The central reason for the existence of any organization is its membership. The questions facing any organization include – how do we most effectively connect with those who would be motivated to join those who are already working within the organization to further collective goals? In our case, how do we, as a group of professionals, make working in the field of trauma and dissociation interesting, safe, and career enhancing?
The work of the Membership Committee effectively dovetails closely with the work of all other ISSTD committees. We need to provide engaging educational and training opportunities for all our members, but particularly for our student and emerging professional members, who have frequently connected with us for the first time, and who need to feel safe, supported and to have a strong sense of having been welcomed and engaged with.
A part of belonging is the ability to engage with the work of the Society that one has joined. The Membership Committee is keen to hear from new, and not-so-new, ISSTD members who are interested in taking on tasks associated with the work of one or more ISSTD committees. One task that members of the Membership Committee regularly undertake is on a monthly schedule, to make personal contact with those in their region, to gently remind those whose membership is close to relapsing of this situation, and to provide information about assistance in respect to renewal.
The ISSTD has, as a matter of necessity, following on from the COVID pandemic, become more online focussed, with increasing emphasis on webinars, online training, and online conferences. This pivot to a more inclusive online world, brought challenges in respect to membership, but also opportunities. In fact, during the COVID era, ISSTD membership substantially increased, and the frequency of ISSTD webinars and online conferences also increased. As the world returned to a non-shut-down state, membership numbers softened slightly. Our current membership is approximately 1,721, down from a peak of around 1,750. We, as always, remain keen to work with professionals in countries that have not previously had much engagement with the ISSTD. We applaud the work that Adithy, a very motivated committee member, has done in furthering Society engagement in Asia. A recent initiative of our Society is to encourage members to be sponsors of members who due to financial issues, at this point may not be easily able to be members but who would value the opportunity to be sponsored in joining our Society. You can learn more about and sign up to sponsor a membership here.
I am honoured to co-chair the ISSTD Membership Committee with Abigail Percifield, with assistance ably provided by ISSTD Staff. Abigail and I welcome dialogue and feedback regarding the Committee, and we are always keen to hear from colleagues who are interested in joining us on this important committee which formally meets for an hour via Zoom, every three months. I have completed over a decade as co-Chair of the Membership Committee, a role that continues to be a very positive experience. For those that are interested in becoming involved, Abigail and I invite you to make contact. You are welcome to contact email@example.com or to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Abigail at email@example.com.