ABOUT THE GCTS
Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress
Collaborating on topics of global importance
The Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress
brings together researchers and clinicians from around the world who collaborate on topics of global importance....
Trauma is a global issue
Worldwide trauma is the norm rather than the exception (Schnyder, et al., 2017; Kessler et al., 2017). The great majority of the global burden of disease arising from mental health conditions occurs in low- and middle-income countries. Furthermore, traumatic experiences, trauma-related symptoms, as well as treatment approaches differ across cultures (Olff & Schnyder, 2021).
Therefore, we need to join forces and work together to tackle these significant topics of traumatic stress of global importance.
Aims of the GCTS
To identify topics of global importance, facilitate development, and coordinate activities that benefit survivors of trauma or stressful events around the world.
We create a community of traumatic stress researchers, practitioners, policy makers and trauma survivors and develop collaborations, and ultimately structures, that enable us to optimally respond to tasks that support trauma survivors.
We share the products we create for free, we make the data we collect available, and we enhance dissemination of evidence based interventions.
© 2019 by Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress
We have organized the projects we work on together on this website under the following headings:
We present projects that address research methods or more fundamental aspects to better understand traumatic stress responses around the world:
We further offer to researchers and clinicians a range of resources, from e-pamphlets on child trauma to existing data sets:
Finally, we list a collection of relevant trauma conferences around the world here where we hope to meet each other in real life or virtually:
Types of trauma
Sometimes things happen to people that are unusually or especially frightening, horrible, or traumatic. There are many different types of potentially traumatic events or experiences, from accidents and disasters to interpersonal violence including sexual transgressions. Trauma can happen to anyone, at any age, from children to the elderly. Some populations may be particularly at risk, such as people living in disaster prone areas, or in regions struck by war and conflict. Other examples are refugees, forcibly displaced persons, or individuals working in so-called high risk occupations (e.g military, police, frontline workers). The COVID-19 pandemic and climate change have increased exposure to potentially traumatic events. All these aspects of trauma need to be globally addressed.
Professionals involved in the GCTS are working together on these topics, please find them here organized by types of trauma.
Assessment of trauma-related symptoms
While there are many types of potentially traumatic events there are even so many responses to trauma. Most people experience short term stress responses, others may develop a variety of posttraumatic stress reactions or disorders. The most typical is posttraumatic stress disorder, where a person keeps re-experiencing the event as if it happened recently (e.g. having nightmares or flashbacks, or in response to triggers). However, anxiety, depression, substance use problems, disturbed sleep and somatic complaints are also common responses to a traumatic event. Complicated grief and bereavement are often seen in cases of traumatic loss. Dissociative symptoms may arise, and sometimes life may not feel worth living anymore.
It is important to detect individuals at risk for mental health problems. Assessment is therefore an important topic of the GCTS. Validated psychometric instruments in various languages are provided here as well as under specific types of trauma such as moral injury, trauma and ageing, or bereavement and grief.
Evidence-based interventions have been developed to address trauma-related symptoms like PTSD, depression, and anxiety (eg Bisson & Olff, 2021). However, these treatments have predominantly been developed in Western countries. Under the topic Interventions the GCTS is joining forces aiming to adapt these interventions for other communities and populations, looking into culturally sensitive trauma training, and merging global expertise to optimize interventions around the world.
We furthermore organize project specific and GCTS overarching Events and activities to create opportunities for mutual exchange and learning and for – on the long run - developing interventions as initiated by clinicians and researchers representing non-Western countries.
Methods and Mechanisms
We want to be FAIR! FAIR stands for Findable, Accessible, Inter-operable, and Re-usable. Under Methods and Mechanisms we work on making traumatic stress data more FAIR and provide data bases and tools for everyone to use. We share the products we create for free, we make the data we collect available, and we enhance dissemination of evidence based interventions.
Under Methods and Mechanisms we further include other project on more basic (neurobiological) mechanisms are being prepared.
Under Resources we have collected products developed by the GCTS such as the iCAN child trauma e-pamphlets, but also relevant databases or tools.
Students are very welcome!
Enlarge your network and enjoy working together with fellow students around the world. Feel free to volunteer in any ongoing project. In addition, there is a page dedicated to student initiated projects.
Steering committee (click to stop autoplay)
Miranda Olff (Chair)
Prof. Dr. Miranda Olff is leading the Center for Psychological Trauma at the department of Psychiatry at the Amsterdam UMC of the University of Amsterdam. Chair: ‘Neurobiological mechanisms of prevention and treatment in trauma and PTSD’. She is Director of Research & Strategy at the ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre.
She is the past president of both the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS) and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS). She has recently been trained in Corporate Governance. Miranda Olff is Editor-in-Chief of ESTSS’s Open Access journal: the European Journal of Psychotraumatology (EJPT). Her research focuses on the psychological and biological responses to traumatic stress and the effects of (early) interventions (e.g. oxytocin or e-Health) after mass trauma or individual events. In 2019 she received the "Wolter de Loos Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychotraumatology in Europe."
Traumatic stress societies join forces
Traumatic stress societies around the world have decided to join forces in order to enhance knowledge about psychotrauma around the world. The traumatic stress societies agreed to work alongside each other on an equal basis.
Who are the supporting societies?
The “Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress” is supported by traumatic stress societies worldwide.
Representatives of the societies worldwide are member of the steering committee.
Currently, in alphabetical order, these are:
Asociación Chilena de Estrés Traumático (ACET)
Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ASTSS)
Canadian Psychological Association Traumatic Stress Section (CPA TSS)
European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS)
Deutschsprachige Gesellschaft für Psychotraumatologie (German language Society for Psychotraumatology, DeGPT)
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)
Japanese Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (JSTSS)
Korean Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (KSTSS)
Sociedad Argentina de Psicotrauma (SAPsi)
South African Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (SA-STSS)
Asian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (Asian STSS - currently inactive)
For more see Partners. Other groups engaged in traumatic stress related issues are welcome.
For its development over the years see Olff, 2014; 2015; Schnyder, 2013; Schnyder & Olff, 2013; Schnyder et al., 2017.
For the Japanese version on the history of the GCTS see:
Chair: Miranda Olff, Amsterdam UMC and ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre, The Netherlands
Co-chair: Ulrich Schnyder, University of Zurich, Switzerland
For the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS): Jana (Darejan) Javakhishvili
For the Japanese Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (JSTSS): Misari Oe
For Asociación Chilena de Estrés Traumático (ACET): Carolina Salgado
For the Canadian Psychological Association-Traumatic Stress Section (CPA-TSS): Rachel Langevin
For the Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ASTSS): Zachary Steel
For the Argentine Society for Psychotrauma (Sociedad Argentina de Psicotrauma, SAPsi): Juliana Lanza
For the Deutschsprachige Gesellschaft für Psychotraumatologie (German-speaking Society for Psychotraumatology, DeGPT): Matthias Knefel
For the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS): Diane Elmore Borbon
For the Korean Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (KSTSS): Jinhee Hyun
For the (South) African Society for Traumatic Stress Studies in formation: Soraya Seedat
Student representative: Krithika Prakash, PhD student at Eastern Michigan University
Co-opted to the steering committee based on thematic expertise:
Anke Witteveen (Forcibly displaced)
Carolina Salgado (Global prevalence of trauma)
Nancy Kassam-Adams (FAIR data)
Tatiana Davidson & Sara Freedman (COVID-19)
Jura Augustinavicius & Rachel Williamson (Climate change)
Jana Javakhishvili (Armed conflict)
Debra Kaysen (Treatments across cultures)
For all individuals involved in Themes and Projects see Projects
Social media (Twitter) editor: Max Loomes
Newsletter editor: Anke Witteveen
For news updates and newsletter click here
Bisson, J.I. & Olff, M. (2021) Prevention and treatment of PTSD: the current evidence base. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 12, 1, https://doi.org/10.1080/20008198.2020.1824381
Kessler, R. C., Aguilar-Gaxiola, S., Alonso, J., Benjet, C., Bromet, E. J., Cardoso, G., . . . Survey, W. W. M. H. (2017). Trauma and PTSD in the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/20008198.2017.1353383
Oe, M (2021) Establishment and Development of the Global Collaboration Project. Japanese Journal of Traumatic Stress, 19: 69-76 [Link to article]
Olff, M. (2014). From iSTSS to ISTSS - Traumatic Stress Around the Globe, ISTSS StressPonts, http://www.istss.org/education-research/traumatic-stresspoints/2014-december/president%E2%80%99s-message-from-istss-to-istss-traumatic.aspx
Olff, M. (2015). Je suis Charlie: trauma as a global issue that affects public health. ISTSS StressPoints http://www.istss.org/education-research/traumatic-stresspoints/2015-january/president%E2%80%99s-message-je-suis-charlie.aspx
Olff, M. & Schnyder, U. (2021). The Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress. ISTSS StressPoints, Jan 2021. https://istss.org/public-resources/trauma-blog/2021-january/the-global-collaboration-on-traumatic-stress
Schnyder, U. & Olff, M. (2013). The Global Initiative, ISTSS StressPoints http://www.istss.org/education-research/traumatic-stresspoints/2013-march/the-global-initiative.aspx
Schnyder, U. (2013). Mutual learning globally. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 4(1), https://doi.org/10.3402/ejpt.v4i0.21241
Schnyder, U., Schafer, I., Aakvaag, H. F., Ajdukovic, D., Bakker, A., Bisson, J.I., Brewer, D., Cloitre, M., Dyb, G.A., Frewen,P., Lanza, J., Le Brocque, R., Lueger-Schuster, B., Mwiti, G.K., Oe, M., Rosner, R., Schellong, J., Shigemura, J., Wu, K., & Olff, M. (2017). The global collaboration on traumatic stress. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/20008198.2017.1403257