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Challenges and Solutions: Moving Forward in 2015

11 Mar 2015 9:00 AM | Anonymous

We are welcoming the new year with dramatic changes within our organization, driven by a passion to help ISST serve you better. The new website launched in the fall, and close to 350 members have opened accounts on it so far. Over the next few months, you will notice a significant expansion of the website, and you will find ways to benefit from many of the features, including upcoming conference videos and a comprehensive clinical journal. A few of the current highlights include:

  • An extensive "Find a Therapist" feature pinpoints a therapist or supervisor of a searcher's choice
  • A vast "Events" page lists the numerous schema therapy trainings around the world, including the upcoming Summer School in St. Petersburg during the "White Nights Festival"
  • The "Research" section includes topical blogs from some of our top researchers
  • The "Training and Certification" section details approved training programs and ways to attain your certifications
  • Blog sections describe clinical insights from some of our most experienced clinicians
Our Challenges

With all of the changes, we have also had some growing pains. One of our challenges has been implementing a payment system for credit cards, and the result has been that some members had challenges renewing their annual membership dues (not applicable for SEPA members). Despite our best efforts, attaining a merchant account as a not-for-profit organization encountered significant delays. An unintended consequence of this delay has lead to some members having to pay a "late fee," a provision that was added to our statutes at the General Membership Assembly in Istanbul to encourage members to renew their membership by January 31st of each year. However, we were not able to rectify our payment issue by this date, resulting in this dilemma, and the statute is not written to provide flexibility for special circumstances.

Additionally, we need to rectify a provision in the statutes that requires credit card transaction fees to be covered by members, as this contradicts another provision in the statutes that bans charging members different fees.

Our Solutions

After consultations with our legal team, we have some strategies to solve our challenges. We will be conducting an online General Membership Assembly in April that allows all active members to vote on changing the provisions in the statutes. The final proposals will be explained in more detail on the website, though briefly we will be proposing to make the following changes:
  • Retroactively change the statute to reverse the late fee for those members who were unnecessarily penalized, and change the language to allow for more flexibility under special circumstances
  • Change the statute so that ISST covers transaction fees, instead of members
  • Include a reduced membership fee for members residing in "B-Countries" and for post-graduate students, as other organizations provide

Your Input

We want to offer all members more opportunities to shape ISST, and to provide more ways to be heard. To this end, once we open the online voting tool, you will also have a chance to make your suggestions for changes in the statutes. Directions will be posted on the website for how to do this. Examples of proposals may include:

  • Accepting the ethical guidelines currently in preparation from the 3-C Committee (Odette Brand from the Netherlands recently joined the committee, and we are happy to welcome her)
  • Confirming that the biannual ISST conference site to be open to all countries, rather than being specifically linked to the home country of the Vice President, allowing for more time and options in our conference site choices

Next Steps

To make the online General Membership Assembly possible, Travis Atkinson, our Public Affairs and Member Benefits Coordinator, will open a blog page for members to submit proposals within a specific time frame. After the deadline, the final proposals will be posted on the website for 4 weeks, followed by the online vote over a specific time period.

At the end of this process, I am confident that the result will be a better experience for all members of ISST.

With anticipation,

Eckhard Roediger

President

International Society for Schema Therapy


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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