Letter From The President

Exploring new ‘Frontiers’ in the treatment of dissociative disorders

Dear ISSTD Colleagues, We stand on the verge of a historic moment for the ISSTD. Very soon we will launch our long awaited, much anticipated and rigorously toiled-over E-Journal, Frontiers in the Psychotherapy of Trauma and Dissociation. Four years after the birth of ISSTD in 1984, the Society began to publish the iconic journal DISSOCIATION: Progress in the dissociative disorders. Under the stewardship of Richard P Kluft, MD, PhD, DISSOCIATION became a vehicle for communicating cutting-edge clinical insights, hard fought therapeutic wisdoms, as well as technical and process advances in the treatment of dissociative disorders. The foundation of modern therapy for dissociative disorders, especially dissociative identity disorder, is largely contained in the pages of DISSOCIATION, and over a nine year span it inspired, taught and ensured that each of us in the solitary space of the consulting room were not alone; others were seeing dissociative patients and they were sharing their knowledge in DISSOCIATION (for those not aware of DISSOCIATION, I’d encourage you to dive into the archive and feast on what’s on offer: The origin of ‘Frontiers’ can be traced back to at least the presidency of Paul Dell, PhD in 2009-2010, so like Rome, this E-Journal was not built in a day! All Presidents since that time have moved the project forward little by little as finance, people power and motivation allowed. The Editors, Andreas Laddis, MD and Steve Frankel, PhD, JD, were there from near the start, plotting and planning to ensure Frontiers followed in the footsteps of DISSOCIATION to offer ISSTD members the most up-to-date clinical information in the treatment of dissociative disorder; so languishing therapies could be reinvigorated, the school of hard knocks could be shared so we each did not have be bruised and battered in learning lessons, and so treatments were shortened when possible and lengthened in the service of avoiding painful ruptures and impasses. During Warwick Middleton’s presidency last year, his vision to push Frontier’s beyond ‘the sketching on a notepad’ and into reality collided with steadily increasing financial security and the desire of Board and general members of the ISSTD to see this project realised. Warwick commissioned a task force to build on work commenced by an early planning group, and charged Victor Welzant, PhD, Christa Krüger, MD, Vedat Şar, MD, Michael Salter, PhD, and myself to dig further down into pragmatics and finances. Warwick himself was also an active member. It was ultimately agreed by the Board that the Society’s finances were not in a stable-enough place to underwrite the commencement of Frontiers, but with a budget, it was agreed that efforts would be made to secure supportership from members of ISSTD and organisations associated with the trauma and dissociation field. This funding drive has not realised the full amount budgeted over three years, but did attract enough to allow the Board to ‘press the green button’ so Frontiers could begin to be published as a member benefit. It is my great pleasure to inform you of its imminent arrival. Like DISSOCIATION it is sure to define and refine the treatment of dissociative disorders into the future. The Society again has a voice for its clinical wisdom, a go-to place where we can learn from our colleagues and build off each other. A publication where the trenches are exposed, enthusiasm for the difficult therapeutic work we do generated, and acumen fostered. This is your clinical journal, and together we can growth it, and grow each other in the service of our patients and clients. I thank Andreas and Steve for their leadership in bringing Frontiers to us, and also to Therese Clemens who has been there from the very start. Yours sincerely, Martin Dorahy, PhD ISSTD President Christchurch, New Zealand