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Sexuality & Gender Special Interest Group

Moderated by Offer Maurer and Eshkol Rafaeli

Gender and sexuality are two psychologically central and intertwined topics. Both run deep and have far-reaching influences for all human beings' lives. To date, the Schema Therapy formal literature and informal discourse have both left these issues largely unexplored. As a consequence, the ways in which needs, schemas, coping styles and modes are implicated in people's sexuality and gender are still very much unknown. Our new special interest group will focus its discussions on questions pertaining to sexuality and gender through a Schema Therapy lens. We will use various platforms to ask how should we best understand and treat sexual difficulties and dysfunctions using the ST model? Are there gender-specific schemas and/or modes, and if so, how should we work with these? Does gender multiplicity have any connection to mode multiplicity? And how do therapists' and clients' perceptions (schemas?) regarding gender and sexuality work together to promote or mute internal realities and experiences? These and many other issues will be at the heart of this new group's activity.

The Sexuality and Gender SIG will be meeting monthly (excluding July and August), usually on the second week of each month on Tuesday at 3PM (EST) which is 12AM (PST) and 8PM (London). 

All ISST members are welcome to join us. You don’t have to be an expert in sexuality or gender issues to join the SIG and attend the online forum. You will be part of a warm and vibrant group of colleagues who have different levels of expertise in the sexuality and gender field. 

Our meetings will be one hour long and we will use the Go to Meeting online platform. You will be sent a link to log in to our meetings using your computer, iPads , smart phones, or a telephone line.

The inaugural meeting will be at 3 P.M. Eastern Time on December 12th (with the following meeting on January 9th).

If you are interested in joining our group please contact Offer Maurer, one of the SIG's co-chairs: EMAIL


Offer Maurer & Eshkol Rafaeli

Moderators' Bios

Offer Maurer Ph.D.is a clinical psychologist, the director of 'The New Wave in Psychotherapy  Program' at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Hertzeliya and the founding director of the ‘Gay-Friendly Therapists Team’, the first LGBT-friendly psychotherapy institute in Israel (15 years ago). He is the co-founder of the Israeli Institute for Schema Therapy and the Chairperson of the Israeli Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. Dr. Maurer is a guest lecturer at various international programs on LGBT issues, Schema Therapy and psychotherapy integration. Contributed together with Eshkol Rafaeli chapters to edited volumes on Working with Emotion in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Guilford, 2014) and on The Self in Understanding and Treating Psychological Disorders (Oxford Univ. Press, 2016).

Prof. Eshkol Rafaeli is a clinical psychologist (in the US and Israel), a professor in the psychology department and neuroscience program at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and a research scientist at Columbia University's Barnard College. The Affect and Relationships lab which he direct studies close relationship processes, as well as affective and interpersonal processes in psychopathology and psychotherapy. He has been a schema therapist since joining Jeffrey Young’s Cognitive Therapy Center of NY in 2002, later becoming a supervisor in the NY program, and (after his move to Israel in 2009) was one of the founders of the Israeli Institute of Schema Therapy. He has supervised, lectured, and written about schema therapy extensively. For example, he coauthored (with David Bernstein & Jeffrey Young) the Schema Therapy: Distinctive Features book for Routledge, and more recently contributed chapters to edited volumes on Working with Emotion in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Guilford, 2014) and on The Self in Understanding and Treating Psychological Disorders (Oxford Univ. Press, 2016). He has been an editorial board member of several journals, including Psychotherapy Research, Behavior Therapy, and Journal of Research in Personality. 

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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