Home > ISTSS 36th Annual Meeting

ISTSS 36th Annual Meeting

Bridging Science and Practice to Reach Underserved Communities
Barriers, Opportunities and Innovations


November 4–14, 2020
Pre-Meeting Institutes: October 26–31

The field of traumatic stress is at an exciting point in its history with significant advances in the scientific understanding of important factors that influence psychological adjustment following trauma exposure. However, there is a continued struggle to translate this large and growing evidence base to practice to most effectively meet the needs of those exposed to trauma. This gap is particularly apparent for the hardest-to-reach and most vulnerable populations. That is, despite a proliferation of research, we know that most trauma-exposed individuals will not access evidence-based support. Some of the challenges to broader dissemination and application of existing scientific knowledge include high burden associated with training clinicians; feasibility challenges for patients seeking to engage in evidence-based care; treatment approaches that are complex, burdensome and lengthy; and cross-cultural differences that interfere with treatment acceptability and feasibility in certain populations.

To address this need, the 36th Annual Meeting of ISTSS will provide cutting-edge presentations that highlight the most up-to-date, innovative and novel work being conducted by diverse professionals devoted to the study of traumatic stress across the globe. Goals of the meeting are to increase discussion around the most effective ways to disseminate empirically based assessment and treatment techniques; methods for streamlining treatments to make them easier to deliver and receive; adaptations that make interventions a better fit for diverse populations; and basic and applied science findings that can be used to make our interventions more targeted, precise, mechanistic and ultimately easier to deliver. Taken together, a bridging of science and practice is necessary to meaningfully enhance recovery and resilience following trauma exposure in diverse settings and the 2020 ISTSS Annual Meeting aspires to showcase and promote novel and innovative work in this area.

Learning Objectives

  1. Discuss emerging scientific evidence that can inform and propel dissemination of evidence based approaches to assessment and treatment of trauma related problems.
  2. Identify unique challenges to providing evidence based care, including in low resource, underserved settings, and recognize potential approaches to improving access to care.
  3. Describe novel ways that treatments are being adapted to improve targeting of symptoms as well as decrease burden and difficulties associated with accessing care.
  4. Discuss the latest innovations in mechanism research, as a means of improving the precision of prevention and intervention approaches

Message from the ISTSS President

Dear ISTSS community,

I wanted to update each of you on the ISTSS plan with regard to our Annual Meeting for 2020. The ISTSS Board of Directors and Executive Committee have decided to move the meeting to a completely virtual format rather than meeting in person in Atlanta. This is not a decision we made lightly; we spent many hours discussing the pros and cons of meeting in person, having a hybrid format or electing for a fully virtual format.

Being able to gather together, to exchange knowledge, to reconnect and to continue building our social bonds and community is critical. As we see every day, working toward mitigating the effects of trauma exposure and their related mental health and physical impacts is critical and is only more so in the midst of a global pandemic, civil unrest and historic movements against racism and social injustice.

Our decision came down to one single factor—in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, large social gatherings have been superspreader events and we did not want to risk ISTSS being a source of harm rather than healing.

In place of our traditional meeting will be ISTSS’ first ever virtual meeting, November 4–14, with the PMIs taking place October 26–31. Our Annual Meeting Organizing Committee has been working tirelessly to translate our traditional meeting experience to a virtual meeting format. We will still gather as a community to advance science and clinical practice. We will have times for informal conversations and to reconnect. We will still present cutting edge, innovative and groundbreaking science. And, as an added benefit, this ISTSS annual meeting content will be available for an extended period of time, and registration will be at a lower cost than the in-person meeting. You will hear more about the plans for the virtual meeting in 2020 in the days and weeks to come.

It is also our hope that we will learn important lessons from this virtual meeting format that may, in future years, increase engagement in the ISTSS annual meeting from those who time, finances or geography may have prevented from attending in the past.

Personally, while I am sad that I will not be able to gather with all of you in person, catch up with my dear ISTSS friends and make new ones as I do every year, I can rest assured knowing that we, as a scientific and clinical society, are doing what is in the best interest of public health. I am proud of us for making this difficult decision. I am also truly excited to see ISTSS embrace this new challenge, remaining true to the organization’s core mission and developing new strategies for our meeting which have implications for 2020 and beyond.
Debra Kaysen, PhD
ISTSS President

Questions? Contact [email protected]