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ISST Certification for Individual Schema Therapy

Training Requirements 

The only type of workshop or training that ISST is involved in approving or providing attendance certificates for are those given as part of the approved curriculum of the ISST Approved Certification Training Program by ISST Certified Trainers affiliated with that program. All other training, even if about ST and/or given by Certified ISST Trainers, does not count toward ISST certification. Workshops on ST by ISST certified ST trainers given outside of the certification curriculum can only count toward the continuing education requirement recently added to maintain certification as a Schema Therapist

There are currently two ways to meet the Training Requirement for ISST Certification:

1. Approved ISST Schema Therapy Training Program: attend an approved ISST ST Training program in its entirety. For example, the ISST approved International ST Training Program from the ST Institute of NY & NJ. In this case the program is responsible to see that all parts of the ISST Certification curriculum are covered in your training. The list of approved training programs is available from the navigation panel on the right.

2. Independent Study: you can assemble your own certification training program by independent study. In this option you would need to carefully combine trainings from the various ISST Approved Certification programs to meet all of the ISST Certification required curriculum. Only modules from approved training programs satisfy this requirement. In addition, you would need to submit the specific certificates of training modules from those trainings. In some countries – e.g., Germany – this can be done rather easily as a shared curriculum and workshop plan are used. In other places this may be more complicated. It is your responsibility when applying by Independent Study to procure all of the needed certificates and send scans of them to the ISST Coordinator of Training & Certification. 

a. For the independent study programs you can use workshops/modules given by Certified Trainers who are part of ISST Approved Training Programs as long as they provide you with the module certificate form that lists the curriculum components covered and the number of trainees present. It must also have the signatures of the certified trainer who gave the workwshop and the Director of the ISST Approved certification program that it was given in coordination with.

b. Only 6 hours of training in a group of more than 40 can be counted toward the didactic component (only) of certification training.

The 2014-2015 Guidelines have some new additions and clarifications regarding the requirements for certification in Individual Schema Therapy. They are in effect for those who began their training in 2013. The clarifications (e.g., two different tape raters are required for Advanced level certification) apply to all applicants, however exceptions can be asked for if tapes were rated before the clarification was made February 2013 or because of extremely limited raters in a language. The current Guidelines reflect these changes and have some language clarifications. The updated Application Form and Checklist are found at the Certification Forms page.

The 2012 Guidelines for certification are valid for those who finish their training after September 30th 2011 and complete the application process before Dec 31st, 2014. The application form is designed to demonstrate that all required content is covered. For details of the application procedure click on "training" in the top navigation tab. Developing the current guidelines has been a long and thoughtful process, derived from many hours of dialogue among the board members and committee members, careful scrutiny of details, shared discussions with some of our most experienced trainers and supervisors – worldwide, along with helpful observations, experiences, and input from candidates who have participated in schema therapy certification training programs in recent years. Please be aware that these guidelines and the STCRS pertain to “individual certification programs” – ST with individuals. 

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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