It has been a privilege to serve the ISST for the past two years in the role of President. I believe that if I am elected for a further two year term I can contribute 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, 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 (you can see the full report at https://schematherapysociety.org/ISST-Presidents-report-for-the-Executive-Board-term-2016-to-2018 ). 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. It is clear that some committees are not very active and their role in the ISST needs to be reviewed and if I am re-elected I would work further on this as a matter of priority. The ISST office staff, a crucial aspect of our organization, are not currently included on the organogram, and it has become clear that they have been very overloaded. Eckhard Roediger, our Treasurer has been working on a new plan to completely restructure the office using the services of an outside specialist organization and it will be good for the ISST if he serves a further and final term in this role as big developments are being planned even as the current election takes place.
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 believe I have also contributed to the development of the schema therapy 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.
I would be honoured to serve a further term as President and work for the furthering of the aims of the ISST with colleagues who 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 likely to be needed. After two years as President I have some sense of how I might guide this process where needed. 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.”
I believe that I am equipped to promote these values in practice and have done my best to do so in my dealing with colleagues in the past two years.
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