Dear ISSTD community,
I hope that you’ve all had a restful and joyful holiday break. Last year was a mixed blessing for many of us, as the covid-19 pandemic waxed and waned and we tried to find our feet in the “new normal”. I’m struck by the commitment and perseverance of the ISSTD staff, volunteers and members throughout these strange and unprecedented times.
Despite the challenges of the last few years, the ISSTD enters 2023 with the largest membership numbers in two decades and unprecedented demand for our online trainings and webinars. We have launched our first Regional Online Community outside of North America in my backyard here in Australia and New Zealand. ISSTD membership and interest in complex trauma and the dissociative disorders is burgeoning internationally and cross-culturally.
Old scepticisms are falling away thanks to the robust clinical and research work of our colleagues in establishing the neurobiology, risk and protective factors, intersectionality, and treatment and recovery pathways of complex trauma and dissociation. A new generation of practitioners have entered the mental health field who are seeking the kinds of information, guidance and support that the ISSTD was established to deliver.
I was speaking yesterday with our august Past-President, Lisa Danylchuck, and she asked me for a word or theme to describe my hopes for my presidential year. After a few moments of thought, I said “consolidation”.
There is a lot that the ISSTD does very well and delivers with a small complement of excellent staff and a large network of dedicated volunteers and leaders. We are currently developing the next three-year strategic plan, and my hope is that we can capitalise on our current strengths by getting the word out there more effectively to the practitioners and reseachers who need to hear from us.
I want to thank Lisa very much for her service as ISSTD President over the last year. She was an exemplar of calm and thoughtful leadership during an uncertain period.
Associate Professor Michael Salter