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Research and Scientific Issues Coordinator’s Report

to the ISST General Membership Assembly 2018-2020

Alexandra Schosser

ISST scientific activity

During the period from 2018 to 2020, the ISST kept supporting an extensive continuous exchange of scientific ideas and projects among members who are sharing their ideas and experiences via Listserve. We saw enthusiastic activities of Special Interest Groups, emergence of new Special Interest Groups, and dynamically growing membership in the existing ones. There is a significant growth in the overall number of research publications in the field of Schema Therapy in the major scientific journals, and exciting research on schema therapy has either been finished during the last period or is currently ongoing. Within the period from 2018 to 2020, I have thoroughly updated the collection of schema therapy articles since 1992. The list of the Schema publications (1991-2020) can be seen in the member’s area on the ISST site.


After the ISST reached an important agreement with Dr. Jeffrey Young during the last Executive Board period to be delegated the management and supervision of the Schema Therapy Diagnostic Instruments (YSQ, SMI, YPI, YRAI, YCI) translations, applications for translation into other languages of the inventories have been reviewed from 2018 to 2020. The copyright on the above inventories in any language will be reserved to Dr. Jeffrey Young and his co-authors. I have initiated the collection of the translated versions of the above inventories. To facilitate access to the diagnostic inventories for ISST members, they will be placed in the member’s area on the ISST site. This is expected to facilitate the diagnostic and research work for the specialists in many countries.  

Conference planning

In 2019 and 2020 we had two wonderful events, the ENLIGHT 2019 in Edinburgh and the INSPIRE 2020, originally planned in Copenhagen.

I placed a great focus on the 2020 ISST Conference in Copenhagen, and met with a smaller group of Executive Board Members for months to plan this conference with guidance from Susanne Vind and Travis Atkinson. It was a painstaking process, made arduous by no significant administrative support. My portion of deciding on and assigning scientific presentations was completed end of 2019. There was great enthusiasm to present at the Copenhagen Conference which was both exciting but also challenging due to the limited spaces to present.

Unexpectedly, we were then faced with the Covid-19 pandemia early 2020. When it became clear that this pandemic might foil our plans to present the INSPIRE 2020 Conference live in Copenhagen, we decided to postpone the Conference and present a Virtual Conference instead. I served on that Online Conference Committee under the strong leadership of Travis Atkinson, and the Conference was successfully presented at the end of April 2020, giving our members the opportunity to virtually connect in spite of the pandemia prohibiting a live Conference.

Due to the postponement of the live Conference to 2021, the (unsually bi-annual) Young Researcher Award will be postponed as well. Applications for the 2021 Awards will expectedly be opened end of 2020.

ISST Research and Development Fund

In 2020, after the Executive Board decided to established a Research and Development Fund, I put a great focus on developing guidelines and criteria for this Fund, advised by Arnoud Arntz. The aim of the ISST Research and Development Fund is to facilitate and (partially) fund clearly defined research proposals of high academic quality on schema therapy in countries with limited financial resources (low income countries or developing countries respectively). The proposed project must be of high academic quality according to international standards. In general, one principal investigator is responsible for planning and carrying out the proposed project. The proposal will be peer reviewed by at least two independent reviewers, selected by the research coordinator in consultation with the scientific committee (preferably scientists with focus on schema therapy will be selected). Both quality of research (e.g. relevance for the state of the art in international research, innovative aspects, quality of project basis, expected effects on improvement of knowledge about schema therapy) and quality of participating researchers (e.g. expertise and experience of the research team with regard to its ability to complete the project successfully) will be judged. After initiation of an approved project, a brief interim report must be sent to the ISST research coordinator after 12 months and a final report on completion of the project must be sent to the ISST research coordinator to be presented to the ISST Executive Board. The criteria and guidelines, as well as a short summary of fundet projects will be found in the member’s area on the ISST site.

Alexandra Schosser, Science and Research Coordinator

Executive Board Member, International Society of Schema Therapy 2016-2018

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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