Pat Hanlin and Bethany Bjur, are doing everything humanly possible to assist ISSTD members with their queries. They are truly keeping our organization together at this stage, and for that we are very grateful. Bear in mind that some of the recent treatment that staff have been getting from some ISSTD members (which sadly has included insults, swearing and threats) has been unacceptable. In this regard, members are referred to the ISSTD Member Code of Conduct. We have all been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, and our staff deserve to be treated with dignity throughout.

A big thank you also to all the committee- and group chairs, and all committee members and other volunteers who are dedicating so much of their time to ensure that ISSTD continues to fulfil its mission. If there are any ISSTD members who would like to step forward to assist with some tasks, please send an email to and we will do some match-making to find you your niche role, as there is something for everybody.

Hoping to see you at the virtual Annual Business Meeting on Friday, April 24, at 3:30 pm EDT.

Take care and stay safe,

Christa Krüger, ISSTD President, Pretoria, South Africa