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Don't worry, there's still time to pack up the outback gear and head down under for the 3rd World Conference on Traumatic Stress, "The Long-Term Outcomes of Trauma in Individuals and Society," March 16-19, in Melbourne, Australia.

In fact, interested parties can still register to attend; visit the ASTSS Web site at www.astss.org.au and download the preliminary program that includes registration materials.

Highlights of the conference are:

  • A presidential debate will take on the topic, "Traumatologist — Scientist or Activist?" The world forum, chaired by Matt Friedman, will assemble a group of people who think globally about issues facing traumatized cultures to discuss what works and what doesn't in addressing these issues. A question-and-answer period will follow for audience members to address the panel about the particular problems facing their region or culture.
  • The body, overlooked in the treatment approaches to post-traumatic syndromes, will be the focus of a plenary panel chaired by Bessel van der Kolk, titled "If the Body Keeps the Score, Who Keeps Score of the Body?" A hypothetical case, based on real situations experienced by clinicians and their patients, and moderated by Norman Swann, will weave through many of the challenges faced in working with traumatized individuals in an often re-traumatizing social system. The final plenary, a keynote speaker panel, will draw together the themes from the conference and look to future directions in the field of traumatic stress.
  • One of the highlights of the conference will be an interview with Brian Keenan, author of An Evil Cradling (Viking Press, 1993), about the long-term effects of his period of captivity as a hostage of Lebanese terrorists. Bessel Van der Kolk will conduct the interview at a theatre outside of the conference venue. In order to fund this project, there will be a separate charge for attendance. Seating also is limited — so interested individuals will need to preregister. Pre-reading of Keenan's compelling account of his captivity is recommended.

For further information about the conference, contact: The Conference Organiser, Box 214, Brunswick East 3057, Victoria, Australia; phone, +61-3-9380 1429; fax, +61-3-9380 2722; or e-mail, conorg@ozemail.com.au.

For discussion of the programme, contact: Scientific Programme Coordinator, Dr. Di Clifton, 121 Fortescue Ave., Seaford 3198, Victoria, Australia; phone/fax, +61-3-9786 1918; or e-mail, dclifton@silas.cc.monash.edu.au.