Letter From The President

Dear fellow members of the ESTD,

I am delighted to write my letter to you, which has evolved into a column in the new ESTD Newsletter. Thank you Martin Dorahy (New Zealand) and Onno van der Hart (The Netherlands) for volunteering to become the co-editors of our new quarterly publication. The new and improved newsletter will be just one of several unique membership advantages in our organization.

I am happy to update you on several important developments: Membership. Manoëlle Hopchet (Belgium), our Membership Committee chair and Tina Overkamp (Germany), our treasurer, report that in 2010 we had 432 members from 23 countries. Strongly represented within the ESTD are Estonia, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands and United Kingdom. This year, the Spanish EMDR organisation offered an ESTD membership with subsidized rates, resulting in new members from Spain.

The ESTD membership committee has been working closely with ESTD representatives in several European countries to identify specific local needs. The first representatives meeting took place at the Belfast Conference. We encourage you to contact your local national representative to discuss ways to promote educational activities in your corner of Europe. We believe we can, at least, double our membership size and we need your help to reach out to trauma and dissociation clinicians in your area and tell them about the ESTD. If each of you brought in just one additional new member, we could achieve our goal in no time!

ESTD relations with the ISSTD. In a joint ESTD-ISSTD board meeting held in Belfast last April, we realized that the ISSTD can no longer afford our original dual membership model and that we will be splitting into two separate organizations as of 2011. The ISSTD has supported us in our first years with a highly reduced membership, however, following a financial review of their situation the ISSTD board had concluded that this generosity would have to be tapered off. The ISSTD subsidy for ESTD members will gradually be reduced over a period of four years (it will be 50% in 2011) and will stabilize in 2014 on a 10% reduction for ESTD members. The ESTD board strongly encourage you to consider becoming a member of the ISSTD as well.

2011 membership renewal. We are now renewing ESTD membership at very attractive rates. Because we would not need to send most of your dues to the ISSTD, we will be able to pass the savings on to you. The membership fee for 2011 is only 50 Euro for full membership, 30 Euro for students and 15 Euros for members in Eastern Europe. Look for a renewal button on the website (www.estd.org) that will take you to the PayPal payment option. Members from “EURO-countries” please transfer the fee to our account at ABN AMRO in Zeist NL (account nr: 526602007, BIC/Swift code: ABNANL2A, IBAN: NL76ABNA0526602007.

ESTD relations with the ESTSS. The ESTD has signed a oneyear affiliation contract with the ESTSS. In this relationship, ESTD will examine the viability of building together with the ESTSS a European umbrella organization for trauma societies that support clinical trauma research and policy practices that are informed by scientific evidence. At the moment the agreement was signed the fee was fixed at € 36 per individual member of ESTD. Reduced fees for members from low-income countries apply (See here). This reduced membership fee entitles applicants to the same benefits as regular ESTSS members, including reduced participation fees for ESTSS conferences, access to the ‘members only’ sections of the ESTSS website, free receipt of the European Journal of Psychotraumatology and a reduced subscription rate for the Journal of Traumatic Stress. The ESTSS have not updated their website yet, but your rights are reserved. In line with our agreement to advertise each other’s events, I would like to alerts you to the next ESTSS conference to be held in n Vienna June 2-5 2011. For more information click here.

The first bi-annual ESTD workshop. As of next year the ESTD is going to offer one major educational event every year. This year we had our second bi-annual three-day conference in Belfast and next year we are launching a bi-annual one-day workshop to be held in major European cities every year following our 3-day conference. Eva Zimmermann (Switzerland), chair of our Education Committee in conjunction with our French colleagues Isabelle Saillot and Bernard Mayer are organizing the First ESTD Bi-Annual Workshop to be held in Paris on December 3, 2011 under the title Le passage à l’acte de Triomphe (my French is not great, but I suspect the title reflects a little Parisian-Janetian play of words!). We are now actively looking for the location of our next bi-annual ESTD Workshop for 2013 and we invite you to put forward your case for hosting the event in your country. If you wish to argue for hosting the Second bi-annual ESTD Workshop in your country, go ahead and email Eva.

THE ESTD website. The ESTD website committee under the able leadership of Arne Blindheim (Norway) is working hard with our Webmaster to improve the website’s contents management processes. We are installing a user-friendly content-management system that we hope to operate with ESTD volunteer members. The Members-only section will soon feature exciting interviews with Joy Silberg, Ellert Nijenhuis, Stephen Porges and Sue Carter. Audiotapes of the plenary presentations in Belfast will also soon be available. Check your password-protected members section because the first audiotapes are being uploaded as I write these words.

Multilingualism and the ESTD. The ESTD leadership is working hard to expand our services and communications to other important European languages. Cases in point are our upcoming first bi-annual one-day conference in Paris (in French and French translations, see the 2011 event list below), Dr. Anabel Gonzalez (Spain) has been working with an Argentinian colleague to develop a Complex Trauma and Dissociation course in Spanish that will be offered soon online in conjunction with the ISSTD and also, we plan to have a German language track of papers in our next conference in Berlin.

Volunteers needed. Arne Blindheim and Eva Zimmermann are also working on adding contents to the website in various European languages. If you wish to help us make the website accessible to more colleagues from your country, please contact Arne or Eva with your suggestions. We need two types of volunteers: 1. Translators. We need your help to translate portions of the website and add other country-specific contents for our website. 2. Content updaters. Since our system is becoming manageable by volunteers we could save on Webmaster costs if we could have a few volunteers to help Arne with the updates of the website. Join us and become part of the team!

You membership dues put into good use. The ESTD board has decided to invest some of the organization’s resources in promoting trauma and dissociation education outside Western Europe. 1. This year we financed and produced a 2-day educational workshop in Transylvania, Romania (Following a 2-day workshop we financed and produced in Slovakia). 2. We have recently partnered with Dr. Ghassan Abdullah, chair of CARE-Palestine to develop an educational event on trauma and dissociation to take place in Palestine. The board has asked ESTD member Dr. Naiel Arafat (Germany), a Gaza-born psychiatrist, to facilitate the event. 3. The ESTD is going to support the production of a British educational DVD on DID/DDNOS that will not only carry high quality professional information but will also feature the perspective of experts-by-experience from First Person Plural, a UK survivor-led association for dissociative survivors of abuse & trauma.

Berlin 2012. Mark your calendars: We shall meet in Berlin in March 29-31 2012 in what promises to be the best European event on trauma and dissociation, ever. More information from the conference organizational chairperson, Dr. Bettina Overkamp and the conference Scientific chair, Dr. Ursula Gast will be streaming your way as it becomes available.

And finally, my farewell: After 8 consecutive years of leadership service on the boards of the ISSTD and the ESTD I will be relieved to hand over the exciting but heavy responsibility of the presidency to my successor, Remy Aquarone and to slide into the slightly more comfortable seat on the board of the Immediate-past-President. The transition of leadership will take effect during the board’s next face-to-face meeting on January 15, 2011. I have worked with Remy on behalf of “The Cause” for many years and I know I could not leave the helm of this organization in better hands. The next transition of leadership will also mark the approaching departure of the current Immediate-PastPresident, Suzette Boon, who will be rotating off the board, shortly after that. Suzette will continue her volunteer leadership for the ESTD as a member of both the organizational and the scientific committees of our Third Bi-Annual Conference in Berlin. It will be hard to let you go and we will be missing you sorely, Suzette.

Eli Somer, Ph.D.

President, ESTD


From ESTD Newsletter Volume 1, Number 1, November 2010



> Access to all the letters from the President