Trainer-Supervisor Level Certification Information
The highest level of certification in Schema Therapy is the Trainer-Supervisor level. The requirements to qualify at this level for each of the specialty areas of ST vary. For the original certification as T-S in individual ST a person needs to be certified at the Advanced level and have completed the additional requirements that depend upon the year they began training. For those who began training before 2014 the requirement is the 3-5 hour Trainer-Supervisor Webinar that covers the basic requirements and information on ST supervision. The Webinar is offered about twice a year by the Coordinator of T&C in English and also by other Trainers approved to offer this training live in various countries and languages.
We have begun to offer Trainer-Supervisor certificates in individual ST for those who qualify. This applies only to those who began their training before January 1, 2014. Those who began training after that date have other qualifications to meet. To obtain this certificate you must do the following:
1. Send a request to the ISST Certification email address here with the date when you began certification training.
2. Attach proof of your advanced level certification, with your certificate number and your certificate of attendance at the required Trainer-Supervisor webinar
3. Send your membership number and you must be current on dues payment
You will receive your certificate via email. Please be patient as our office staff have many to send.
For the specialty areas of ST you will need to follow the same procedure plus have the chair of the specialty area send an email to the office also that affirms you being at the T-S level in that specialty.
Required Trainers and Supervisors Workshop/Webinar
The Trainers/Supervisors Workshop is a mandatory requirement for all advanced level certified schema therapists who wish to provide supervision fro certification, participate as trainers in ISST approved training programs or apply to offer a certification training program approved by ISST. This requirement has been in effect since Jan 1 2012.
The required content is listed in the PDF below. ISST Approved Certification Training Programs in some countries are offering in-person workshops to meet this requirement. This is the case in Sweden, Norway, Germany and Italy. ISST approval is needed to offer the webinar in person, so please contact me if you want to apply to offer the webinar for your country. Standard materials including a power-point slide presentation of required content in English is available for translation. For more information contact Joan Farrell (
The goals of the Trainer/Supervisor Workshop are to:
Continuing Education in Schema Therapy
8 hours of continuing education (CE) activity - either ST workshops, added supervision or self-therapy- are required for all ISST Trainer-Supervisors every 2 years.
Added Options qualifying as CE activity: research, publications, books, readings and participation in ISST special interest groups, watching DVDs with log of reflective comments.
The CE requirement will be reported using an honor system with a random audit of a percentage of members. Those chosen for audit must provide documentation of their CE activities (i.e. certificate for a workshop, email confirmation from supervisor or therapist, journal publication or other writing). The ISST Quality Assurance Committee, chaired by Susanne Vind, will manage CE reporting and the evaluation of ISST Training Programs.
New Requirements for Advanced level certified therapists who began training in 2014 and who have completed the general Trainer/supervisor webinar described above who want to provide supervision to others for certification. If you began certification training in individual ST after January 1, 2014 you must meet the additional requirements approved by the ISST board in 2013. A full description of these requirements is attached as a file on this page and summarized below.
a.Three years of ST practice after achieving Advanced level certification as a Schema therapist.The T & C committee can be asked to consider approval with a minimum of two years of practice when special circumstances apply – e.g., shortage of supervisors.
b.Treatment of at least 10 patients in ST of at least 6 months duration. Must include at least 4 personality disorder patients.
2.Trainer exception Upon the recommendation of the director of an ISST approved training program, an advanced level certified schema therapist with a minimum of 2 years of post certification experience may act as one of the trainers in that program in conjunction with a certified trainer/supervisor.
3.Additional Training/Supervision 6 hours of individual supervision focused on supervising. This requirement can be met by attending the Supervisor Skill Building Workshop being developed by an ISST committee chaired by Jeff Conway or by individual supervision with a certified Supervisor. These supervision hours cannot be counted in the total required for certification as a schema therapist.
4.Applicants who have completed a course in supervision can submit a course description for review by the Training & Certification committee with a request that this requirement be waived.
It has been a long and thoughtful process to develop the new guidelines, derived from many hours of dialogue among the board members and committee members, careful scrutiny of details, shared discussions with some of our most experienced trainers and supervisors – worldwide, along with helpful observations, experiences, and input from candidates who have participated in schema therapy certification training programs in recent years. Please be aware that these requirements and the STCRS pertain to “individual certification programs” – ST with individuals. Separate requirements exist for Group Schema Therapy and for Child-Adolescent Schema Therapy and Couples ST.
Listing of current ISST Certified Supervisor/Trainers
As part of the ISST Board’s ongoing effort to make the certification process more user-friendly we have made some changes regarding website listings and certificates. One important reason for this is to ensure that trainees/supervisees will be able to make sure that they are receiving training or supervision from currently certified trainer/supervisors. There has been some confusion in this area recently.
Independent Tape Raters for ISST certification
Tape raters must be certified at the Advanced level and have met the Trainer/Supervisor education requirement. Tape raters for certification must be independent. "Independent" has been defined by the ISST Executive Board as: an ISST certified Supervisor/trainer who is not the director of the applicants training program, a supervisor or a participant in their training – didactic or role-play portions. We realize that there will be situations where this definition cannot be met completely – for example, a country with only one training program or very limited number of certified supervisor/trainers, forensic settings with limitations regarding taping or the removal of tapes from the institution. In those situations, please write to the ISST training coordinator to request an exemption. We took this position to remove the possibility of naturally occurring bias when the trainer and independent rater roles overlap. We are also in the process of having the STCRS validated empirically and establishing an inter-rater reliability standard for independent raters to meet.Please note that for Advanced level certification 2 different independent raters must be used - one for each tape. In addition two different patients must be sued. The full rating form with the summary sheet and case conceptualization must be sent in when applicants apply to ISST for certification. Tape raters can get access to the Schema Therapy Competency Rating Scale (STCRS) here.
REQUIRED ONGOING EVALUATION FOR ALL TRAINER-SUPERVISORS AND TRAINING PROGRAMS
After certification, schema therapists will be asked to anonymously evaluate their supervision on a form supplied by ISST. If they participated in a certified training program they will also be asked to evaluate the program. If the mean rating over four or more individual supervisees falls below 4 the problems identified will be reviewed by the coordinator of Training & Certification and reported to the ISST Board, which will decide on further action. To maintain one’s Trainer/Supervisor or program certification a mean rating of 4 over all trainees in a two year period must be accomplished.
b. TRAINING WORKSHOPS
To maintain Trainer or Training Program certification every two years a report of the mean rating of workshops evaluated must be reported.
A mean rating of 4 on a 0-6 scale must be accomplished.
These evaluations should be anonymous and completed at the end of a training event. A standard rating form will be provided by ISST. This evaluation form will be developed by the newly formed ISST Quality Assurance committee chaired by Susanne Vind.
Anonymous ratings of training workshops by graduates after they achieve certification.
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