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Ethical Implications of Limited Reparenting: Discussing Official Guidelines

by Poul Perris, Peregrine Kavros, & Lynda Parry

Schema Therapy is rapidly growing and training programs worldwide are attracting large numbers of new therapists. This is indeed a pleasant development for our society, but should also be a reminder that we need to secure that we maintain an ethically solid practice. Clinical studies (e.g. Giesen-Bloo et al, 2006) are suggesting that limited reparenting is central to the efficacy of Schema Therapy. Reparenting is a therapeutic stance that calls for an elaborated ethical sensibility of the practicing schema therapist.

What are the ethical boundaries for emotional intimacy, for limit setting, for autonomy support? There are many challenging questions that need to be raised and discussed. As a society we are well aware of the many cultural differences in regards of ethical policies and standards in various countries, as well as differences that may occur in different work environments. It is therefore an important task for us as a society to establish solid ethical guidelines in order to avoid malpractice and to facilitate Schema Therapy implementation.

The aim of this round table is to highlight central ethical issues concerning limited reparenting and to discuss official ethical guidelines. The panel is organized by the ISST Ethics Committee, which serves under the ISST Executive Board. There will be time allotted during the panel for questions from the audience, in addition to membership questions sent to the Ethics Committee prior to the conference. A letter will be sent out to the ISST listserve encouraging members to share any problems and difficulties that they have encountered in regards of implementing limited reparenting in their practices and clinical settings.

About the Presenters:

Poul Perris, MD

Founding President of the ISST (2008-2010)

Life Honorary Member ISST

Advanced Certified Schema Therapy Trainer & Supervisor (Individual & Couples)

Director: Swedish Institute for CBT & Schema Therapy, Stockholm.

ISST Committees: Ethics and Conflict Resolution Committee; Training and

Certification Advisory Board; Case Conceptualization Committee;

Couples Special Interest Group


Peregrine M. Kavros, Ph.D., MDiv

Director of the Schema Therapy Institute Southeast, Hillsborough, NC, USA

Private Practice, Licensed as a Psychologist in North Carolina and New York

Advanced Certified Schema Therapy Trainer & Supervisor - Individual

Advanced Certified Schema Therapy Couples

Annual Workshop:

Schema Therapy Training & Certification Program - Individual

ISST Committees: Chair, Ethics & Conflict Resolution Committee; Quality Assurance

Committee; Training & Certification Committee; Couples Special Interest Group

Lynda Parry, Clinical Psychologist

Director, Schema Therapy Centre of NSW, Australia

Advanced Certified Schema Therapist Trainer and Supervisor Individual

Advanced Certified Schema Therapist Group

Co-Regional Training Coordinator Australia

Annual Workshops: 

Schema Therapy Training & Certification Program - Individual

Experiencing Schema Therapy from the Inside Out

Schema Therapy with Dreams and Nightmares

Article: Schema Therapy and Dreams: Accessing the Vulnerable Child, ISST Bulletin, December 2018.

Committees: Chair, Quality Assurance Committee; Ethics and Conflict Resolution Committee, Training and Certification Committee, Training and Certification Advisory Board

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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