Dear ESTD members,

A lot has happened in the last couple of months, the central event being our Biennial Conference held in Rome. It was the first time that the ESTD Conference was organized in a Latin country. This would normally bring up language difficulties but the warmth and hospitality of our Italian colleagues overcame  the challenges. Rome has a legacy of spiritual search for and understanding of the human mind, as we can see ,for example, in the historical work of Micahel Angelo. The fresco in the Sistine Chapel is a symbol of the embodiment of human suffering and transformation making the city a congruent location for our event.

The theme of this year’s Conference brought up very interesting and challenging presentations. There were new studies in neuroimaging presented by Dr Benedetto Farina. Dr Ellert Nijenhuis brought his complex work regarding enactive trauma therapy. This provided both a challenge and a way of understanding this phenomenon.

Starting the Conference, the well-known Italian philosopher Michela Marzano, introduced her personal and professional journey on the fragility of human existence, a very touching and intriguing lecture. The next morning Kathy Steele, in a compassionate and truthful presentation accompanied us through the Developmental Journey of the Trauma Therapist.

On Friday, Dr Martin Dorahy presented his latest research regarding inter-identity amnesia, voice hearing and shame raising which evoked many responses from the audience.

Preceding the conference, there were four very interesting workshops held, having as presenters such wellknown trainers as Renee Marks, Anabel Gonzalez, Luca Ostacoli and the collaborative presentation of Kathy Steele, Suzette Boon and Dolores Mosquera. Meanwhile we had the ESTD Board Meeting where we analyzed the financial situation; we discussed the strategies in short and long term for developing the Society . We also held two important strategic meetings, the first one with Isabel Fernandez, the EMDR Europe President and Christine Forner, the ISSTD President. We looked for new ways to strengthen our good collaboration as we all hope to develop bridges for our working communities and to find new ways to encourage those who are starting on their path as trauma therapists as well those involved in research. In the second and third day of the Conference, we had the Annual General Meeting where the Board get the chance to exchange direct information with the present members and on the following day, we had the Country Representative Meeting where we discussed plans and challenges which  are encountered in each country.

With regard to our plans for the future , next year the ESTD regional Conference will be in Katowice, Poland, with the support of our ESTD colleagues Igor Pietkiewicz and Radek Tomalski and the next Biennial ESTD Conference will be organized in Manchester UK (2021) and will be organised together with our ESTD UK branch.

Many thanks for all the ESTD Board and to our AISTED Italian Colleagues for their efforts in creating this successful event. Best wishes to you all and Happy Holiday time!

Anca Vilma Sabau, MD

President, ESTD