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ISTSS Mission Statement

ISTSS is an international, interdisciplinary professional organization that promotes advancement and exchange of knowledge about traumatic stress. This knowledge includes:

  • Understanding the scope and consequences of traumatic exposure
  • Preventing traumatic events and ameliorating their consequences
  • Advocating for the field of traumatic stress


The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies was founded in 1985 for professionals to share information about the effects of trauma. ISTSS is dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge about policy, program and service initiatives that seek to reduce traumatic stressors and their immediate and long-term consequences.

ISTSS provides a forum for the sharing of research, clinical strategies, public policy concerns and theoretical formulations on trauma around the world. We are the premier society for the exchange of professional knowledge and expertise in the field.

Members of ISTSS include psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, counselors, researchers, administrators, advocates, journalists, clergy, and others with an interest in the study and treatment of traumatic stress.

ISTSS members come from a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings around the world, including public and private health facilities, private practice, universities, non-university research foundations and from many different cultural backgrounds.

Read the Our activities include:

Research & Resources

ISTSS publishes a research journal, Journal of Traumatic Stress, for professionals to share new research in the field. The research is reviewed by experts in the field. Its most recent impact factor was 2.326, putting it in the top third of all journals in the clinical psychology category. A quarterly newsletter, Traumatic StressPoints, features organizational news as well as news and features of importance to the field.


ISTSS presents an annual international conference, the largest forum for sharing new information on the field.

Professional & Public Education

ISTSS is the only society to have published a thorough, science-based assessment of the memory of trauma that integrates clinical and research understanding. A consumer-oriented pamphlet has also been developed.

Treatment Guidelines

 ISTSS develops and promotes treatment guidelines on the state of the art of all types of treatment.

Worldwide Networking & Support

ISTSS works with the United Nations to provide education and resources to guide practice and public policy in countries torn by exposure to traumatic events. ISTSS also promotes excellence in international training for mental health professionals and others who treat trauma victims.

Promote Excellence & Innovation

ISTSS recognizes excellence with annual awards to researchers, clinicians, and outstanding professionals in the field. ISTSS provides training for students to help them gain expertise in the field.

Learn more

To learn more about ISTSS, read Our Hearts and Our Hopes are Turned to Peace, written by former ISTSS President Sandra Bloom, MD.


Numerous people and organizations work together with ISTSS members and the ISTSS Board of Directors in partnerships aimed at enhancing the scientific study and treatment of trauma around the world. Information on our headquarters staff, affiliated organizations, and collaborators, as well as the ISTSS bylaws can be found on the Organization page.

ISTSS Leadership

Information about the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Ex-Officio Board Positions and Representatives, Liaisons, and Past Presidents can be found on the ISTSS Leadership page.

Committees and Taskforces

Information about the committees and taskforces that oversee various ongoing and aspirational functions within ISTSS can be found on the Committees and Taskforces page.

Special Interest Groups

Information about the various Special Interest Groups within ISTSS, including contact information for chair people and information about starting a new SIG can be found on the Special Interests Groups page.

Awards and Honors

ISTSS awards individuals and groups participating in endeavors related to traumatic stress at its annual conference. A list of the awards, current winners, past winners, and, when available a call for nominations, can be found on the Awards and Honors page.