Training Coordinator’s report to the ISST General Membership Assembly 2018-2020
by Jeff Conway
Working together with the Certification Coordinator
I have served on the ISST Executive Board for the first time in the position of Training Coordinator for the term of 2018 to 2020. This position is newly created from the previous EB position of Training & Certification Coordinator that was split into 2 positions for this term. Because of this I worked closely with Paul Kasyanik, who served in the new role of Certification Coordinator as many of our duties overlapped and required consistent collaboration on both our parts to discuss goals, objectives, and new policies. To that end, we have communicated through WhatsApp and emails numerous times throughout any given month and met online approximately 2 times a month. Most of the areas of focus and accomplishments in my role were addressed and worked upon in concert with Paul Kasyanik. A consistent challenge in most of our endeavors relates to a lack of administrative support which has hampered many of our efforts. I will occasionally refer to this challenge of a less than robust ISST infrastructure throughout this report.
Supervisor Training Webinars
\Grandfathering the Dutch Schema Therapy Society was addressed in the 2018 -2019 which included my provision of 2 highly attended Schema Therapy Supervisor Training Webinars. These 2.5-hour Webinars continue to be led by me for those who began their Advanced Schema Therapy Training Before January of 2014. The number of people who fall into this category has decreased greatly over time and it is likely that within a couple of years there will be no need for this specific ST Supervision Training Webinar. Concurrent with this Webinar and under my aegis, the Supervisor Skills Development Committee launched a 4-part 12 hours total training webinar that includes all of the information from the original Webinar but also provides more skill-building instruction on the ST Supervision that included video vignettes and participant interaction. This training webinar has been in the works for about 4 years and we are immensely proud to have launched our first training in 2019 and will begin our 3rd training in the fall of 2020. This training is an accordance with the 2017 policy that requires this training as well as other certification requirements.
Separating certification as a supervisor from certification as a trainer
In July of 2020, the Executive Board voted in a new policy created by Paul and me that among other changes, separates ST Supervisor Certification from ST Trainer Certification. Now, with certain requirements met, an Advanced Schema Therapist can become a ST Supervisor after 2 years of Advanced ST Certification. To become a Certified Trainer, another year post-Supervisor Certification is required. There are other new requirements, that were designed to assure the best preparation to be a capable Schema Therapy Supervisor & Trainer.
Continuing Education Requirements
We have also introduced a clear policy on Continuing Education Requirements that was voted in by the Executive Board in 2019. This policy requires 12 hours of ST specific training every 2 years and we have made it a qualification for membership that this requirement be met by ISST Members. At present, we have not instituted a method of verifying that each member has satisfied this Continuing Education requirement, which is due to a lack of administrative support.
Great focus was placed on the 2020 ISST Conference in Copenhagen. I met with a smaller group of EB 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 but by the end of 2019 we had the program almost complete. My portion of deciding on and assigning workshops and presentations was completed at the end of 2019. There was a great outpouring of interest to present at this conference which was both exciting to see such enthusiasm but also challenging as there was not space for every applicant and so some hard choices had to be made.
By early 2020, it became clearer that the possibility of a pandemic might foil our plans to present this Conference live in Copenhagen. When we decided to cancel the Conference and present an Online Conference instead, I served on that Online Conference Committee under the strong leadership of Travis Atkinson. This Conference was presented at the end of April 2020 and except for a few glitches was a rousing success.
Also, due to the pandemic we provided a new policy for Online Training that was unanimously voted in by the EB. This has been a successful policy as it has allowed for training to continue with technical guidelines that would assure the best possibility for quality online learning. It has also made it possible for others to learn Schema Therapy who might not have been able to be trained due to geographic and financial limitations. This policy has been extended once and will be extended again due to the ongoing pandemic crisis.
Restructuring the Training and Certification Committees
In conjunction with Susanne Vind, EB Vice President, Joan Farrell, Chair of the TCAB, Paul and myself, we created a new structure of the ISST Committees and are currently recruiting leaders for the various positions. This work is almost complete. Paul & I have also been in communication with Joan regarding issues sent to the TCAB for guidance and recommendations. It has been agreed that the TCAB will assess applications for Schema Therapy Approved Training Programs based on the requirements on this ISST Website.
National and Regional Coordinators
Paul and I have recruited more members to be National/Regional Coordinators. These Coordinators continue to review applications for Individual Schema Therapy Certification before sending the applications on to the ISST office. We have asked the National/Regional Coordinators to take on more of a liaison role in that new ISST policies are provided to these Coordinators to distribute to the ISST Training Directors in their region. This extension of their responsibilities has been effective.
Case Conceptualization Committee
I have continued my participation with the Case Conceptualization Committee. This is the committee that created the new ISST Case Conceptualization and we continue to meet to make improvements for a future version.
Working with the ISST
This has been a challenging and exciting commitment. I was pleased to serve with this dedicated ISST Executive Board, grateful for the efforts of so many in the ISST who gave of their time, knowledge and experience and proud to be a representative of a society that serves a worthwhile purpose in the world of psychotherapy.
©2021 International Society of Schema Therapy e.V.
International Society of Schema Therapy e.V. is a not-for-profit organization. Glossop-Ring 35, DE-61118 Bad Vilbel, Germany