The Trauma Lines Blog

Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists

ATSS Launches First Regional Meeting

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The Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists (ATSS) is a global organization. However, just last month, the first regional group of ATSS members and affiliates met to discuss the organization as it stands now, and where it’s headed in the future.

ATSS member Deborah Donnelly wrote the following article which discusses ATSS’ very first regional group meeting:

Thanks to the technology we have today, it is easy to look back on any date in time with and see that nearly each day of each year has a unique, historic semblance all its own. When looking back through history, it’s apparent that August 4 has its own unique and special history.

-August 4, 1892: Lizzie Borden was arrested after both of her parents were found murdered in their home.

-August 4, 1923: marked the start of the train journey that carried the body of President Warren Harding back to Washington D.C. after he died suddenly while on vacation in California. During this journey, grieving Americans waited by the tracks for the train to pass by and bowed their heads, paying respect to their beloved president.

-August 4, 1941: the Nazis marched within 50 miles of Kiev, Russia, where both sides clashed and suffered massive casualties.

-August 4, 1944: Ann Frank was captured while in hiding and transported to her final destination, a death camp.

-August 4, 1964: the bodies of three murdered Civil Rights workers were found.

-August 4, 1978: Israel attacked Lebanon in retaliation for a bombing in a Tel Aviv market place.

You are probably wondering what these events have to do with the beginning of the NJ/NY Regional ATTS group. Nearly all of these historical facts include traumatic deaths. It is occurrences such as these that have the potential to cause human beings some form of psychological stress. At the time that many of the above-mentioned events occurred, there was little information available to the potential tri-phasic impact that these events could have on people. With some of the events described above, there was a lack of concern and outcry to the injustices purposefully done onto others.

It is events such as these that would come to our attention in the present. In our roles as trauma/crisis responders, mental health clinicians, nurses, victim advocates, traumatic stress specialists, law enforcement and other disciplines, we would have been able to do what we do best: provide quality services to those impacted by any traumatic event. As members of ATSS, we come from a variety of disciplines; however, we share the common goal of helping people.

There is an additional historical event on August 4, 2010: the New Jersey/New York area officially had its first regional ATSS meeting in Hoboken, New Jersey. August 4, 2010 marks the official beginning of the NJ/NY Regional ATSS group. Our first meeting was geared to getting a sense of the needs of the group and its future plans. We also had an informative presentation on Self Care given by Barbara Maurer.

Our hope for the future is to continue to develop a strong and cohesive regional ATSS group. We are under the auspices of ATSS and follow the same mission and goals. It is up to all of us to contribute to the present which will eventually become the history that began on August 4, 2010. Let’s work together to have a strong and committed regional group, where we can network and support one another, and engage in activities that strengthen us as professionals. If you are not on our mailing list and wish to receive notification of upcoming meetings, please email us at Please also let us know if you would like to volunteer to do a presentation. If you have not yet joined ATSS, I encourage you to do so.

On behalf of Linda Diaz-Murphy, my co-chair, I want to thank Renee Burawski and Barbara Maurer who initiated and supported the efforts to form the regional group. This meeting could not have happened without the organizational skills of Lauren De Poto. Thank you Lauren and congratulations on earning your Masters Degree.


Written by traumalines

September 22, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. […] of Traumatic Stress Specialists ( is holding another regional meeting. While the last regional meeting was held in Hoboken, New Jersey, this upcoming gathering will be held in Southern […]

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