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* Please make sure you are using current (updated) Certification Forms

from 'Certification Forms' page on this site before starting to fill in your Application.

** Find your Regional Coordinator's address here

New Time limits for applying for the ISST certification

Dear Members of the ISST Community,

Regarding the time limits for applying for the ISST Certification. New rules clarify the process of determining the deadlines for submission of applications and make it easier and more convenient to use.

Certification new rules

Time limits for applying for the ISST certification

Candidates have maximum of 3 years since completion of the basic (or advanced) training to meet the requirements and apply (to send application to Regional Certification Coordinator) for their first certification level (Standard or Advanced)

a.If they get certified at the Standard level within 3 years they have additional maximum of 2 years to complete advanced training (if applicable), meet the requirements and apply for Advanced Certification.

b. If candidates do not meet the deadline of 3 years for the first certification or additional 2 years for advanced certification they have to provide proof of either:

I.Attending Certification or ‘Continuing education’ workshops for minimum of 6 hours for each year (or 12 hours for each 2 years) exceeding the limit. These workshops should be conducted by the ISST Certified trainers different from their basic course trainers.


II.Supervision provided by the ISST Certified Trainer/Supervisor for 6 hours for each year (or 12 hours for each 2 years) exceeding the limit.


III.Case presentation at the scheduled on-line meeting of one of the SIGs (Special Interest Groups) accredited with the ISST. These presentations should not exceed 3 hours per one year and may be combined with the training workshops or supervision. The leader of the SIG should confirm such presentations in the letter to the Regional Certification Coordinator on request from applicant.

c.Above rules make any ‘extensions’ unnecessary except for some really extraordinary circumstances. 

The new Schema Therapy Case Conceptualization Form has become mandatory since 1st May 2019 and needs to be submitted with the session recording for evaluation. The evaluators who are rating the submitted recording, also rate the Case Conceptualization Form using a scale which you can find on the New Case Conceptualization Form page. It was decided that after that, if there is no translation into the local language, CCF will need to be submitted in English.

Please make sure you are using current (updated) Certification Forms from this site before starting to fill in your Application. Before sending in an application for any of the ISST certification categories you must have completed the process of joining the ISST as a full member (excepting Auxiliary Schema Therapist Certification who join as Associate members), have your membership number and provide it on your application.

Procedure for submitting ISST Certification Applications:

ALL APPLICANTS FOR CERTIFICATION PLEASE NOTE:  All applications for certification in individual schema therapy go to Regional or National Coordinators who are the reviewers for the country you live in. You must meet the ISST membership requirement for the certification you are applying for before submitting a certification application. An ISST-certified Schema Therapist must fulfil various requirements, on the one hand with regard to his/her qualification, on the other hand must be a ISST member who pays his/her fees on time to have his/her certification approved or to be certified. He/she is also required to keep the fees up to date to ensure that the certification is not withdrawn. 

Your certification application will not be reviewed without your ISST membership number. Individual, Group, Child-Adolescent and Couples ST require Full ISST membership, Auxiliary Schema Therapist certification requires Associate ISST membership.

For example, if you are living in Holland you would send your certification application to Eelco Muste. You would also email Eelco if you wanted to know where your application was in the certification process. Below you will find the countries listed which have a reviewer. If two people are listed and you have trained or been supervised by one of them, please send your application to the other for the sake of evaluator's independence. Eventually someone will be listed for each country or region.

Please assemble your application, documentation needed for supervision, rater's tape summary sheet/s along with the CHECKLIST accessed via 'Certification' link and email it ALL TOGETHER at the same time. Otherwise it is much more work for reviewers. Hard copies mailed in are not accepted as the need for international mailing slows down the process and makes archiving applications difficult. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure that all supplementary documentation including the case conceptualization and session summary that were sent to the tape rater are sent to the reviewer within 30 days of sending the application form in.  All reviewers volunteer their time for this as ISST Coordinator. Expect that it may take the reviewer 30 days to send your application in checked and then another 30 days before you are notified of approval. Please be patient in contacting the reviewer or me about your application before this time has passed. We do everything we can to act quickly, but all of us are busy practicing psychotherapists and trainers.

