Dear Colleagues and fellow members of ESTD
It’s well known that we notice things more once we are involved ourselves. It applies to buying a car and then noticing that everyone around you seems to have the same model! It certainly applies, in my case, to becoming more and more aware of dissociation and its impact on everyday life. So I have to be cautious in my observations and especially any conclusions I try to draw and write about…
…BUT, I do get the strong impression that dissociation is beginning to enter into mainstream mental health thinking. I remember when I first got involved in dissociation 25 years ago; I used to run group supervision for the local multidisciplinary psychiatric services. I was very cautious about mentioning dissociative disorders and only in passing commented that the patient being presented might have such problems. As time went by, I was able to become more confident and knew the message had really penetrated when one day a new member of the group presented a case and, unprompted said “I think this person has a dissociative disorder!”
The same is beginning to happen, I believe, in the field of psychotherapy and trauma generally. One indication of this is this year’s World Congress of Psychotherapy where dissociation researchers and clinicians will be giving plenary presentations. The Congress is one of the world’s foremost psychotherapy conferences and will be held in Sydney from August 24th-28th. Four of the plenary addresses will be by experts in the area of dissociation; these are Colin Ross, MD, Jennifer Freyd, PhD, Russell Meares, MD, and Giovanni Liotti, MD. Several of the invited speakers are also renowned dissociation experts, including Warwick Middleton, MD. For those interested, this event is surely to be stimulating and rewarding (see http://www.wcp2011. org for details).
Again closer to home, the XVI Annual Conference of Schizophrenia is being held in Madrid, 24th-26th November 2011. The theme is:- “Plural Identity, Dissociation & Psychosis”. Speakers will include Prof. Andrew Moskowitz and Prof. Onno van der Hart (both ESTD and ISSTD members) as well as Prof. Colin A. Ross and Prof. Marlene Steinberg (both ISSTD members).
Don’t forget the ISSTD Annual Conference to be held in Montreal between November 5th and 7th 2011. Special discounted rates apply to ESTD members (see the ‘members only’ area of our website)
This brings me to the issue of communication. It’s so easy to assume that people involved in the field of dissociation will know what is going on, and when and where it’s happening. That is certainly not the case. For instance, neither I nor members of the board had any idea that the conference on Schizophrenia mentioned above was taking place (and it’s in Europe with known members of ESTD!). Perhaps we are more prone to this because of the very fragmented nature of the work we are dealing with. But the point is that we, on the board, rely on every one of you helping us keep a finger on the European dissociation pulse. Please let Arne Blindheim (Chair of the Website Committee) know of any events taking place in your country. He can be reached at email@example.com. These events can then be pasted on both the main section of the web as well as within your individual country’s entry. You may also want to mention it to Martin Dorahy (Newsletter Co-Editor) and he can include it in the Newsletter (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you are attending any of the events that come up, please request leaflets from Jan Soukup (ESTD Secretary) who can be reached at email@example.com. Arne has recently emailed you all PowerPoint presentations that can be used as part of any presentation you or your colleagues are involved in.
Your conference organising committee (Bettina Overkamp, Chair, Suzette Boon, Ursula Gast and Sabine Shroeder) are doing a great job preparing for the next Bi-annual conference to be held in Berlin from March 29th to 31st 2012. They have an exciting selection of keynote speakers and workshop presenters in mind and will shortly be announcing more details about the conference and the call for papers.
As you know, we hope to organise a bi-annual one day workshop on alternative years to our conferences in countries either new to dissociation or where little has been done to promote this subject IETSP, headed by Bernard Mayer and in collaboration with Isabelle Saillot of the Pierre Janet Institute are putting on this ESTD sponsored workshop entitled: From Dissociation to Intégration, Le passage à l’Acte de Triomphe. This one day workshop is taking place on Saturday 3rd December 2011 with well known keynote speakers on dissociation in the morning and workshops in the afternoon. Please see www.estd.fr for more details.
Training DVD ‘A logical Way of Being’
This DVD features 3 members of First Person Plural (a national survivor-led association for dissociative identity disorder and similar complex dissociative conditions in the UK) and 3 clinicians. It is a first step information and training resource which will benefit anyone whose work, social or family life places them in a clinical, caring or supportive role towards individuals who have a childhood trauma-related dissociative condition, which may or may not yet to recognized or diagnosed. This excellent DVD has now been completed and is due to be available for purchase in June. Though specifically produced for the UK market, the ESTD board will shortly be reviewing it for possible relevance to the rest of Europe. Aimed primarily at Mental Health Professionals it is already clear from the feedback received that it will be a most helpful resource for clients, patients and supporters.
ESTD Research Committee
Andrew Moskowitz, chair of this newly formed research committee has updated you below on the formation of this exciting new project.
ESTD Child and Adolescent Committee I am delighted to announce that this committee has now been officially endorsed by your board. The Chair, Renee Marks of the UK, has brought together Arianne Struik of the Netherlands, Maire Riis of Estonia and Anne Smitter-Boeckelmann of Germany on her committee.
OBJECTIVES OF THIS COMMITTEE:
- To raise the profile in the ESTD of children and adolescents suffering from trauma and dissociation. This will include raising the profile of children on the ESTD website.
- To promote the knowledge and understanding of trauma and dissociation in children and adolescents by providing the relevant information to professionals and lay people working with these children. This will include, parents, teachers, mental health professionals, foster carers and adoptive parents.
- To provide training and education about the presentation, diagnosis and treatment of trauma and dissociation in children and adolescents to therapists responsible for the therapy of these children.
- To provide information accessible through the ESTD website on the presentation of dissociation in children and adolescents for: Professionals / Parents / Teachers
- To provide and adapt existing information and training to be more suitable to the child population of Europe in order to enable professionals to provide more effective services to children in Europe.
Finally, just to remind you that we, your Board, are on hand to help in any way we can, alongside the contact people in your own countries. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any of us.
From ESTD Newsletter Volume 1, Number 3, June 2011