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ESTSS at 20 years: “a phoenix gently rising from a lava flow of European trauma”

European Journal of Psychotraumatology
Co-Action Publishing
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3402/ejpt.v4i0.21306
  • The Past Presidents' Reviews - 20 Years Of European Psychotraumatology
  • Law
  • Philosophy


Roderick J. Ørner, who was President between 1997 and 1999, traces the phoenix-like origins of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS) from an informal business meeting called during the 1st European Conference on Traumatic Stress (ECOTS) in 1987 to its emergence into a formally constituted society. He dwells on the challenges of tendering a trauma society within a continent where trauma has been and remains endemic. ESTSS successes are noted along with a number of personal reflections on activities that give rise to concern for the present as well as its future prospects. Denial of survivors’ experiences and turning away from survivors’ narratives by reframing their experiences to accommodate helpers’ theory-driven imperatives are viewed with alarm. Arguments are presented for making human rights, memory, and ethics core elements of a distinctive European psycho traumatology, which will secure current ESTSS viability and future integrity.

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