Dear Colleagues and fellow members of the ESTD,
With the New Year, there is also a new face to the president of ESTD. I would like to thank the board of ESTD and its members who have put their trust in me to allow me this important and honourable task. I would first like to thank Manoëlle Hopchet for her two-year presidency, which she carried out with such enthusiasm and competence. Under her presidency, ESTD has continued to grow and she has been responsible for important activity within ESTD. I wish to proceed in the same direction. Thank you Manoëlle for your great work. Then there is also Remy Aquarone’s two years as past president. Remy left the board at the end of 2014. Thank you Remy for all your very important work throughout your time as a board member and active president and past president. We will miss you. Manoëlle will now have the position of past president for the next two years.
A presidency is usually a lot of work, but also a very important period with many meetings and enriching discussions. Of course, much development activity also has to be taken forward. I have developed some objectives as part of my vision for ESTD for the near future, which I would like to promote, but also to invite all our members to develop them in their respective environments.
Here is a brief description: My first objective is geographical: that all European countries will become a member country of ESTD and that the number of members of each of these countries will grow constantly. One of the aims of ESTD is to promote knowledge about trauma and dissociation throughout Europe, especially in the Eastern European countries. We have the honour of having two new member countries.
Since last year: Slovenia with Tjasa Stepisnik as country representative, and very recently Lithuania with Jonas Mikalunias as country representative. A hearty welcome to both these two new member countries.
My next objective is trans-generational: practitioners and researchers should develop further instruments and tools for the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, families and especially elderly people with complex traumas and dissociative disorders. We now have the tools to help the elderly so that they no longer have to remain alone with their difficult experiences and to offer them relief from their suffering.
I also have a vision for our use of the media: the phenomena of trauma and dissociation should both be more present in popular media like TV, newspapers etc. The public (people who are directly concerned, such as victims of heavy childhood trauma and their families and friends) should know more about this as well as about the fact that nowadays it can be helped. A large percentage of the public can be reached through the media. We need to be many and to use all our contacts! So please promote this as much as you can!
My technological objective: internet and the new social media, webinars, ebooks, etc. should be developed to help colleagues across Europe to obtain the knowledge they need.
My vision for networking: going beyond « European » entities and boundaries: we need to develop local and/or linguistic communities, discussion amongst members beyond borders, including all the distant and isolated countries or the new ones by mentoring them.
Development in universities: trauma and dissociation should be more present in the academic world. A survey last year among the country representatives showed there is actually only a small presence in these institutes. Many of our members could approach this.
With some of these objectives becoming more concrete, I hope that the following goal can be reached: that ESTD and its members become the first reference point across Europe for any questions regarding complex PTSD (cPTSD) and Dissociative Disorders (DD), including Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). I wish to be a strong driving force in the advancement of all of these matters. “The journey is the reward”
From ESTD Newsletter, Volume 4, Number 1, March 2015