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Workshop Training Requirements to apply for Certification for those completing training after December 31, 2014:

This is an interim document subject to update

If you intend pursuing, or are pursuing training for Certification it is imperative that you also consult the 2021 ISST Requirements for Certification as a Schema Therapist (individual) V. 2.0 using the CERTIFICATION tab on the ISST website. This will give you access to a document which gives DETAILED requirements. Evidence that the below training curriculum has been covered in its entirety, in the form of ISST approved certificates, must be provided at the point of application.

Training Programs Content

Curriculum for the 25 Required Didactic Training Hours:

1 Concept and Case Conceptualization

1.1 Schema Theory and Concept

•   Schemas, Coping Styles, and Modes: Defined and Differentiated

•   Assessment: including interviews, imagery, and inventories

•   Psycho-education about needs and rights of children

•   Temperamental Factors

1.2 Treatment Formulation & Case Conceptualization

•   Clarifying Goals & Needs in Schema Terms and/or Modes

•   Conceptualizing a Case in Schema Terms and/or modes

2. Therapy Relationship

•   Limited Re-Parenting

•   Empathic Confrontation

•   Limit Setting

•   Therapists Schemas: Dealing with obstacles in treatment when therapists’ schemas become activated with certain types of patients.

•   Appropriate use of self-disclosure

3 Schema Therapy techniques

3.1 Cognitive techniques

•   Diaries

•   Flashcards

3.2 Experiential techniques I (Imagery work)

•   Imagery & Imagery re-scripting

•   Linking Schemas/modes with Early Childhood Experiences

•   Limited Re-Parenting with Child modes, especially with the Vulnerable and Angry Child Modes,

3.3 Experiential techniques II (e.g. Mode dialogues & Roleplay)

•   ST dialogues with schemas and modes

•   Empathic Confrontation/limit setting for Maladaptive Coping Modes

•   Confronting and limit setting for Punitive and Demanding Parent Modes

•   Role-Plays

3.4 Homework assignments and behavior change strategies

4 Specific Treatment Populations

4.1 Schema Mode Work with Personality disorders

•   BPD (required)

•   Cluster C (required)

•   NPD (optional)

•   Other Personality Disorders (optional)

•   PDs become required as trials support the effectiveness of ST for them

4.4 Schema Therapy with other Axis-I-Disorders (optional until an evidence basis established)

•   Addiction

•   Eating Disorders

•   PTSD

•   OCD

5 Literature

•   Reinventing Your Life

•   Schema Therapy: A Practitioner’s Guide

•   Other Reading Materials selected by the approved training program

Curriculum for the 15 Required Dyadic Training hours:

Whole group or “fishbowl” exercises are encouraged and can count towards as much as 2 hours of the dyadic requirement, as long as the whole group is participating in the practice. Whole group exercises can be a great way to demonstrate strategies in preparation for the dyadic practice.

1.  Dyadic Practice: Therapists pair up and take turns (approximately 30 minutes each direction) in the role of patient and therapist. If the group is large, and supervisors are scarce, a third person may act as the observer/coach. But - the observer should only be in that role one time so as to maximize practice opportunity.

2.  Dyadic practice exercises must include: Limited Re-Parenting with Child modes, especially with the Vulnerable and Angry Child Modes, Confronting the Detached Protector Mode, Confronting the Punitive (Demanding) Parent Modes, the Use of Empathic Confrontation, Imagery, Limit Setting, and Therapy Relationship work.

3.  Therapists Schemas: Dealing with obstacles in treatment when therapists’ schemas become activated with certain types of patients.

Trainer/participant Ratio

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

2.  A minimum of 1 trainer for every 20 participants (optimally 1 trainer for every 10 participants) is required in the dyadic role-play portion of the training.

(Revised by Joan Farrell to include clarifications approved by the ISST Executive Board in 2016, and by Paul Kasyanik to include clarifications approved by the ISST Executive Board in 2018)

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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