International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

President's Message

Posted 20 January 2014 in StressPoints by Nancy Kassam-Adams, PhD

ISTSS members come from many different “places” in terms of geography (more than 40 countries!), culture, language, professional training, and area of trauma focus. ISTSS’ strategic goals recognize and honor both this diversity and our shared commitment to addressing the human impact of trauma through excellence in trauma research and practice.

Goal #2: Dissemination and Collaboration
ISTSS is a diverse and inclusive organization that emphasizes collaboration in the exchange of knowledge and in the development, dissemination and implementation of evidence based and emerging best practices for all different types of trauma and populations.

ISTSS members regularly collaborate - across disciplines, specialty areas, and national boundaries - to better understand and address the impact of trauma. The ISTSS Annual Meeting especially welcomes presentations that emphasize this kind of collaborative work to advance the field.

I want to highlight several notable examples of our Society’s collaborative efforts to promote evidence-based and emerging best practices. I ask you to consider what you think ISTSS should be doing now and in the future to advance this strategic goal, and to share your ideas about this important work. (Looking for ISTSS on Twitter? We are @ISTSSNews. Look for the #ISTSScommunity hashtag and use it to share your thoughts about promoting / supporting best practices.)

In 2000, ISTSS created basic Best Practice Parameters for trauma professionals in their roles as teachers, as clinicians, or as researchers.  ISTSS has also facilitated the development of guidelines for international trauma training. Through a careful literature review and inter-disciplinary input, the Society developed the ISTSS Treatment Guidelines for addressing traumatic stress in adults and children.  These guidelines, last revised in 2008, are available online and in expanded book form in “Effective Treatments for PTSD.”  The ISTSS guidelines go beyond many other clinical practice guidelines for trauma by addressing a broad range of emerging best practices and providing more extensive coverage of interventions for children and adolescents. In 2011, ISTSS published additional guidelines for Complex PTSD Treatment, developed via an extensive expert consensus process.

Most recently, ISTSS is a partner in the Global Collaboration Project, a joint effort of traumatic stress societies from around the world initiated in 2012. The goal of this “experiment in global collaboration” is to collect local knowledge concerning treatment and support available for survivors of child abuse and neglect, and to develop a mobile app that will allow global distribution and cultural customization of this information.

What next? How should ISTSS continue to support development, dissemination and implementation of best practices? Please join the conversation online and share your ideas.

  • How do YOU work to advance best practices in trauma intervention? How could ISTSS help?
  • What are the most important unanswered questions about best practices?
  • What are the greatest barriers to implementing best practices? How could ISTSS help address these?