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For the role of the ISST President

Dear members of the ISST, I am pleased to accept the nomination for the position of President. I am aware of the importance of this role in guiding the Executive Board operations and maintaining the integrity of the Schema Therapy Community. I value transparency in decision making, as well as giving all ISST members the opportunity to contribute and share their experiences and ideas.

I have had the honor and the pleasure to serve as ISST Science & Research (2016-2018) and Certification (2018-2020) Coordinator for the last four years. My role as a member of the ISST Executive Board has given me invaluable opportunities to interact with numerous members of our society. I also enjoyed being part of an amazing management team. We faced many difficult and complicated situations,  and problems and we managed to find clear, reconciling and balanced solutions. It was a pleasure to collaborate with my colleagues - board members, chairpersons and committee members, coordinators, trainers and therapists. I would like to continue this active participation on the Board as President, if you agree.

I am running for this position because I have a strong commitment to the ISST members and to further development of Schema Therapy. My goal will be to provide continuity for the Executive Board efforts to set up new structures to provide more unity and improved interaction between the schema therapists and trainees, training and research centers, certification coordinators and schema events’ organizers around the world. This is especially important during these hectic times, when the usual ways of communication change, stress increases and the need for effective psychological help becomes urgent. We see that the contribution of the schema therapeutic community to solving these problems is of great value.

Providing continuity for me means not only to support the new and exciting programs and policies for our members but also establishing better office management structure. This process was started by the current Board and will need serious support and dedication as this process has proven to be more complex and time consuming than we expected. It is aimed at making contacts between members and the office less complicated and more efficient.

During my second term on the ISST Executive Board in the position of Certification Coordinator more than 800 applications for certification have been reviewed and approved. 26 new Training Programs were evaluated and certified. More than 200 Dutch Schema Therapists obtained ISST certification through the Grandparenting program for ISST membership arranged by ISST and the Dutch Register (VSt). Important new policies in certification were introduced: “three years rule” became more flexible and less subjective, trainer-supervisor certification was split into two levels, allowing advanced schema therapists to qualify for supervisor one year earlier than before, on-line certification training guidelines were developed and extended. In addition, important decisions were made to coordinate differences between ISST and national requirements for authorizing psychotherapists to practice in different countries.

Among priorities for the next Board I see:

  • building effective management team as majority of new Board members will serve their first term
  • enhancing the integrity of the ST model while supporting both creative developments and research.
  • maintaining the high standards in ST training and treatment while making ISST requirements more flexible and universal
  • maintaining and developing traditional and new inspirational and enlightening events
  • making the work of committees more transparent and accessible for all members. It is very important to give all ISST members an opportunity and a mechanism to express their opinions when shaping the organization's policy.
  • developing further cooperation with international professional societies (like the already established affiliation with EABCT, which I led)

As to my other experiences in ISST – I am the member of the Workgroups on Group ST and Child-Adolescent ST, TCAB, STDP and the Science & Research Advisory Board. I am sure that understanding many aspects of the ISST functioning ‘from the inside out’ will help me in assisting the Executive Board to make decisions that take into account the interests of different parties. My experience of training internationally in18 countries allowed me to hear first-hand a wide range of concerns and needs from schema therapists and trainees. My experience as the Certification coordinator helped me to understand the vast variety of national conditions and regulations under which schema therapists practice. It would help the future Board to understand these differences to ensure equal opportunities for ISST certification.

In addition to my willingness to devote time and energy to the responsibilities of the ISST President, I believe that I am well prepared for this role. Serving as vice-president of the Association of Psychotherapists “Anima’ in Russia for 29 years – one of the first independent psychotherapeutic societies in Russia established in 1991 – taught me to deal with difficult issues and ‘keep the helm’, even in the most challenging times. Our Association was the first one to bring Schema Therapy to Russia by inviting the leading schema trainers to provide training here, organizing the first ISST certification training courses here and the ISST Summer School in ST. Petersburg.

I am delighted by the rapidly growing enthusiasm for the development of ST around the world, the huge number of talented, creative and highly motivated young schema therapists and wise teachers who generously share their skills and knowledge. This is the key to consistent and lasting growth of the ISST. I will do my best to support and further this process.

To be able to do this, I ask for your vote.

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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