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This Year’s Traumatic Stress Conference Was in Chicago, a City Popping with Pride

17 Nov

I’m here at the annual ISTSS conference (International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies) to scan the field for new findings and techniques in treating traumatic stress.  This field is exploding so rapidly, it’s hard to stay current – which is a wonderful thing.  So I’m going to be soaking up new info like a sponge.

And more importantly, the clever and bodacious Dr. Jennifer Strauss, principal investigator from Duke and the Durham V.A., will at last be presenting some of her findings from the guided imagery for trauma study (GIFT is the acronym) with women suffering from military sexual trauma from the Vietnam War.  Very exciting!

This year it’s in Chicago, and this city is so proud of itself for launching Barack Obama’s political career, it’s simply beside itself.  It’s fun to see the local news going crazy, and the cameras trained on my old neighborhood of Hyde Park, where I lived for a decade myself.  I love Chicago – such a vital, gritty, alive, juicy city!  Everything Carl Sandburg said was true!!  

Besides, I kind of grew up here, between the ages of 17-27.  The generous, intimidating, academic juggernaut of the University of Chicago gave me a full scholarship plus living expenses so I could go to The College, and a full fellowship plus living expenses for grad school; I met my dynamo husband in Chicago; my wonderful daughter-in-law and son-in-law are from Chicago.  So, why wouldn’t I be  wildly appreciative of this town? 

But I digress.  What I started to say is that I’m thrilled to see this country redeem a big chunk of its ugly past with the selection of this gifted man as our next president.  I think we have great things in store in terms of further healing and growth and change on many levels and many arenas.  It’s a shame things had to fall apart so spectacularly to get to this point, but I’m here to say that I’m trusting in the future of this country again (I’m just not looking at my 401K!!).

I just got back from a brief trip to Turkey, where shop owners and random people on the street would see my American self and with a  big smile, immediately put up a thumbs up signal and yell, “OBAAAAAMA!!!!”.  It was wonderful. 

Maybe I’ll see you this weekend in Salt Lake City at our Panic/PTSD workshop!

Meantime, take care and be well. 



 


 

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award