Letter from the President - May 2009

15 Mayo 2009
Eli Somer, president of the ESTD (2011-2013)


Dear member of the ESTD,

On April 1 2009 the first president of our young society, Suzette Boon ended her service. Her achievements in launching the organization and in spearheading the immensely successful first ESTD bi-annual conference in Amsterdam last year have set a standard of leadership that will be hard to replicate. Suzette is continuing her service on the Board as Immediate Past President and will offer her councel to the acting president to ensure a smooth transition and consistent continuity of leadership. It is with pride and apprehension that I take over this immense responsibility.

There are a few issues I wish to report to you in this message.

  • First, you are all invited to visit the ESTD Board page to be acquainted with the current ESTD leadership: an excellent group of volunteer leaders who are devoting much of their talents and free time to serve you.
  • The ESTD website is undergoing considerable development under the able guidance of board member Arne Blindheim and the vision of our evolving blog editor Vittoria Ardino. Please visit the various ESTD webpages and provide us with feedback. You might want to give special attention to the blog:  an innovative product that will allow you all to post, discuss and react to each other. You are invited to communicate your thoughts on clinical and theoretical matters, report news of interest and to do so in your own version of English. We all understand that English is a foreign language to all European East of the La Manche.
  • I also encourage you to get involved in ESTD activities. If you are interested to help with ESTD projects, please let me know and we’ll get in touch with you. For example, we need volunteers to: 1. translate and write webpages in the various European languages, 2. build and maintain national and local component groups, 3. serve on a book review committee, etc. Get involved and make an impact!
  • One of the main challenges we are facing relates to the European Tower of Babylon we are operating in. We are eager to hear from you any ideas on how we can best serve non-English speaking professionals in Europe who work with traumatized and dissociative clients. We would like to be more relevant to more traumatologists in South European, East European and German speaking countries. Tell us how.
  • Another challenge we are facing relates to the integration of local, continental (ESTD) and  international (ISSTD) societies under one membership fee. This has not been a simple issue to resolve. Recently, some 50 Israeli members of Trauma and Dissociation Israel (TDIL) have accepted a trial triple membership (TDIL-ESTD-ISSTD) following an agreement between former ESTD President Suzette Boon; TDIL chair, Liora Somer and ISSTD President Kathy Steele. We are not sure how this model will work out in the future because of the higher costs of ISSTD membership (that includes the coveted access to the electronic version Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, JTD), but we continue to explore ways to provide ESTD members the best membership value for their money.
  • Some ESTD members who have subscribed to the printed version  of JTD have experienced considerable delays in the delivery of the 2008 volume. It seems that Talyor and Francis, the new publisher of the journal, has worked hard to make a smooth transition despite significant difficulties with the handover from the original publisher. ISSTD President, Kathy Steele, ISSTD paid staff and our own treasurer, Tina Overkamp are very close to solving this problem. I believe those affected will be getting a letter from the ISSTD concerning the resolution of this problem soon. I apologize for the frustration this delay in shipment may have caused to some of you.
  • Preparations for the second bi-annual ESTD conference to be held in Belfast, Northern Ireland in April 8-10, 2010 are in full swing. The conference’s theme: Healing from traumatic relationships: Psychological and Societal Perspectives on Trauma and Dissociation seems most appropriate to be explored in the city of Belfast -  a model city for societal healing from community strife. This promises to be an enriching educational event with luminary speakers, educational workshops, interesting research reports and lots of good fun. Mark your calendars, prepare your submissions and stay tuned for our first call for papers.

I am looking forward to your ideas and thoughts on how to make the ESTD a better professional home for European trauma and dissociation clinicians. Please do not hesitate to contact me.

Eli Somer, Ph.D.
President, ESTD

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