Documents to submit (all can be found on the Certification Forms page of the website)

  1. ISST Application form - with the signature of the director of the training program you attended. If you are using the Independent program option you must in addition submit copies of all the module certificates from the training you attended. These sessions must have covered all of the ISST ST curriculum.
  2. Checklist of required documentation 
  3. Your supervisor must confirm your supervision hours. It is preferred that this be done via an email to the rater for your area.
  4. Copies of the summary sheets for your tape ratings and CCF ratings.
  5. Case conceptualizations for the patient(s) on your rated tape (one for Standard certification and two for Advanced) along with the brief session summary. This should be in your native language unless that is not a language your rater is fluent in.

For the time limits of certification please refer to the document on the top of this page. Exceptions to the time limit can be requested to the Certification Coordinator and are granted based upon extraordinary circumstances.

  1. Certification applications go first to the identified reviewer for the geographic region. Applicants should send complete applications with all needed documents to the reviewer within 30 days. Please do not send these materials directly to the Certification Coordinator.
  2. The reviewer acknowledges receipt via email and communicates with the applicant about whether the application is complete and any violations of requirements.
  3. The country reviewer checks the qualifications of the applicant and that the documents and the ISST application form are complete.
  4. The country reviewer sends the completed checklist and the ISST Certification Application form to the Certification Coordinator for final evaluation.            Just these two documents please.
  5. If all ISST requirements are judged to be met the application is approved. If all are not met the Certification Coordinator will communicate with the reviewer who will assist the applicant in an effort to remedy any inadequacy.
  6. If an application is denied the applicant has the recourse of asking for either an Executive Board review or a Conflict Resolution Committee review. The member has 30 days to appeal the decision.
  7. Questions from applicants about where their application is in the evaluation process are answered by either the country reviewer or the T&C assistant. Do not first contact the Certification Coordinator.
  8. Letters of approval and ISST ST Certificate are sent to the applicant by the ISST Assistant as directed by the Certification Coordinator.
  9. Newly certified members post their information on the ISST website

Certification in the Specialty Areas of ST: Group, Child-Adolescent, Couples and Auxiliary

The evaluation process for applications in the specialty areas is as follows:

1.    Applications are sent to the Chair of the Certification Committee for that specialty area.
2.    The chair reviews applications using their established requirements that are posted on the webpage for the specialty. If there are no issues that need the committee's input he/she sends it on.
3.    The committee chair sends their evaluation and approval recommendation to the T&C coordinator for final review and her/his evaluation of the application. If the decision from the chair and the coordinator is approval – the process stops here.
4.    If certification is not recommended by either the specialty area certification committee or the T&C Coordinator it is sent to the EB for a final decision. The EB may ask for more information and the member has 30 days to respond. The EB may decide to send the application to the T&C committee or to the Three C’s committee for input. The final decision is made by majority vote of the EB.

The general ISST policy is that routine applications are evaluated through the process described above. Applications with issue(s) for which there is no rule or precedent are referred to the Training & Certification (T&C) Coordinator. Depending upon the issue involved these applications either go directly to the Executive Board (EB) for evaluation or first to the T&C Committee for discussion and feedback and then to the ISST EB board for a decision. All exceptions granted are recorded and applied to any other member with the same situation or issue. Applicants may ask for review by the 3C’s committee.

Certification by "Grandparenting"

The official grandparenting period for all certification is now closed. Under certain circumstances we review the need for fast - tracking in certain countries where there is a need for supervisors and trainers. Please review the fast tracking policy in how to apply. All applications need to be sent to both the Training and Certification Coordinator.


Procedure: Making exceptions to the Masters degree or higher academic requirement to begin training in Schema Therapy

In countries where a Masters degree is not the only route to the approved practice of psychotherapy, exceptions to the Masters degree requirement to apply for ST training will be based upon the practice of that country. Recommendations for the requirements to be met for exceptions in each country where this issue applies will be made by consensus of the ISST Approved Training Program Directors of that country. The requirements for an exception to apply for Standard level certification only may also be specified.

The ISST Executive Board will evaluate and approve the final requirements. In this way a standard practice for making exceptions can be established and all applicants treated in the same manner. In the event that an ISST member applicant disagrees with denial of an exception the appeal process outlined for certification issues will be followed. This process can be found on the ISST website.

Approved 10-3-15 ISST Executive Board Meeting

Fast Tracking

To be considered for fast tracking in certification please find the policy here: 

Application for fast tracking to become an ISST certified supervisor

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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