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David Edwards, President

Dear ISST Colleagues

It was been a privilege to serve the ISST from November 2016 to November 2018 in the role of President.  I appreciate the confidence shown in me by your electing me for a further two year term.  I intend to work to further and consolidate some of the contributions I have made so far. 

As detailed in my President’s report to the General Membership Assembly which has just concluded - you can see the full report at https://schematherapysociety.org/ISST-Presidents-report-for-the-Executive-Board-term-2016-to-2018 ) -  I have been particularly concerned about the administrative infrastructure of the Society which has not really kept up with the rapid expansion of our membership I have been reviewing and strengthening the committee structure and in the last few months I have been working with a website assistant to put it all online.  You can see the organogram at https://schematherapysociety.org/ISST-Committee-Structure as well as links to pages for all our committees.  This is still a work in progress and we hope to update it regularly. It is clear that some committees are not very active and their role in the ISST needs to be reviewed.

We now have separate Coordinators of Training and Certification, replacing the previous Training and Certification Coordinator.  I look forward to supporting Jeff Conway and Paul Kasyanik as they work out how to most effectively separate out these roles and review the many committees involved in training and certification activities.

The ISST office staff, a crucial aspect of our organization, are not currently included on the organogram.  We are in the process of completely reorganizing our office infrastructure in conjunction with a professional office management organization, I look forward to supporting our Treasurer, Eckhard Roediger, as he steers this important process.

As detailed in my President’s report, I have given particular attention to the Ethics and Conflict Resolution Committee, the Development Programs Committee, and the Case Conceptualization Committee (where I have been co-ordinating the process of getting the new case conceptualization form and related documents translated into a large number of languages).  I also promoted and helped to finalize the regulations for the setting up of National Branches or Affiliated National Societies

In addition to these organizational and administrative aspects, I continue to work on developing the schema therapy clinical model through my workshops on the deep structure of schema modes and publications on aspects of schema therapy that are based on qualitative analysis of schema therapy sessions.

I won’t repeat the story of how I became involved in schema therapy over 30 years ago  -  I set it out in my statement when standing for President in the 2016 elections (see https://schematherapysociety.org/David-Edwards-Personal-Statement/ ).  However, I will repeat a paragraph from that statement that is as true now as it was two years ago (the only change has been to replace “Vienna” with “Amsterdam”): 

The ISST is thriving. The number of countries in which there is significant interest in schema therapy is expanding.  As we were shown in Amsterdam, there has been a steady increase in numbers at our conferences.  Those of us within the ISST know what a wonderful vision of therapy and the therapy process the schema therapy model offers.  We have all seen the enthusiasm and excitement of therapists from more limited traditions when they encounter the flexibility and clarity that the schema therapy approach can give.  It’s good to see this spreading ever more widely.  At the same time schema therapy though integrative, has at its center a clear theoretical perspective and approach.  Safeguarding that as schema therapy expands its reach is important to me.

It is an honour for me to serve a further term as President and work for the furthering of the aims of the ISST with colleagues whom I know are dedicated, hard working and share this vision.  There is plenty of work to still to be done and with the splitting of the Training and Certification portfolios on the Board, quite a bit of reorganization is taking place.  Finally, to quote from my President’s report:

As President I have been mindful of a sentence in our Statutes that tells us that the Executive Board “understands itself as collegial executive team of the ISST e.V. and makes its decisions following thorough and consensus oriented discussions. In their internal and external communication and conflict resolution, the members of the Committee also strive to realize the principles and knowledge of schema therapy.”

David Edwards

Schema Therapy Institute of South Africa

22 January 2019

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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