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Ethics & Conflict Resolution Committee

        Chair:  Peregrine Kavros

        Members: Poul Perris, Jan Kossack, Lynda Parry & Eshkol Rafaeli

Aims and terms of reference: 1) ISST members are required to abide by internationally recognized professional standards of ethics and conduct, and the Ethics and Conflict Resolution Committee is empowered to consider any concerns about the professional or ethical conduct of members brought to the attention of the ISST, and to determine whether and how such conflicts should be addressed by the ISST in order to protect the ISST’s professional identity and /or limit or repair reputational damage.  2) The Ethics and Conflict Resolution Committee is also empowered to investigate any conflicts between ISST members that might impact negatively on the functioning of the Society, and, where appropriate, to take steps to mediate and resolve such conflicts.

Reporting to:  Executive Board

Membership:  Chairperson and at least three other members.  Additional members may be appointed or co-opted.

Membership selection:  Appointed by Executive Board.  New members are appointed where vacancies arise due to resignations. Membership is reviewed by Executive Board every four years.


It is not intended that the ISST will develop its own separate code of ethics since it is recognized that members are subject to the ethical codes and disciplinary procedures of the professional bodies to which they belong. The Ethics and Conflict Resolution Committee is not, therefore, primarily a disciplinary body, and it is not intended to replace the procedures of those professional bodies.

However, there are several areas where the ISST needs to consider matters relevant to ethics, professional practice and the conduct of members which it is the responsibility of this committee to consider and provide recommendations to the Executive Board.

  • ISST members should behave towards each other and towards the general public in a manner that is professional and courteous and failure to do so is of concern to the ISST in any cases where unprofessional and discourteous behaviour is likely to cause reputational damage to the ISST or bring the ISST into disrepute.  The Ethics and Conflict Resolution Committee is therefore empowered to prepare and keep updated an ISST Code of Conduct, that governs activities carried out in the name of the ISST or on the ISST listserve, or via the Find a Therapist page on the ISST website.  The committee is also empowered  to investigate and make recommendations in cases where there is evidence that a member has infringed the code of conduct.
  • When ISST members are found guilty of malpractice or otherwise sanctioned or disciplined by their professional bodies, the Ethics and Conflict Resolution Committee shall make recommendations to the Executive Board with respect to what action, if any, should be taken by the Society.
  • Should there be complaints of ethical misconduct or unprofessional behaviour against a member who, for whatever reason. is not subject to an ethical code that reflects current international standards, the Ethics and Conflict Resolution Committee may investigate such complaints and make recommendations with respect to appropriate action towards or sanctions against that member. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ISST ECR Complaint form
  • The Ethics and Conflict Resolution Committee is empowered to investigate complaints of professional misconduct made to the Society against a member of the Society by any individual outside the Society who claims to have been harmed by such misconduct and to make recommendations to the Executive Board about what steps, if any, should be taken by the Society.
  • The Ethics and Conflict Resolution Committee is empowered to investigate complaints of professional misconduct made against a member of the Society by another member of the Society who is concerned that the said member is causing reputational damage to the Society or to Schema Therapy and make recommendations to the Executive Board about what steps, if any, should be taken by the Society.
  • The Ethics and Conflict Resolution Committee shall make recommendations to the Executive Board with respect to policies on matters of ethics affecting the Society, for example, where there are conflicts related to differences in ethical codes or ethical principles across countries or organizations. The Ethics and Conflict Resolution Committee is empowered to develop policy documents that summarize the issues and, where appropriate, define a perspective from within the schema therapy model. Such policy documents will be considered by the Executive Board and may be formally adopted as ISST policy statements.
  • The Ethics and Conflict Resolution Committee shall investigate and take steps to remediate conflicts within the Society that are referred to it by the Executive Board.

In discharging these responsibilities, the committee may appoint small subcommittees or working groups on a temporary basis for the duration of the task at hand.

ISST ECR Complaint form

Revised terms of reference approved by the Executive Board.

Message from the ECRC Chair (Peregrine Kravos)

As the Chair of the ECRC, I am privileged and honored to serve on this committee. Since my original appointment by the Executive Board in 2018, I have been moved repeatedly by the integrity and commitment of my fellow committee members. As we have approached each complaint filed with this committee, we delve deeply into the intricate issues surrounding the original concern. We challenge ourselves and one another to understand all sides of presenting a complaint. In some cases, the answer is not entirely straightforward, and a next step is often necessary, such as mediation, which is a worthy and honorable process.

IMPORTANT. The ECRC does not hold the powers of investigation that governmental bodies and professional agencies possess. As a member organization, ISST cannot revoke a professional license or prevent a therapist from practicing. We also cannot obtain a monetary reward for you or require that the therapist do something for you that is outside of the professional requirements that pertain to membership in ISST. The most severe action that the ECRC can undertake is to recommend to the Executive Board that the member be expelled from ISST membership.

Below, please find a list of the documents that you will find attached to this website, as well as a summary of the process.


Documents found on the webpage:

ISST ECRC Complaint Form

ISST ECRC Complaint Procedure

ISST Code of Conduct

ISST Code of Conduct Actions & Procedures

ISST Policy and Principles Regarding Dual/Multiple Relationships

ECRC COMPLAINT FORM. The ECRC can only review signed Complaint Forms. In the Complaint, please describe how the Schema Therapist who is a member of ISST has not complied with the specific policy by noting the section and number listed in the Policy document ("ISST CODE OF CONDUCT" and "ISST POLICY AND PRINCIPLES REGARDING DUAL/MULTIPLE RELATIONSHIPS"). Please provide objective evidence (emails, letters, recordings) that support your Complaint. We cannot analyze " third-hand " information or what we call "hearsay." These documents must be translated and notarized if they are not in English. The Complaint Form must be signed.

SUMMARY OF THE PROCEDURE. After a complaint has been filed, the ECRC investigates both sides of the Complaint. When a complaint has been filed against a Schema Therapist who is a member of ISST, the Complainant (the person filing the Complaint) provides documentation to support the allegation against the Schema Therapist (Defendant). The Defendant is asked to provide documentation regarding the event and against the allegation. After reviewing the evidence, the ECRC determines if an ethical breach has occurred and what action should be undertaken. Suppose an ethical violation has not occurred, but the situation warrants clarification or an action adjustment. In that case, the ECRC prepares a letter of "RECOMMENDED PRACTICE," which may include suggestions for the therapist to consider or a recommendation of mediation. If different complaints have been filed against a Defendant, the ECRC will recommend that the Defendant meet regularly with an appointed Supervisor/Consultant.

Please contact me if you have any additional questions about the ECRC or file a complaint with the ECRC.


Peregrine M. Kavros, PhD, MBA, MDiv

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