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Truth be told, one of the most anxiety-provoking parts of the role of ISTSS President for me has been writing the StressPoints columns (and after informally surveying past presidents I may not be alone in this sentiment). The pressure to have something meaningful to share with you all, my colleagues, who I hold in such high regard is a tall order! As an academic I could, and sometimes do, write grants or manuscripts in my sleep. I am sure other academic parents of small children can relate. This type of writing, however, is more challenging for me. My column was due prior to the annual meeting and our gracious editor gave me an extension as I was consumed with preparation for our Board of Directors meeting and conference preparations. I was not engaging in avoidance behaviors, I promise! I thought I had my topic chosen. I am so grateful that I was underwater and thus am writing this after the conference because I now get to use this space to reflect on the joy, pure joy, that coming back together IN PERSON after years apart due to the pandemic was.  
We all know that ISTSS is more than the annual meeting. It is our academic and clinical family. The 2022 annual meeting was not just a scientific conference, it was a homecoming. It was a family reunion wherein we joyously reconnected with our friends and colleagues and welcomed into the family new members and attendees with open arms. As a global traumatic stress community, we truly innovated during the years wherein we were pushed into the virtual space due to necessity to continue to maintain and form bonds with our community that were so critical during the pandemic. Those bonds were evident in all the spaces at the meeting. The rooms, lobbies, and halls were abuzz with conversation and connection. It was slightly reminiscent of the opening scene in Love Actually of the arrivals gate of Heathrow Airport.
After witnessing all the reunions, I was slightly concerned that people would be too consumed with socializing to engage with the program, but I gladly was proven wrong. The engaging and vibrant program that the Annual Meeting Chairs created had something for everyone and in many of the sessions I went in it was standing room only. I was in awe of the amazing science and clinical innovations being conducted by our community. I was touched by the insightful questions asked in a universally kind manner. I was especially in awe of all the students that I had the pleasure to interact with. They are the future of our field, and from what I can tell, our future is in good hands.
I left the conference cognitively energized, physically exhausted, and overall, with a sense of immense gratitude for all of the wonderful people in our field who are working to make change for the better at the individual and societal levels. It has been the highest honor of my career to serve as the ISTSS President. As my term is now over, I hand the reins over to Marit Sijbrandij and I look forward to continuing to serve ISTSS under her stellar leadership.