International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

PRESIDENT'S COLUMN

Posted 1 July 1998 in StressPoints by Sandra Bloom, MD

Happy Spring everyone. Plans for the annual meeting are rolling ahead and with Liz Kuh's guidance, the program is shaping up, so stay tuned for exciting details. Elana Newman has put an enormous amount of thought and time into developing diverse specialty training courses of interest to clinicians within and outside of the Society. The conference officially opens Friday night on November 20th with a plenary that includes Judy Herman and Gloria Steinem, so I suggest you attend the specialty training courses earlier in the day as well.

Along with this issue of StressPoints, you will find a survey about the impact of managed care on the treatment of trauma survivors and the people who treat them. It is lengthy and will take time to do, but we wanted a complete idea of how the current health-care environment affects you. If this is a passionate concern for you, please feel free to express yourself and return the survey ASAP. Thanks to Bob Dobyns, Rich Epstein, Lyndra Bills, and especially John Fairbank for their contributions to this effort.

Laurie Pearlman and Bruce Litzenberger are leading the effort to distribute the ISTSS pamphlet "Childhood Trauma Remembered: A Report on the Current Scientific Knowledge Base and Its Application." All members will receive a copy, and a condensed version will be published in the May issue of the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, thanks to Bob Geffner. The document will eventually go up on the Web site and be published in The International Handbook of Violence and Traumatic Stress, edited by Arieh Shalev, Sandy McFarlane, and Rachel Yehuda for Plenum. Publication of the pamphlet is a major accomplishment for the Society and should provide a refreshingly balanced viewpoint in a discourse noted for extreme, sometimes bizarre, viewpoints.

At my request, David Mackey and Ray Scurfield initiated a proposal to develop a broad, multicultural, and diverse membership. The full proposal will be presented at the mid-year Board meeting in June. If you are interested in helping the ISTSS develop a broad-based constituency, please contact David at 914/927-8285 or Ray at 228/214-4703.

Elisa Triffleman and Laura Brown are developing a proposal recommending ways to build active relationships with legislators in hopes of educating representatives about issues surrounding victimization and traumatic stress. They are reviewing how other organizations deal with legislative issues so that the ISTSS can become better informed about options open to us as a nonprofit organizations.

Andy Stone has been laying the groundwork for what we hope will become a Latin American affiliate, and his outreach efforts are generating interest in Mexico, Columbia, and Argentina. His number is 215/823-4061.

The Practice Guidelines Task Force, under the steady hand of Edna Foa, has been working hard. Arieh Shalev designed a template so that each working-group product has uniformity. Several conference calls have been held involving a large group of representatives. Each representative group has position papers due in April and will convene a day before the June Board meeting in Washington, D.C. It is turning out to be a massive, controversial task and thanks go to Edna for structuring and coordinating an approach.

Please take time to fill out the managed care survey. It is one thing you can do to give voice to any frustration you may have around this issue, and we need to hear from you.