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Welcome to Amsterdam

Dear ESTD members, soon-to-become-members and those interested in the field of trauma and dissociation,

We are excited to invite you to Amsterdam for our 5th biennial conference of the European Society for Trauma and Dissociation (ESTD) from April 14-16, 2016. It all started in Amsterdam some 10 years ago when the ESTD was founded in 2006, and our first conference was held in 2008 in Amsterdam. Come celebrate our 10th anniversary with us! Our special venue is de Beurs van Berlage, a former Stock exchange that was built in 1903 right in the heart of downtown Amsterdam (our King and Queen got married here in 2002!). The conference theme is Trauma, Dissociation and Affect Disregulation Across the Lifespan. Throughout the program we will explore these issues across all developmental epochs, including children and adolescents, adults, and the elderly. We hope you will bring your knowledge and skills and will share your experiences with us to improve the assessment and treatment of chonically traumatized individuals.

Please take a look at our preliminary program and do not hesitate to submit an abstract! Abstract submissions will be open from April 1 - August 31, 2015. We have invited some exciting keynote speakers who will introduce us to their field of interests.On Thursday evening we open our conference with two exciting plenary talks. Selma Leydesdorf, an historian and expert on oral history, will explore “why people tell their story,” a topic highly relevant to our work with trauma. Frans de Waal, an internationally known primatologist, will give an exciting lecture on social behavior,bonding, consolation, and conflict resolution in primates, giving us a window into the origins of our own attachment and social connection behaviors. Afterwards we will celebrate our 10th anniversary at the conference reception. On the second day, two more keynotes will follow. Kathy Steele will explore a fresh perspective on treating attachment problems in patients with dissociative disorders, followed by Annemiek van Dijke who will present her work on dissociative self-dysregulation. On the third and last day, Karl Heinz Brisch will present his work on the treatment of trauma and dissociation in children, and as a closure keynote, Ira Brenner will present on trauma across the life-span, with a special focus on dissociation in the elderly, with particular attention to aging holocaust survivors.

We hope that you will enjoy the beautiful and always sparkling city of Amsterdam! Over the course of history, Amsterdam has long been known as a tolerant refuge for those who suffer trauma and persecution, be it political, social or familial. In fact, it is still affectionately known in some quarters as “Mokum,” a Yiddish word meaning safe haven. And of course, as a centuries old community, Amsterdam has also had its share of painful interpersonal violence, occupation, and persecution. To immerse yourself in some of this rich history, visit the Anne Frank house, the old Jewish quarter, and Esnoga, the 17th century Sephardic Portugese synagogue. Walk through the WW II Resistance museum to explore the history of Dutch resistance during the Nazi occupation. Climb your way up to “Our Lord in the Attic” a clandestine chapel and museum in the attic of a beautiful canal house, where religious dissenters safely worshipped in the 17th century.

There is never a shortage of wonderful activities in Amsterdam. Listen to world class music performances in the renowned concert hall, Het Concertgebouw, or hang out in the Leidseplein, the center of Amsterdam’s lively entertainment scene. For quieter moments, take time to sit outside at any of dozens of cafes, sipping coffee or tea while watching the vibrant city streets. Wind your way through Vondel Park, or stroll around the famous canals and take in the sights from our “golden age.” And of course, there is a wealth of famous museums to explore, including the Van Gogh, Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk, Hermitage, Joods Historisch (Jewish History), or the National Maritime Museum.

Please note that we have arranged special rates for airfares with KLM / Air France. Hotel accommodations will be suggested for all budgets.

Looking forward to meeting you in Amsterdam! Warm regards.

Eva Zimmerman,
President of ESTD

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