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2020 GMA Report from ISST Executive Board Secretary,

Susan Simpson

Board Meetings

ISST Board Online Meetings were held at monthly intervals between November 2018 and August 2020, and minutes were taken and distributed. One of these was an in-person meeting in May 2019, which took place prior to Edinburgh ENLIGHT.

Dates of meetings:

  • 11th Dec 2018
  • 15th Jan, 2019
  • 12th Feb, 2019
  • 29th May, 2019
  • 6th Aug, 2019
  • 3rd Sept, 2019
  • 1st Oct, 2019
  • 12th Nov, 2019
  • 10th Dec, 2019
  • 14th Jan, 2020
  • 4th Feb, 2020
  • 10th March, 2020
  • 25th March, 2020
  • 21st April, 2020
  • 26th May, 2020
  • 7th July, 2020
  • 4th Aug, 2020

Enlight Edinburgh ISST event in May 2019

In collaboration with Travis Atkinson and Eckhard Roediger, Chris Hayes, and a local organising committee, I led coordination of the Edinburgh ENLIGHT conference (formerly ISST Summer School) as the local Organizing Committee Head.  This event was held at the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, Scotland, and over 400 participants attended from across the world. The event was a great success with a fantastic array of presenters from several countries.

Schema Therapy Bulletin

I am pleased to note that over the last 18 months we have published 5 new issues of the Schema Therapy Bulletin, with four further issues in progress. I have primarily worked in collaboration with Co Editor Lissa Parsonnet (USA) in procuring articles, writing material for the bulletin and completing layout and design alongside our graphic designer, and Travis Atkinson.  The Bulletin Committee has recently been expanded, and two new members have been welcomed, Pam Pilkington and Tena Davies. Going forward, we envisage that we will have 3-4 issues released per year dependent on the level of contribution from members.

ISST Webinar Series

Over the past 18 months, I have coordinated the ISST webinar series, and in collaboration with committee members Chris Hayes and Andrew Phipps, we have organised a series of webinar training events. The 90 minute webinars, are free to ISST members and occur every 2-3 months. These webinars are regularly uploaded to the ISST website and are available for members to view at any time.  

ISST Environmental Awareness and Action Committee

In March 2020 I initiated the ISST Environmental Awareness and Action Committee. The aims of this committee are to (1) provide guidance and advice to the ISST on measures that can be taken to reduce our carbon footprint as an organisation whilst becoming more environmentally aware. This may include the way we run conferences, training events, webinars, as well as group and individual therapy; (2) Provide guidance for schema therapists for working with fear and uncertainty in the face of climate change; (3) Consideration of the wider implications of climate change for those in developing countries, and how the ISST can provide support for those who are hardest hit by impending climate changes; (4) Consideration of cultural issues and how these influence the ways in which we perceive our relationship with the environment and each other - and our capacity to connect with each other and the earth; (5) Exploration of the psychology of climate change - the factors (e.g. cultural schemas and modes) that are driving and maintaining patterns of self-destruction on our planet; (6) Consider how can we develop the Schema Therapy Healthy Adult concept further to include a more environmentally respectful 'interbeing' perspective, that acknowledges that we are part of the environment and nature.  Committee members represent a wide range of countries: Barbara Basile, Lynda Parry, Sarah Pagdin, Vivian Francesco, Adriana Giotta, Katja Molnar, Jude McLean, Xi Liu, Sharon Miller. Meetings are held monthly, and so far 5 meetings have been held in 2020.

Publications Committee

This committee was set up to promote the publication of materials, in particular books or book chapters, relevant to the clinical practice of schema therapy and its application to different contexts and clinical populations. The committee works with particular publishers who might be interested in such publications and is considering working toward setting up a series of publications on the clinical application of schema therapy or related topics. This committee consists of Robert Brockman (chair), Travis Atkinson, Chris Hayes, and Lissa Parsonnet, and myself (SS). This committee meets as required to coordinate publication-related issues for ISST members.

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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