International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

Communications Corner

Posted 1 January 2001 in StressPoints by ISTSS

StressPoints introduces a new section: "Communications Corner" will feature brief announcements, news clips and updates about affiliate groups, special interest groups (SIGs) and other related organizations. Send your news briefs to StressPoints managing editor at mnovak@istss.org with a subject line of "ISTSS Clips."

 

News from the Special Interest Groups

Criminal Justice SIG Plans a Mock Trial for Annual Meeting
The Criminal Justice symposium at ISTSS's 2000 annual meeting resulted in the formation of the Criminal Justice SIG, which is preparing a different kind of symposium - a mock trial - for the 2001 ISTSS meeting. This format highlights several aspects of trauma within the criminal justice system. Members of the SIG are providing their ideas and expertise in preparing a crime, reviewing readiness for trial, conducting a trial and dispensing justice. If you are interested in contributing to or participating in the mock trial symposium at next year's ISTSS annual meeting, please contact SusanMirow@aol.com.

Initiatives Set for Early Interventions SIG
The Early Interventions SIG provides a forum that brings together members interested in developing, delivering and disseminating effective early interventions to prevent development of PTSD and other trauma-related problems. Several initiatives were identified at the San Antonio meeting: create a subgroup focusing on disaster; create a team concerned with the updating of practice guidelines related to early intervention; and organize several symposia at the next annual meeting. There are plans to advance these initiatives and strengthen and develop an active electronic dialogue within the SIG membership about issues related to early intervention. For more information, contact
josef.ruzek@med. va.gov.

Gender, Trauma SIG Explores Gender Roles in PTSD
The primary goal of the Gender and Trauma SIG is to create a dialogue among clinicians and researchers that will effectively address and explore the role of gender in PTSD. A SIG within ISTSS is the ideal forum for this task because we are able to bring a multidisciplinary group of professionals together from disparate service settings and populations of interest that represent expertise with both men and women. The SIG's three subspecialty areas are research, clinical, and education and policy. Subscribe to the listserv, e-mail with no subject and no signature file to: listserv@itssrv1.ucsf.edu.

ITTR SIG: Biological Vulnerability Confirmed
Intergenerational Aspects of Trauma (IAT) is now called the Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma and Resilience (ITTR). After much study about the transmission of trauma nongenetically from parents to offspring of trauma survivors came the idea that, ultimately, survivors and offspring share specific behavioral patterns and a biological vulnerability. The vulnerability model has been confirmed recently by biological studies. Currently SIG members are researching several subtopics: ethnic and cultural specificity, mechanisms of transmission, types of transmission, and ongoing biological processes into subsequent generations, to name a few.

Spirituality and Trauma SIG Sets Goals for 2001
The Spirituality and Trauma SIG provides a forum for the discussion of spiritual issues as they pertain to the field of trauma work. The group focuses on research, therapy, vicarious trauma religion and the interface of spirituality and trauma. The SIG will be exploring symposium topics for the New Orleans ISTSS conference soon. Goals for the coming year include: getting to know SIG members and their specialties, communicating with StressPoints on a regular basis, encouraging increased dialogue within the society on the spiritual aspects of trauma, and developing workshops and symposia. This SIG includes all spiritual and faith-based beliefs with an emphasis on spirituality rather than specific religious orientation. For further information contact Molly H. Guzzino at mollyg@eudoramail.com.

 

News from the Task Forces

Ethics Task Force Created
The board of directors has created and mandated the Ethics Task Force to develop principles of ethical conduct with respect to the ISTSS mission, trauma-related research and clinical work. If you have any recommendations or suggestions, please contact task force chair, Elana Newman, at elana-newman@ utulsa.edu.

Complex Trauma Task Force
The president of ISTSS has assigned a small group of society members to form a task force that brings to the foreground issues related to complex trauma. The task force is interested in promoting a broader understanding of the difficulties that follow early and severe neglect and/or interpersonal trauma, such as abuse or exposure to domestic or community violence and compiling current empirical and clinical knowledge about these survivors. At the 2000 ISTSS annual meeting, the group generated a variety of ideas to promote their cause: a special issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress; a conference designed to learn more from researchers in related fields; and a focus on complex trauma at the 2001 annual meeting. Suggestions are welcome at: onnovdh@wxs.nl.

 

News from Affiliates

ASTSS Success Continues
Extraordinary events took place in Australasia in 2000. The successful 3rd World Conference was held in Melbourne in March, and preparations are being made for the next conference, held jointly with the National Centre for War-Related PTSD, March 30-31, 2001. See our Web site for conference and workshop details: www.astss.org.au.

On a broader scope, last year Australia witnessed a huge community statement of support for reconciliation with Aboriginal people. Australians are now assisting the Timorese to rebuild shattered lives after the appalling bloodshed in East Timor in 1999. Closer to home, the trauma field and welfare community are voicing outrage at the treatment of people labeled "illegal immigrants" who are being held in places described as unacceptable. For more information, contact the ASTSS newsletter editor at newsletter@astss.org.au.

ISTSS Latin America Forms New Organizations
Two organizations have been founded and others are in the development stage as a result of the ISTSS Latin America affiliate initiative that began several years ago, but came into its own at the 1999 annual meeting in Miami. ALAET of Argentina, officially registered this past fall, is discussing with another Argentinian group, the Association for Psychotraumatology, how to create a structure through which all members can be affiliated with ISTSS. Also, ALAET subregions of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean are organizing in coordination with the Mexican Association for Crisis Therapy. National chapters from several countries are expected to organize into a network with at least two subregions - one for South America, and the other for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. These will merge in a single organization for all of Latin America.

 

Other ISTSS Updates

Policies and Procedures Manual Revised
Led by the Task Force for Review of Policies and Procedures (Chair Eve Carlson, Danny Kaloupek, Bonnie Green, John Fairbank, John Briere, Matt Friedman, Linda Williams, Ulrich Schnyder), the ISTSS board has revised the ISTSS Policies and Procedures Manual. Among the many changes made to reflect current practice is the addition of a Special Interest Group Committee and clarification of the purpose of the Special Interest Groups (SIGs).

The manual now states, "The purpose of SIGs is to provide members with a forum for communication and interaction about specific topics related to traumatic stress. Another goal of SIGs is to provide a means of personal and professional involvement in the activities of the society."

Tell Us about Your Training Program
Several ISTSS groups have expressed an interest in the availability of a working list of structured degree-granting and post-degree training programs that focus on traumatic stress studies. To facilitate this project, we ask that directors of degree-granting programs submit a short paragraph with name, contact information, and a very brief summary of the program to alethea_smith@ hotmail.com by March 30, 2001. Directors of post-doctoral programs are requested to complete a form on the Web site. Presently, we are focusing on structured or mentored programs rather than one-time training institutes or courses.

Membership Renewal Notice
In order for your name to appear in the 2001 ISTSS Membership Directory, your membership renewal form must be postmarked by March 1.