Dear Colleagues and Fellow Members of ESTD,
On 26 February 2022, Josh Glancy, Washington correspondent for The Sunday Times, wrote an article entitled “Will the permacrisis ever end?”. He reviewed the last six years, from Brexit to the pandemic to the invasion of Ukraine, highlighting the role of social media in amplifying the crisis.
At the beginning of 2022, many were looking forward to an end to the pandemic and the containment measures put in place to combat it. However, the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army hit like an icy shower. The suffering of the Ukrainian people and the incessant images of war are stark reminders that security and peace are fragile and never guaranteed. Looking forward to the future is becoming difficult and a growing number of people are concerned that “living in crisis” is going to be the norm in the coming decades.
Faced with the adversity and instability of the world, we need, more than ever, to stand together and put solidarity into action. In this context, the ESTD has a vital role to play as an organisation, bringing together clinicians and researchers specialised in trauma and dissociation in order to disseminate as widely as possible useful resources for helping people traumatised by war (Read the ESTD statement about the war in Ukraine: https://www.estd.org/content/statement-estd).
Speaking of helpful resources, more and more of you have been attending our online webinars. On 20 January 2022, Suzette Boon gave a clear and detailed presentation of clinical cases related to the “Trauma and Dissociation Symptoms Interview (TADS-I).” Then, on 17 March 2022, Richard Loewenstein offered a fascinating reflection on the diagnosis of dissociation and dissociative disorders.
We will continue our series of expert discussions on the topic of the diagnosis and assessment of dissociation until the summer vacation. Renée Marks will join us on 19 May 2022 from 19:00 to 20:30 (CEST) and Ellert Nijenhuis on 29 September 2022 from 19:00 to 20:30 (CEST). Renée will talk about the assessment of dissociative symptoms and disorders in children and adolescents and Ellert will talk about somatoform dissociation as a major characteristic of dissociative disorders.
As we are committed to sharing theories and practices concerning trauma and dissociation with as many people as possible, we have decided to make our upcoming seminars completely free of charge. In addition, recordings of the webinars will be made freely available to ESTD members. All you need to do is register on the ESTD website (https://www.estd.org/content/19-may-2022-free-webinar-7-pm-assessment-dissociative-children-and-adolescents)
A great many colleagues have shown interest in online events and we will continue to offer more and more events of this kind. We are currently working on a complete redesign of the website which will streamline the organisation of virtual events. We are also working to provide you with a summary of each webinar so that colleagues who have difficulty following the audio in English can rely on a written version.
In addition to virtual exchanges, we remain convinced of the value of meeting and discussing our shared concerns face-to-face. This is why we are pleased to announce that the next ESTD congress will be held on 9, 10 and 11 March 2023 in Brussels, in collaboration with the Association Francophone du Trauma et de la Dissociation. The title of the congress will be: “When Attachment Meets Trauma: Disorganisation and Dissociation from Childhood to Adulthood.” A preliminary programme is being prepared and will be published soon. In the meantime, don’t forget to make a note of the dates in your diary!
In terms of research, ESTD has decided to support a study being conducted by Bethany Brand, Ph.D. and Hugo Schielke, Ph.D. (TOP DD Network Randomized Trial). This study aims to test a therapeutic programme that focuses on improving patients’ ability to safely manage and reduce intense emotions, PTSD symptoms, and dissociation. The researchers are looking for individual clinicians who would be interested in taking part in the study with one of their patients (for more information, visit: http://topddstudy.net/). Bethany Brand will present the study online on 18 June 2022 for ESTD members. Further information will be sent to our members by email and published on the ESTD website.
In short, we have a lot of things to look forward to this spring. I hope that the arrival of good weather and the resumption of normal life will offer some hope and a return to a more peaceful world.
Thank you again for your support.