Log in

JUNE 24 - 26, 2021 / WORLDWIDE




SEGMENT 1: 9.00 - 10.30


KEYNOTE: Finding our Inner Freedom in Challenging Times 

with David Bernstein

Victor Frankl famously said, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”  Since the onset of the pandemic last year, we have all been faced with a loss of freedom, with restrictions that have limited our ability to do everything from the mundane (e.g., going to the café, playing sports) to the intimate (e.g., giving someone a hug, seeing our loved ones, forming new relationships).  While these changes have affected all of us, their effect has been even more profound for people with mental health issues, such as those with personality disorders.  People with personality disorders are locked into rigid, ineffective ways of coping, experience extreme and dysfunctional emotional states (i.e., schema modes), and find it difficult to imagine healthier alternatives or solutions.  In short, people with personality disorders lack inner freedom, which limits their ability to respond flexibly and adaptively to challenging situations.

In this talk, we will explore the concept of inner freedom.  What is it, and how can we help our patients achieve it?  We will introduce ideas from Schema Therapy, Positive Psychology, and Mindfulness to offer insights and practical steps that can help patients expand their range of inner possibilities: building awareness that they can use when they are emotionally triggered, and getting in touch with their strengths, so that they can make healthier choices.   We should not deny the real adversities that we face.  However, adversity can challenge us to grow and change in more satisfying directions. 

About the Presenter

David Bernstein

Dr. David Bernstein is a Clinical Psychologist (PhD, New York University, 1990) and Associate Professor of Psychology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, where he has served as Professor of Forensic Psychotherapy (endowed chair, 2010-2018), and Chair of the Section on Forensic Psychology(2010-2015). He is a former President of the Association for Research on Personality Disorders (2001-2005) and Vice-President of the International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders (2003-2007). He was also Vice-President of the International Society of Schema Therapy(2010-2012) and is an Advanced Level Schema Therapist and Schema Therapy Supervisor. He is the author or coauthor of more than 120publications on psychotherapy, personality disorders, forensic psychology, childhood trauma, and addictions. He is the coauthor of Schema Therapy: Distinctive Featureswith Eshkol Rafaeli and Jeffrey Young and the DVD series, Schema Therapy: Working with Modes, with Remco van der Wijngaart.He is also the author of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, a reliable and valid self-report questionnaire for child abuse and neglect, used worldwide. He is the creator of the iModes, a cartoon-based system for working with schema modes (www.i-Modes.com), and the founder of SafePath Solutions, a team-based program for adults and youth with personality disorders, aggression, and addiction (www.SafePath-Solutions.com). He was the Principal Investigator on a recently completed randomized clinical trial of Schema Therapy for forensic patients with personality disorders in the Netherlands.

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

Why not join now? If your membership is approved, you can email us to receive a refund for the ISST member amount. Visit: JOIN US


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.

"Be the Change You Help Create"

Whether you are a clinician, researcher, educator, or a supporter, we have a place for you in our community. Visit our "Join us" page to find out more about the many benefits ISST offers, and to apply for membership now.
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software