The pursuit and passion of schema therapy has never been stronger. Over the last two years, since I have had the incredible opportunity to serve as the Coordinator for Public Affairs and New Member Issues, our membership has rapidly expanded, nearly doubling in size. I am excited to build on our accomplishments over the last two years, which is why I ask for your vote to continue as Public Affairs Coordinator for the next board term.
The Challenges: Meeting the needs of an organization experiencing such enormous growth has been both challenging and rewarding. Two years ago, I imagined that this role would require a lot of work. The society was being curtailed by challenging dynamics that left us with a website platform that had very limited features. Our listserv was not functioning to meet our members’ needs, our social media outlets needed new content, and our email blasts needed to be transformed with the latest design trends.
Website: It was no small task to create a new ISST website. Obstacles that had previously stopped attempts to revamp the website had to be overcome. This meant spending countless hours, working together with our president, Eckhard Roediger, to come up with solutions that would break the prior deadlocks. I learned significantly more about international security standards and code than I ever imagined I would need to in order to answer every attempt to block our efforts. I was determined to make the changes, and happily, with persistence, we gave birth to a completely new website based on an ultra-secure platform that offers our members the latest technologies membership organizations can provide. Through my extensive efforts of tracking and tweaking, our search engine optimization efforts have paid off, and the ISST website is highly visited on a daily basis throughout the world.
INSPIRE 2016: Since conferences provide the yearly experience for members to reconnect with the schema therapy family, making the Vienna Conference a success was one of the main drivers behind the board’s work over the past year. I dedicated countless hours to creating email blasts, social media posts, “Sneak Peak” interviews, and branding and design efforts to help members feel inspired at the conference, even with small details that can shape an experience. For instance, to help increase connections, I designed name tags to help attendees easily recognize each other's names. I used branding techniques to create the INSPIRE brand for INSPIRE 2016 as a way to attract attendees, a brand that I hope to continue for INSPIRE 2018 in Washington, D.C. I also recorded the keynote presentations using a triple angle method, and through extensive editing merged the angles to create a dynamic effect for members to relive key moments in Vienna, or see them for the first time.
App: Part of the Vienna conference included my creation of an App platform for Apple and Android devices to replace paper. After more than a month of work, it all came together, with only a few hiccups that technology can bring. ISST now has the “Schema Therapy” app that can be used for Summer School in Barcelona, and INSPIRE 2018 in Washington, D.C., along with other member needs.
Additional Resources: I created a new listserv for all members to join that now functions very well. I feed our social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter and Google+, with posts on a daily basis. I have also conducted many interviews with schema therapists for our YouTube channel, promoting members’ work, along with schema therapy, to the public as broadly as possible.
Transferring Duties: The original role of Public Affairs and New Member Issues Coordinator has become nearly unmanageable for one person as the number of new members has skyrocketed. I worked together with the ISST office and Eckhard to develop streamlined structures to help the application process for new members, along with ways to assist members to enroll on the website and listserv. In October, we plan to transfer 'New Member Issues' duties to new office assistants, and other board members, to lessen the load on the Public Affairs Coordinator (You can see this proposal in the General Membership Assembly blog: GMA).With the current size of our organization, and anticipated growth, this will free the Public Affairs Coordinator to focus on public affairs, and better serve the needs of members.
In Summary: I am happy to report that my goals that I set out to accomplish when I was elected have been accomplished: to provide members with technology that would help them connect more effectively, to help new members integrate into the larger ISST community, and to spread the message schema therapy has to offer to both members and the public. With your support, I will continue to broaden these goals, bringing new technologies to our society as soon as they become available, and expanding our public affairs efforts to build a schema therapy public affairs team throughout the world.
What can you do? With your vote, know that I will be honored to serve you for a second term, and together with the next board and member involvement, will help make membership in the schema therapy society even more rewarding.
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International Society of Schema Therapy e.V. is a not-for-profit organization. Glossop-Ring 35, DE-61118 Bad Vilbel, Germany