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Introduction to the New Upcoming Schema Therapy Case Conceptualization

by Jeff Conway, Poul Perris, Vartouhi Ohanian & David Edwards


We would like this to be a panel discussion about the new ST Case Conceptualization that we intend to introduce to the entire ISST Community in 2023. We will discuss the changes we made and why we made these changes and the advantages of this new form. We will invite questions.

Target Audience:

All members of the ISST Community

Learning Objectives:

Understand the value of a Case Conceptualization and the new important aspects we highlighed in this new form (for example, the domains of unmet needs and the Healthy Adult) for better understanding our patients.

About the Presenters:

Jeff Conway

Jeff Conway, MS, LCSW is the current President of the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST). He is a founding member of the ISST and has served in several roles for the ISST since its foundation. His previous Executive Board position was Training Coordinator from 2018-2020. He continues to be a Schema Therapy Trainer and Supervisor and has cultivated a training niche for understanding and effectively treating the Enmeshment and Undeveloped Self Schema. He has written about this schema and provided several workshops and supervision groups on this topic throughout the world. Jeff is also a founding member of The NY Center for Emotion Focused Therapy and is trained in Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT), an innovative couple’s therapy model, based on Attachment Theory. He is also a Certified Couples Schema Therapy Trainer and Supervisor and just completed a new online ST Couples Training Program in March of 2022. Other areas of training and experience include the treatment of early childhood trauma, and Object Relations Theory and Group Therapy Models. He resides in New York City where he has a private practice, working with individuals, couples, and groups.

Poul Perris

Poul Perris, MD, is the Director of the Swedish Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Schema Therapy. He is trained in both individual and couples therapy. Poul is a certified in both Individual and Couples Therapy as a Schema Therapist, Supervisor, and Trainer. He has served on the Schema Couples Therapy Committee since 2014.

​Poul is the Founding President of the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST), and served on the ISST Executive Board from 2008 to 2010. He also served as President of the Swedish Association for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (SACBT), from 2010 to 2016. Poul has trained therapists nationally and internationally for over 10 years, and is the co-author of "Schematerapi en clinkers handbook & terapiberattelse," currently available in Swedish.

Vartouhi Ohanian

Vartouhi Ohanian is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in the UK. She was Head of Psychology Services in West London Mental Health Trust for over 20 years and practicing as a clinical psychologist in the NHS for 30 years.

Vartouhi has trained extensively in Schema Therapy since 1991 with Dr Jeffrey Young.  She has been instrumental in introducing and disseminating Schema Therapy in the UK by organizing national workshops since 1996. She is a founding member of the International Society for Schema Therapy and is certified by them as a Schema Therapist and Schema Therapy training and supervision provider. She is also trained in group Schema Therapy with Borderline Personality Disorder. Vartouhi is an Honorary Member of the ISST and has been serving on a number of ISST Committees for many years.

She teaches widely in the UK and abroad and has presented on Schema Therapy at the British Association of Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapy and Eating Disorder conferences. She established the first ISST approved advanced certification training program in Schema Therapy in the UK which has now been running for many years. She has also been invited to run Schema Therapy training programs abroad.

Vartouhi is co-author of book chapters and a number of publications on Schema Therapy with Eating Disorders.

David Edwards

David Edwards lives in Cape Town, South Africa, where he runs a training program in schema therapy through the Schema Therapy Institute of South Africa. He presents basic and advanced training workshops in schema therapy in South Africa and internationally. He also has an active private practice offering psychotherapy and clinical supervision. He is registered as a Clinical Psychologist in South Africa and the United Kingdom. He trained in cognitive-behavioural, humanistic and transpersonal approaches to psychotherapy, and has a longstanding interest in psychotherapy integration. He was fortunate to be introduced to schema therapy by Jeffrey Young, the founder of schema therapy, in the 1980s and has followed its development from its beginnings. He is an Emeritus Professor at Rhodes University, where, for over 25 years, he taught cognitive-behavioural therapy (including schema therapy) to trainee clinical and counselling psychologists, and offered intensive workshops to students using expressive therapies including psychodrama, clay sculpture, drawing and dance. Since his retirement at the end of 2009 he continues to work as a researcher and research supervisor. He has over 100 academic publications in the form of journal articles and book chapters.

The focus of many of these is trauma and complex trauma. Several of them are clinical case studies and he is one of the editors of Case studies within psychotherapy trials: Integrating qualitative and quantitative methods (Oxford University Press, 2017). He has also written articles and book chapters on imagery methods in psychotherapy and is the author, with Michael Jacobs, of Conscious and unconscious in the series Core concepts in psychotherapy (McGraw Hill, 2003). The focus of his current work is on the phenomenology of schema modes and understanding the deep structure of modes. This is reflected in a recent pair of articles on modes in a case of anorexia nervosa (Edwards 2017a and Edwards 2017b).

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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