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Irish Individual Schema Therapy Training Programme (Adult)

ISST - Accredited

This training in Individual Schema Therapy (ST) for Adults is aimed at mental health practitioners who work psychotherapeutically with adults with personality disorders related to complex childhood trauma. Of the 20 places available, preference will be given to those who intend to work towards either Standard or Advanced Certification as a Schema Therapist with ISST. Those wishing to attend must be one of the following:

  1. A Clinical Psychologist/Member of the PSI Division of Clinical Psychology
  2. A Counseling Psychologist/Member of the PSI Division of Counselling Psychology
  3. A mental health professional with a recognised qualification in psychotherapy, for example a member of the PSI Division of Psychologists Specialising in Psychotherapy, a member of IAHIP, BABCP, or ICP.


Those applying for training must:

  • Be currently working individually with adults with complex mental health difficulties related to childhood trauma and adversity, and
  • Have previously attended a two-day Introduction to Schema Therapy training workshop or 
  • Have previously attended a one-day Introduction to Schema Therapy workshop and have completed an additional 6-hours of CPD in ST.


The training will be presented over 8 days in three modules. Module 1 (3 days) will include an overview of schemas, schema modes, schema assessment and formulation in the schema model. It will also focus on observing and practicing therapeutic techniques such as chair work and imagery rescripting. Module 2 (3 days) will focus on schema mode work with those with borderline personality disorder. Module 3 (2 days) will focus on schema mode work with other personality disorders. In all modules, in addition to didactic teaching, video presentation and live demonstrations, those attending will participate in experiential exercises to practice techniques.

Schema Therapy Overview:

Schema therapy is an integrated therapy comprising cognitive, Gestalt, attachment-based, object relations and behavioural components. The therapy was originally developed by Jeffrey Young for adults with personality difficulties related to childhood trauma who did not respond to CBT. At the heart of the treatment is the client’s unmet emotional needs from childhood and the maladaptive cognitive and emotional schemas or mental constructs related to these unmet needs. Through interview and completion of schema questionnaires, the therapist works with the client to collaboratively identify unmet childhood emotional needs and schemas to create a shared formulation. In a structured and systematic therapy of between 6 and 24 months, the therapist works to allow the client experience in the therapy relationship and in experiential exercises those needs being met, and to reflect on such experiences to allow schemas to change. Homework is set around generalizing this experience beyond the therapy relationship. Schema therapy has been shown to be highly effective in treating individuals with complex issues including Borderline Personality Disorder (Gieson-Boo et al, 2006) and with other personality disorders (Bamelis et al, 2014).

About the Trainer:

Dr. Muireann McNulty is a Senior Clinical Psychologist working in public secondary adult mental health services since 1997.  She was an Assistant Professor/Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at University College Dublin from 2015-2017.  She also works with Schema Therapy in private practice with adults in Co. Dublin and supervises psychologists who are working towards ISST accreditation as schema therapists. She has provided CPD workshops on Schema Therapy to psychologists and CBT therapists in Dublin, Belfast, Meath, Downpatrick and Derry, and is director of the first accredited Irish Schema Therapy training programme, which has been delivered four times since 2017, twice hosted by the PSI Clinical Division, once for staff in the HSE and once for staff in the NHS in Northern Ireland.

Following doctoral level training at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the Harvard Medical School (PhD, 1998), Muireann worked on community mental health teams in London and Dublin. She is co-author with Professor Alan Carr of the Adult Handbook of Clinical Psychology, a second edition of which was published in 2016. She developed the adult mental health module of the doctoral clinical programme at UCD and teaches on topics in adult mental health and schema therapy. She also supervises clinical psychologists-in-training from the UCD and TCD clinical psychology doctoral programmes.

About the Assistant Trainer:

Dr. Eimear Farrell is a clinical psychologist (D. Clin.Psych.), an integrative and humanistic psychotherapist and an Advanced Certified Schema Therapist (MISST) qualified to provide ISST approved training and supervision in schema therapy.  Eimear has been involved in delivering the first Irish accredited schema therapy programme in conjunction with Dr. Muireann McNulty.  She has also jointly facilitated an introductory workshop on schema therapy to supervisors of the UCD clinical psychology programme.

Since qualifying as a clinical psychologist in 2003, Eimear has worked in a variety of community and tertiary settings (including HSE Community Services, St. John of Gods  Cluain Mhuire Mental Health service and HSE Mental Health services). She is currently employed with the National Counselling Service where she provides schema focused therapy for adult survivors of childhood trauma.   Previously, she has worked as clinical co-ordinator with the D. Clin. Psych programme at UCD where she provided input in relation to the mental health and the personal and professional development components of the programme. 


TO SECURE A PLACE ON THE COURSE, please complete a booking form (with payment) at the top right of the page and email it to Muireann.mcnulty@gmail.com

Informal enquiries to Muireann McNulty:
E: Muireann.mcnulty@gmail.com
T: 087 336 0042 

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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