Dear fellow ISSTD Members,
I hope you are still safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our heartfelt condolences go to those who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19. If you have had COVID-19 and recovered, we are very happy. If you are currently ill with COVID-19, our thoughts are with you, and may you recover quickly.
We noted with alarm and outrage the death of George Floyd and the racism that underlies his and others’ deaths. Our hearts go out to our North American colleagues, and we hope that the much needed societal change will follow soon. A public statement about racism and trauma has been posted on our ISSTD home page and ISSTD social media and can be found here.
We might regain hope from the words of iconic leaders. According to Nelson Mandela it is not about how many times we fall, but about how many times we get up. He said: “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
Members will still remember the excitement with which we had launched our own ISSTD clinical e-journal, Frontiers in the Psychotherapy of Trauma & Dissociation, in October 2017. Over the last two and a half years though, we have discovered that the self-publication of our clinical e-journal is not sustainable in terms of the financial and other resources that ISSTD has available. Exploration of the publishing market revealed that Frontiers in its current format was not considered financially viable by external publishers. The Board has decided to suspend the publication of Frontiers as from July 2020 – but not before the publication of a final bumper issue containing six excellent clinical articles. Please look out for the upcoming rich and authoritative final Frontiers issue. Many thanks to Andreas Laddis (Editor), Martin Dorahy (Associate Editor), Courtenay Crucil (Editorial Assistant), and the Frontiers Editorial Board, who have worked tirelessly to publish very high quality articles in Frontiers over these years.
The need remains though, for an alternative outlet to publish clinical articles by experts about the treatment of complex trauma and the dissociative disorders. The Board remains committed to honour this training need of members in accordance with our mission, and to find an alternative outlet for clinical articles. In the interim, the plan is to source high quality clinical articles for publication in our ISSTD Newsletter. If you would like to contribute, or know of other potential contributors, please contact the Editor of the Newsletter, Kate McMaugh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our new and very energetic Fundraising Committee has already raised a good amount through the COVID-19 relief campaign that was launched during the Virtual Congress. These funds will be used for partially sponsoring the annual membership dues of ISSTD members who have been negatively affected, financially, by the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations to the fund will be accepted through July 31, 2020 on this page.
Our efforts to make ISSTD benefits more affordable in these difficult times include our global community. We have extended the 90 day grace period for membership through December 31, 2020. Tiered pricing is now offered for both ISSTD membership and ISSTD conference registration fees, based on the World Bank’s categorization of countries according to income. In addition, ISSTD is committed to offering one regional conference outside of North America each year, which would reduce travelling costs for several groups of international members. Also, the newly launched, virtual Regional Online Communities make it possible for geographically delineated groups of ISSTD members to connect and benefit virtually. A big welcome to our first, recently established Regional Online Community – in Ontario, Canada, under the leadership of Jill Hosey!
ISSTD projects that generate revenue will enjoy priority in these times of financial strain associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the forced cancellation of our annual conference in March. Staff time will be spent preferentially on such revenue generating projects for the foreseeable future. ISSTD members may benefit from this focus, e.g., by enrolling for a Professional Training Program (PTP) course, or registering for a webinar. Keep an eye out for the regular ISSTD emails about Virtual Trauma-Informed Training and Conferences.
We will let you know in due course about a new electronic platform for matching ISSTD members’ willingness to volunteer their services for ISSTD, to the needs that exist in the various ISSTD committees and groups. As soon as this platform is launched, members will be informed. It is hoped that through this platform many more ISSTD members will find a good niche where they can contribute to the work of our organization.
Take care and stay safe,
Christa Krüger, ISSTD President, Pretoria, South Africa