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Vice President’s Report

to the ISST General Membership Assembly 2018-2020

by Susanne Vind

Organizing ISST’s biannual conference in Copenhagen “Reinventing the Therapeutic Relationship”

For the planning of the INSPIRE 2020 Conference in Copenhagen I gathered an Organizing Committee including the following Executive Board members: Paul Kasyanik, Jeff Conway, Alexandra Schosser and Travis Atkinson.

It has been an honour and joy to experience the close, dedicated and constructive collaboration on the tasks in this committee.

In this process, I have worked intensively with planning, finding and negotiating contracts regarding:

  • extremely well-functioning and convenient conference venue
  • charming restaurants with delightful food and a pleasant, casual atmosphere
  • gala dinner in the Tivoli Gardens
  • harbour boat trip  
  • various morning activities
  • ensuring the availability of a appropriate number of hotel rooms at the venue and neighbouring budget hotel for the participants

Financial aspects

Handling these arrangements personally saved ISST from large expenses which a conference organizing bureau would normally charge.

The Treasurer took a lot of effort in overlooking and contributing to the budget.

Through negotiations with venues, restaurants and hotels I was fortunate enough to ensure considerable reductions in the price of each one of these.

Conference theme and program

In the Organizing Committee we decided on the theme of the conference: “Reinventing the Therapeutic Relationship”.   Jeff Conway and Alexandra Schosser handled the arduous task of collecting and organizing the evaluation of proposed presentations with no significant administrative support.  This process was complicated by the office administrative system being changed but not functioning the way it was expected to and promised by the system provider.


When it became apparent that the Covid-19 pandemic would most likely obstruct the conduction of the conference in 2020 we decided to postpone it to the summer of 2021. New negotiations with the venue and other conference providers was started before countries began to lock down. Even so, the conference partners responded very collaboratively and accepted to change the conference dates till June 24 – 26, 2021 without ISST losing money. They even reimbursed down payments for catering and accepted to re-book the non-refundable hotel room bookings till the dates in 2021. However, as expected when changing the dates some member wanted to cancel their hotel rooms which was handled elegantly by Eckhard Roediger and the office secretariat.

2020 Virtual Summit: BETTER TOGETHER

By moving the INSPIRE 2020 conference to 2021 it was decided to make a virtual summit on the planned 2020-dates but to cut the number of presentations to fit this new format.

Travis Atkinson made an extremely competent and enormous effort as the prime organiser and collaborated with the rest of the Conference Organizing Committee regarding presentations and timelines.  Great recognition to Travis Atkinson for steering this process through successfully.

Contribution in other committees

    • Case conceptualization committee:

Guided by Jeff Conway and including Jeff Young, David Edwards, Paul Perris and Vartouhi Ohanian the committee has developed and implemented the new Case Conceptualization Form, Guide, Filled-In Example and Rating Scale. The importance of conceptualizing one’s client profoundly cannot be overestimated. It is the foundation for providing effective therapy results. Therefore, passing this is now required for certification.

    • Supervisor skills development committee:

Originally started by Jeff Conway and since 2019 chaired by Robin Spiro. The committee has developed the 12-hour Supervisor Skills Webinar, which is mandatory to become an approved supervisor.

    • Executive Board’s committee for restructuring the training and certification committees:
Guided by me in close collaboration with the Coordinator of Training Jeff Conway and the Coordinator of Certification Paul Kasyanik. The committee is grateful for the Former Coordinator of Training and Certification Joan Farrell, for her generous contribution to the committee’s work. The main focus of the committee has been to enhance collaboration between the many committees related to training and certification, and to make the structure even more efficient.
    • Membership listing and application:
This has been handled by the ISST’s administrative secretary and bookkeeper as well as the Treasurer Eckhard Roediger during the process of implementing the new administrative system.

Working for the ISST

Having been involved in Schema Therapy since 2003, it has been very meaningful to serve in the Executive Board and in this way contribute to the further development of our society.

The tasks have been challenging and time consuming; and at the same time, it has been inspiring and a privilege to work together with the team of dedicated and highly competent Executive Board members.

Why Schema Therapy?

Schema therapy has been extensively researched to effectively treat a wide variety of typically treatment resistant conditions, including Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Read our summary of the latest research comparing the dramatic results of schema therapy compared to other standard models of psychotherapy.

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