NOTE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Spencer Nineberg, LICSW
It is an honor to introduce myself as the incoming president of NESTTD. Before I say more about myself I would first like to thank Roberta Fortgang, my immediate predecessor, for all her support, encouragement and mentoring. Roberta is an inspiration. She efficiently tackled and mastered numerous administrative challenges and lovingly developed a strong, capable board that works beautifully together. I also want to thank Barbara Phillips, Roberta’s predecessor, for her warmth and dedication to NESTTD. Barbara brought creativity to her role by developing the Mining the Treasures interview series. And thanks also go to Jessica Reed, the first board member I got to know when I became active in the organization. Jessica’s warm, positive nature has filtered out into the organization through her stints as Membership Committee Chair and as President. In so many ways she has set a tone of welcome that exists at the board as well as community levels.
My interest in trauma goes back to childhood when, because of various neighbors, I became aware of the Holocaust and the affects of WWII. I would read and read trying to figure out how ordinary people like myself could seem to psychologically withstand the horrors they had been through and what happened when they couldn’t. This deep curiosity, as well as my own small ”t” traumas, drew me to the field of psychotherapy. After doing my undergraduate work in England, I got my MSW at Smith in 1978. I worked at MGH and then at an HMO for a while and went into private practice full time in 1983. It was really only upon learning EMDR in the late 90’s and luckily getting into supervision with Susan Aeschbach and Debbie Korn that my trauma education really began. In addition they both told me about NESTTD as a way to deepen my understanding and to find community and I am so grateful. In more recent years I was drawn to IFS because of its compatibility with my practice of Advaita Vedanta (Nondualism), a spiritual tradition I have practiced for over 35 years. I find the IFS model incredibly useful and integrate well with both EMDR and AEDP, another deep interest. Each model gets put to use in trauma treatment.
One thing I have always so appreciated about NESTTD is its cutting edge presentations. This year is no exception. Rina Dubin and Wendy Forbush and their Program Committee have come up with another amazing roster. We started off with a new venture for us, a two-day conference which included many experiential practice sessions when we invited Bruce Ecker and Sara Bridges to speak about memory reconsolidation and Coherence Therapy. In Dec., we will have Deb Dana on polyvagal theory. In Feb, we will have Lynn Sanford speaking about shame and in April, Ruth Lanius will be talking about trauma and altered states of consciousness. In the spring we will also once again have our day-long Fundamentals program which is geared towards offering a basic education or review of the theory and treatment of dissociation, a topic rarely covered in traditional clinical education and yet so essential.
I am fortunate that in my role of president, I am supported by a warm, wonderful board. Our meetings are often fun and creative. Since taking office I have been impressed by how much board members and committee chairs take on and by their level of dedication. In addition to the Program Committee co-chaired by Wendy and Rina, there are two other main committees, Outreach and Publicity, chaired by Barbara Phillips, and Membership, co-chaired by Jessica Reed and Sandrine Aegerter. The Executive Committee consists of Roberta Fortgang, Past President; Jessica Reed, Treasurer; Isa Mattei, Secretary; and myself. Members at Large on the board include Meri Fox, Roger Abdell, Carolinda Sterczala, and Deborah Hughes. Barbara Phillips is also the editor of the newsletter. And last but not least is our cheerful and efficient member services director, Pam Goodspeed. A huge thank you to this wonderful crew!
NESTTD is not just an educational organization. A big part of our mission is to provide community and connection for professionals doing trauma work. Community exists on many levels, for example at the coffee breaks, on the listserv, on the committees, on the Board. We welcome you to get involved at the level that feels right. We also welcome feedback and any ideas about future programming, community building or other ways that we can improve. This is a membership organization and we are here to serve you.