I am honored to be nominated as Science and Research Coordinator at ISST Executive Board. My devotion to Schema Therapy and strong believe in the necessity of tight interaction between clinical work and science for better treatment for people with mental disorders inspires me to do the work at this position.
I believe that my education as a psychiatrist, along with my extensive training in both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Schema Therapy and 10 years of clinical work (inpatient and outpatient, state and private settings) provides a good background for my scientific career. Since 2008 I have worked at the Federal Medical Research Institute of Psychiatry and Addiction in, Moscow, Russia, starting at the position of research assistant and advancing into a senior researcher post. In 2013 I defended my PhD which was devoted to assessment of efficacy of short-term group CBT for those depressed, and finding predictors of treatment outcome and early dropout. The idea of this work had a strong public health goal to make evidence based psychological treatment (CBT) available for depressed inpatients who received help at public hospitals where only pharmacological treatment was available at that time. Since 2010 I have been actively working on domestic and international scientific research projects in collaboration with Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry (Russia), The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Canada), the WHO, and the UNODC. The main area of my scientific interest is in psychological interventions for people with mental disorders including personality disorders, substances use, chronic affective disorders as well as for vulnerable groups of HIV+ people, cancer patients etc.
Moreover, I have currently hold the position of Vice-President of the Russian Association of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapists. I am a charter member who took an active role in creating this professional organization and seeking its accreditation by EABCT.
In 2013 I found my love in Schema Therapy and during the last 5 years I became an advanced therapist/trainer/supervisor. In August 2018 I co-founded and become Training Director at the Moscow Institute of Schema Therapy (MIST).
I speak the Russian, English and French languages. This allows me to study, present, publish and communicate internationally. I also come from the from the non-western world which has a lower access to cutting edge science research and other resources in general, this allows me to understand the problems faced by researchers who live in similar areas.
As a candidate for the position of Science and Research Coordinator, I have set up three goals for myself:
1) To continue efforts of the previous Coordinators towards increasing the scientific portion of the ISST biannual conference by encouraging more professionals to present their research projects in the form of open papers, round tables, panel discussions, posters etc. I believe that in collaboration with country coordinators, the Executive Board and myself we can reach out to more professionals and encourage them to participate.
2) To increase access to scientific information and encourage active engagement by professionals from the non-western world. I believe that work through the Scientific Blog and social media of Schema Therapy Institutes and Societies in the various of non-English speaking countries may be fruitful in this regard. The translation of the research blog into several additional languages with further publication in “home” social media will increase access for those who work in the area but do not speak any of the languages currently used for publication.
3) To initiate and develop an open database of existing research in the different areas of ST. This database will be made available to the membership at large. I believe that will help people receive up to date information about existing and ongoing studies as well as find collaborators. By the end of my term, I would like to publish systematic literature reviews as a result of this effort.
In conclusion, I would like to say that ISST became for me the organization that helps my professional growth in the direction that I really care for and want to contribute to its growth the best I can. I would like to ask ISST members for their votes and support at current ISST Executive Board Election 2018. And wish other colleagues who participate in election the best of luck!
Alexandra Yaltonskaya (MD, PhD)
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