International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies


Plenary Sessions Highlight the 2000 Annual Meeting

The ISTSS 16th Annual Meeting in San Antonio, chaired by Juesta Caddell, was a rousing success, with approximately 900 attendees. This was the second-highest attendance ever for an ISTSS meeting, an impressive statistic considering that San Antonio is a secondary access city without a strong local ISTSS presence.

Attendees gathered at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio on the River Walk for four packed days of exhibits, workshops, speeches, panel discussions, poster sessions, movie presentations and much more, sharing knowledge about a wide range of traumatic stress studies.

The meeting offered 240 poster sessions and approximately 100 oral sessions, each featuring multiple speakers. According to post-conference evaluations, 100 percent of respondents rated the quality of speakers as excellent or good.

The plenary sessions were the highlights of the meeting. Carl Bell discussed cultural paradigms for building resiliency in "Cultivating Resiliency." In the opening plenary session, Stephen D. Smith focused on prevention of genocide by taking the audience back to past episodes of mass death and the personal trauma of the experience in "And Let's Not Talk about That: From Memory to the Prevention of Genocide." Other plenaries were Claude Chemtob's "Trauma, Culture and Public Health" and Roger Pitman's "Stress Hormones and the Amygadala in PTSD: Possible Implications for Secondary Prevention."

The Special Interest Groups (SIGs) luncheons were very successful. Thirteen SIGs held meetings in San Antonio, with more than 300 attendees taking advantage of the opportunity to strengthen their personal knowledge. The individual SIGs continue to mature and prosper, with many pursuing aggressive work programs in 2001. The annual meeting provided a number of opportunities for attendees to socialize and network. Many gathered for complimentary continental breakfasts in early mornings before sessions started and ended their days socializing at closing receptions. Students enjoyed a special student breakfast meeting. And the awards banquet offered a night of fine dining and entertainment (see ISTSS NEWS).

Survey results are being studied with aims of making the 2001 annual meeting even better than the last one. Plan to be in New Orleans December 6-9, where the theme, "researching underserved survivors through community-based programs," will be explored. Check the Web site at for extended coverage of the 2000 annual meeting.