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JUNE 24 - 26, 2021 / WORLDWIDE




5.00 - 5.30


Are We Losing Our Connection to Nature in a Virtual World? 

with Sarah Pagdin, Sharon Miller, Katja Molnar, Vivian Francesco, Lynda Parry, Suzy Redston and Susan Simpson

Perhaps Schema Therapy can foster reconnection with a Healthy Adult approach to real environmental concerns.

What are our immediate responses when we hear mention of anything to do with environmental concerns? Staring at our screens all day, do we think “Maybe some other time?” Could this casual response be harbouring a maladaptive avoidant coping style such as a detached protector mode or a compliant surrender mode? Do we simply recognize the emotions of a terrified vulnerable child? 

Maybe we are inclined to find ourselves in demanding, punitive mode berating ourselves and others for not doing more? These responses and many others may certainly resonate with us as the environmental crisis thrusts itself into our awareness.

The ISST Environmental Awareness and Action Committee invites us to consider together what a healthy adult response to environmental crisis might look like for ourselves, our clients and our communities. As Schema therapists we have a unique opportunity to encourage healthy growth and change in this arena, as we enlist the skills we already possess along with our very fitting model as a framework to foster inspiration and guidance.

About the Presenters

Sarah Pagdin 

I am a counselling psychologist and schema therapy trainer/supervisor in private practice in the UK. I specialize in working with autistic clients and their loved ones. I have always loved nature and felt a desire to care for the natural world from a young age, joining the WWF at seven years old. I was able to combine these natural inclinations with my career when I trained as an equine assisted therapist some years ago. My involvement with the Environmental Awareness and Action SIG has encouraged me to explore new ways of fostering a healthy connection to nature for my clients and for myself and I am excited to see where this will lead

Sharon Miller

Sharon Miller is a private sector therapist specializing in working with ‘high performing’ clients such as athletes, business people and artists using the Schema Therapy model. With an original degree in biology Sharon has had a life-long interest in environmental concerns and founded two environmental charities –one for the conservation of tigers and leopards in Russia and the other for providing veterinary expertise in conversation projects. She still sits on the boards of both charities. With a Master’s degree in economics and politics Sharon sees the biological, economic, political and psychological inter-connections in the environmental problems facing our planet.

Katja Molnar

Katja Molnar is a trained CBT psychotherapist and advanced schema therapy supervisor and trainer in private practice. She’s a ST-training institute director of the French speaking part of Switzerland (both individual adult training and children/adolescent training)Clients are all persons suffering psychologically, but specially children, adolescents, families, adults, persons with personality disorder, attachment themes, traumatisms and eating disorders.Katja’s member of the Environment Awareness and Action special interest group.Nature and environmental connectedness always have been important for her –so in spare time, you’ll find her outside with her bike or inside nature in caves (she’s vice-president of a speleology club)

Vivian Francesco

Vivian Francesco, M.S., M.Ed., is an Advanced Schema Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice in Bucks County, PA. Her clients include singles and couples, and she is especially skilled at helping clients create positive reframing in order to move forward with Healthy Adult purpose and direction.Having spent many years in the arts as a teacher, photographer, and creator of children’s books and greeting cards, Vivian offers creative guidance for clients to generate positive and empowering perspectives. She has trained therapists in using the Schema model, hosted online and in-person workshops and is the creator of the “Meet the Board” column of the Schema Therapy Bulletin. She is a member of the ISST’s Couples Special Interest Group and the Environmental Awareness and Action Special Interest Group.Vivian and her family live in New Hope, PA, a bucolic river town where communing with nature is an every day experience.She is an active supporter of local nature preserves and initiatives

Susan Simpson

Dr. Susan Simpson is a Clinical Psychologist and director of the only ISST approved training program in Scotland, Schema Therapy Scotland. She recently led a large international study that investigated the role of schemas and modes as predictors of stress and burnout amongst clinical and counselling psychologists and trainee psychologists. Based on this data, several papers have been published in peer reviewed journals on the subject of burnout and self-care amongst therapists. Together with Dr. Diana Laponder, she runs regular workshops for schema therapists based on cutting edge research in this field. For details of her publications on this and other topics, please visit: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Susan-Simpson-2/research

Lynda Parry

Lynda Parry is a Clinical Psychologist who has been in private practice for 33 years. Originally an early childhood educator she has a passion for developmental psychology which led to 4 years post graduate study and accreditation in contemporary psychotherapy. She presented her final paper on Dream Analysis at the International Psychotherapy Conference in 2010. She is trained in psychodrama and worked at The Psychodrama Centre, Sydney for 10 years. The experience of running psychodrama groups andtraining in CBT has stood her in good stead for embracing Schema Therapy. She is the Director of the Schema Therapy Centre of NSW, Chair of the ISST Quality Assurance Committee, member of the ISST Ethics Committee, member of the ISST Training and Certification Advisory Board and ISST co-regional training co-ordinator for Australia along with Ruth Holt. Her article Schema Therapy and Dreams: Accessing The Vulnerable Child was published in the ISST Bulletin, December, 2018. As well providing training in the ST model she runs workshops on ST with Dreams and Nightmares. and Experiencing Schema Therapy From The Inside 

Suzy Redston

Suzy Redston is a psychiatrist working in Australia and became attracted to Schema Therapy over 10 years ago as a wonderful way of working with patients who struggle to understand their own minds. She also uses the schema therapy concepts with teaching junior medical staff and medical students as it creates such an understandable therapy of mind and what may be causing the observed behaviours.

During the first year of the Covid pandemic she found adjusting to the new ways of communicating both exciting and challenging. She has been humbled by all the ways Schema Therapists have found to adapt the treatments to the restrictions we have all found our selves in. In 2021 she is changing her approach to work and hopes to have more time to explore Schema therapy and be a part of encouraging Australian Psychiatrist to consider this therapy for their patients.

CANCELLATION POLICY: No cancellation is possible once registered. Access to all sessions will be available after the summit ends to registered participants. For questions, please contact the ISST Office at: OFFICE

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Are you an ISST Member? Enjoy deep discounts on tickets for the 2021 ISST Virtual Summit. 



Stockholm, Sweden


Coimbra, Portugal


Berlin, Germany


New York, USA


Istanbul, Turkey


Vienna, Austria

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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