Committee Spotlight

Student and Emerging Professional (SEP) Committee

This has been another good year for our student and emerging professional (SEP) members. The three major highlights over the year are the annual conference, the launching of the SEP Discussion Forum and the Special Events offered for SEP members.

SEP Committee Chair, Christine Forner MSW, speaks with Board Member Dana Ross, MD and ISSTD Fellow Colin Ross MD, with another unknown participant, SEP Lunch Annual Conference, 2018.

Some highlights from the annual conference include the lunch meeting, the poster sessions, the networking of students and senior members, the book give away and more. We always have an excellent lunch where students and emerging professionals get together with senior members of the society to have a casual discussion. This is a great opportunity to meet and network with experienced clinicians and researchers in the field of complex trauma and dissociation. During the lunch we had our annual SEP book give away. Every year we hand out about 20 books written by some amazing authors. There were a lot of laughs and a great chance for students and emerging professionals to ask questions and meet others who share a common clinical or research area of interest I would encourage students to take advantage of the poster sessions. This is an excellent chance to get your information out there. It is also important for students and emerging professionals to know that you don’t have to have a completed research project to be part of a poster presentation. A poster presentation can be a literature review or another form of clinical or research based information sharing. This is an excellent opportunity to show case your area of interest, bring in new ideas and to add the credit to your CV.

Misty Brigham (blue shirt) and other SEP members chat with ISSTD Fellow, Dr Rich Chefetz MD, SEP Lunch, Annual Conference 2018

We would also like to inform others that it is possible to room-share with others at the annual conferences. It is possible for up to four individuals to share a room so that the costs are kept down. It would be amazing if we could have a large student and emerging professional contingency at the annual conferences. The contacts and education that our students have received in the past is invaluable. In this edition of ISSTD News we have two student members, Mary-Anne Kate and Christianna Flynn-Christianson, share their stories of how valuable it has been to connect with senior professionals at the conferences. We started a forum for students and emerging professionals in the middle part of the year. So far we have began a discussion of a PDF that was generously provided to us from Dr. Colin Ross. This forum is set up so that students have a place to develop a community, to ask research or clinically relevant questions, and to have a place that is a community of like minded individuals. It can be lonely being a professional in this field and the forum is here to help others feel like they have an academic and clinically sound home. I encourage you all to dive in and start a discussion. This forum is set up to be the place where students and emerging professionals can have a safe and educational space for connections, questions and assistance.

Abigail Percival (centre) with other SEP Members at the SEP lunch, Annual Conference 2018

We are also in the process of vamping up the student and emerging professional committee. Our goal is to have a vibrant committee dedicated to the needs of our SEP members. In this process we are looking for SEP leaders. These individuals tend to have a lot of exposure and opportunities with the ISSTD. Many of the members of the committee have gone on to be full board members and practitioners and researchers who are already making impactful contributions to the field of trauma and dissociation. If you are interested in getting your feet wet with a leadership role, please send word and we will add you to the group. Or if you have needs, requests, ideas and suggestions on things that you feel would be an important contribution, again, please send a note. This month in ISSTD News the volunteer spotlight actually features one such SEP member who has volunteered in a lot of ways for ISSTD. Click here to read about her journey and the benefits of volunteering. We are also offering a full day live Webinar on Dissociation 101. This course can help you with an excellent foundation of information to take with you into your academics and your career. Learning about dissociation, what it might actually be, what is happening neurobiologically, the history of the field and how to best treat these issues can help your career have longevity. Register for the webinar here. Please join us, as we grow. As usual we are also always looking for individuals to help us with marketing. We need a few people each year that can help get the word out about our annual conferences. If you are in the Tri-State area, looking to help and looking for a few perks that come from helping out, we would love to hear from you. Please contact me here: