During the 17th World Congress on Psychosomatic Medicine (Waikoloa-Hawaii, 2003) several attendees agreed upon the general importance of putting together an "Interest Group in Alexithymia." It was thought that the opportunity to exchange ideas and brainstorm with colleagues worldwide could prove an asset in itself. For example, new investigators would be able to seek advice from those with more experience; theoretical issues and research findings could be discussed, even before they are published; cultural differences could be considered; transnational epidemiological studies might be proposed and conducted; and controversial issues could be debated.
The first step was to compile a list of names and email addresses of a core group of researchers with an interest in forming an Alexithymia Interest Group. This began at the 17th World Congress in Hawaii, it was continued at the 3rd Tilburg Conference on The (Non)expression of Emotions in Health and Disease (Tilburg, Netherlands, 2003), the 25th European Conference on Psychosomatic Research (Berlin, Germany, 2004), the 18th WCPM (Kobe, Japan, 2005), and is still going on. Once a core group of members is established, the inclusion of any new member shall come about when the person's name and a brief introduction are submitted by a member and the nomination is not opposed by other members.
As a start, this web page has been put on-line as a welcome homepage. The website is intended, however, as a front line for a forum by which there can be wide participation by members of the group. This has been approached by way of a Mailing List, as a way of exchanging messages collectively.