International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies


Stuart Turner, MD, MA, FRCP, FRCPsych
ISTSS President

I am delighted to announce that ISTSS has just held a very successful one-day symposium at the building of the Royal College of Physicians in London, UK.

This was the final event in a weekend jointly organised by EMDR-Europe, the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and ISTSS. There was a remarkable spirit of cooperation. The presidents of ISTSS and ESTSS were invited to give the opening keynote lectures to the EMDR-Europe meeting and their conference provided a central venue for our mid-year board meeting. ESTSS also held some very popular workshops on traumatic stress during the weekend.

The ISTSS symposium was a real opportunity to learn about cutting-edge research across the whole trauma field. It was a showcase for many of the board members to provide a brief update about their work, including presentations on developmental trauma disorder, responding to mass trauma (including the London July 7th bombings), refugees, longitudinal studies of PTSD, clinical trials and deconstruction studies, implications of the HPA axis for maternal transmission of vulnerability to PTSD. It was a fascinating day and everyone I have asked has reported having learned something.

Aside from the World Conferences, this is the first ISTSS meeting outside North America. What was really encouraging was the interest this meeting raised across the world. Fewer than half of the attendees were from the United Kingdom. Twenty seven countries were represented including attendees from South Africa, Canada, China, India and Japan as well as many European countries. 
These events don’t happen, of course, without a great deal of behind the scenes organisation. It was a pleasure to work with Jonathan Bisson (ESTSS), Derek Farrell (EMDR-E), Diane Rutherford and Rick Koepke (ISTSS HQ), my colleagues in the Trauma Clinic in London, the board members who spoke or quietly supported, and many others in putting together this event.

I hope that it will be the beginning of many such ISTSS symposia and conferences around the world, planned in partnership with local affiliate societies. And this month, we have an update from Program Chair Jane Herlihy on what promises to be a very exciting Annual Meeting this year in Chicago
You may have seen that ISTSS has organised an essay competition on the topic of DSM-V. The closing date has now passed and I am delighted to announce that we had a fantastic total of 51 submissions. Although I confess to some relief that I am not judging the competition, I think this bodes very well for the health and energy of our society.

Finally, in the last StressPoints, I highlighted my concern about the large disasters that had recently hit Burma and China. These events all too soon pass from public attention but I am pleased to report that ISTSS Past-President Bob Pynoos and others have visited China to offer assistance in planning for the disaster response.


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