This Regional Online Community (ROC) was approved by the ISSTD board in 2022. The purpose of this ROC is to increase the presence of ISSTD in the Southern region of the United States, to create collaboration and community amongst therapists who work with complex trauma and dissociation, to create a venue for additional training and opportunities, and to improve outcomes for clients. There will be a specific focus on education focused on the complexity of trauma, dissociation spectrum, and peer discussion. Those wishing to join must be geographically located in the Southern Region (AZ, NM, TX, OK, AR, LA), and we would love to have you join us no matter where you are in your career!
In the last year, the Southern ROC worked on getting its feet on the ground through establishing this group, inviting ISSTD members to join, leadership attending leadership meetings, and hosting Zoom meetings with membership to generate engagement ideas. Members also exchanged resources for helping complex trauma and dissociative clients. During October 2023, there was an election for 2024 leadership positions within the Southern ROC. The winners of the election were Audrey Zatopek (chair), Jessica Garrett (Secretary), and Jennifer Madere (Moderator).
Through a meeting in December 2023, newly elected 2024 leadership brainstormed several ways to amplify Southern ROC membership engagement. Given the upcoming 2024 ISSTD Annual Conference taking place in March, 2024 in Frisco, TX, the Southern ROC is hoping to arrange an informal meet and greet at the conference for those who attend as well as try to meet up with any members who attend the breakfast for first-time conference attendees. To foster further engagement in ISSTD activities, Southern ROC leadership also plans to consistently market scheduled ISSTD events to ensure that members are not missing desirable webinars, trainings, and or conferences. As another member engagement strategy, new leadership is hoping to use the Southern ROC as a forum for learning and sharing resources. For example, we are hoping to roll out an optional monthly article reading activity through which Southern ROC members will read an article from the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation and discuss its contents on a discussion board, much like a book reading club. As another example, we are wanting to start an ongoing discussion about how to take care of yourself when helping individuals who have experienced or are experiencing complex trauma and or dissociation.
Finally, new and existing members of the Southern ROC are encouraged to make suggestions and or inquire about making different activities a reality, as many minds are better than one! If you live in the Southern region of the United States (AZ, NM, TX, OK, AR, LA), we would love to have you join the Southern ROC and be part of those activities we have mentioned here as well as to have you contribute to the development of more ideas to engage with other members in our region. Furthermore, if you are already a member or are interested in joining and would like to help with any of the activities mentioned above, please reach out to the leadership of the Southern ROC!