Dear Colleagues and fellow members of ESTD
First, a warm welcome to those of you that have recently joined the ESTD.
From the feedback your board has received, the Berlin Conference, our 3rd Bi-Annual Conference, was a great success. Well organised under the direction of Suzette Boon and Bettina Overkamp, this conference was as friendly and welcoming as previous ones. One of the big advantages of being such a relatively small organisation is that we can foster this positive informal approach and still maintain high standards of presentations. Most of the content of the conference will eventually be available online.
As I mentioned in my opening remarks at the conference, we need to focus our attention on the importance of making the ESTD truly multi-lingual. This is already happening within some of the country-specific pages of the web as well as the regular newsletter. The training DVD ‘A logical Way of Living’ is about to launch its subtitled version in French, German, Spanish, Italian and Turkish. These should be available in time for the ESTSS/ESTD workshop day in Madrid on Thursday June 14th, as part of the EMDR conference.
I became much more aware during the Berlin Conference of the differences between countries regarding the knowledge and impact that Dissociation has had. In some countries (such as The Netherlands) dissociation is generally well established whereas in others it is completely unknown. Just as is generally accepted in the 3 stage process for the treatment of Dissociation, I suggest that there can be a similar 3 stage process for developing the knowledge of Dissociation:
Stage 1 : Creating a good working alliance with other professionals and thus stabilising some of the aggressive and defensive responses. Clinicians utilising the 2 main screening instruments (i.e., DES and SDQ20), writing up the results and sending them to medical professionals involved in the person’s care with a summary of their reliability is an excellent way to introduce dissociation in an objective and structured way. Another help at this stage is the showing of the Training DVD to groups of professionals unfamiliar with this subject. In the UK, First Person Plural and ESTD-UK have organised a number of showings in the main UK cities which have already proved to be highly effective and successful.
Stage 2 : Establishing good diagnostic assessments as well as formulating effective and realistic treatment protocols. The use of the SCID-D (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM IV Dissociative Disorders) will not only establish the symptom levels and specific Dissociative Disorder but can form the basis of a realistic treatment plan following guidelines established by the ISSTD. It is also possible to incorporate measures to distinguish between Dissociation and other psychiatric conditions.
Stage 3 : Developing local evidence-based research. This can underpin the work and eventually make this condition much more mainstream in terms of recognition and acceptance for appropriate treatment.
It was my great pleasure to see many of you at the Conference, and some colleagues from Estonia have provided reviews of their experience (see below). I hope you all have an enjoyable summer.
From ESTD Newsletter Volume 2, Number 3, June 2012