ISST Certification Information

These are the latest requirements as laid down by the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST) leading to eligibility for Diploma and Certification awards.

2009 ISST Minimum Diploma & Certification Training Requirements

(To understand this chart, please be sure to read the explanations below the table.)  

Important Explanations & Notes

Explanation of the 3 Training Levels
1. Basic Diploma in Schema Therapy (national diploma; not certified): Therapists at this level are not authorized to train others or to participate in outcome studies.  They may qualify for national or local schema therapy registries, if experts in each country desire. It can be a stepping-stone to international certification for those therapists who want to pursue it. This level does not usually involve any case supervision.
2. Standard International Certification: Therapists at this level are certified to practice schema therapy, participate in outcome studies, and to train or supervise other therapists at a basic level only. They are not qualified to rate sessions, conduct advanced trainings or courses, or to offer supervision on difficult cases.
3. Advanced International Certification: Certified to treat all patients, participate in outcome studies, and to supervise/train/rate others. After November 30, 2008, ISST members who receive Advanced Certification will not automatically be authorized to establish training programs without the consent of the ISST Training Branch.
 Each country can decide which of these 3 levels of training it wants to offer (including other non-certification courses). Furthermore, any country can insist on stricter requirements than the minimum guidelines set by ISST.
More About National Diplomas
1.  The Basic Diploma represents a course of didactic study which prepares a trainee to enter a certification program, if he/she wishes.
 2.  The Basic Diploma is not recognized by ISST as a form of certification, but simply a course of study.
3.  Any country can offer other diplomas that go beyond the Basic Diploma, including supervision if they wish, but these diplomas will not be recognized for ISST Certification unless they meetall of the requirements above for the 2 Certification Levels.
Converting Group Supervision Hours to Individual Supervision Hours
1. We have worked out a (complicated) system for converting group supervision hours into individual supervision hours (applies to supervision groups with 2 to 6 members). The basis of the conversion is that we voted to consider 3 group hours (180 minutes) with 6 members in the group, to be approximately equivalent to 1 individual supervision “hour” (50-60 minutes).
For example, if a group has 6 trainees, then we assume that each group member gets 1/6 of the group time. Thus, if the group is 2 hours long (120 minutes), then each member gets 20 minutes of directsupervision time in the group. This is equivalent to 20 minutes of individual supervision time. The remaining 100 minutes is spent observing the supervision of other group members. We have decided (by voting) that the time spent observing supervision of another member is equivalent to 20% of the time spent receiving supervision on one’s own cases. Thus the 100 minutes observing others is equal to 20 individual supervision minutes (20%). If we add the direct supervision time for each member (20 minutes) to the value of the observed supervision time (20 minutes), we see that each member receives 40 minutes of individual supervision credit for the 2-hour group with 6 members. 40 minutes is credited toward the 1000 minute requirement for the Standard Certification Level.
By comparison, if a group has 3 trainees, we assume that each member gets 1/3 of the supervision time. For a 2-hour group, each member spends 40 minutes on direct supervision, and 80 minutes observing the supervision of others. To compute the total supervision credits, we take 100% of the direct supervision time (40 minutes) and add to that 20% of the observation time (16 minutes). The supervisee receives 56 minutes of credit toward the 1000 minute requirement.
Using this formula, the chart below allows you to compute the number of “group converted” supervision minutes for each size of group.
 For each 60 minutes of group supervision time:
2 trainees in group = 36 “group converted” minutes of credit
3 trainees in group = 28 “group converted” minutes of credit
4 trainees in group = 24 “group converted” minutes of credit
5 trainees in group = 22 “group converted” minutes of credit
6 trainees in group = 20 “group converted” minutes of credit
(One session of individual supervision = 50 “group converted” minutes)
 Note that, to be certified, trainees may receive individual supervision, group supervision, or a combination of group and individual supervision.
Session Ratings
1. Session ratings will normally be done at the site offering the training program. However, each session must be rated by an Advanced Certified Schema Therapist other than the trainee’s supervisor(s), and by someone who is relatively unfamiliar with the trainee on a personal level.
2. The STCS is still a pilot scale, as are the cut-off scores. We expect to refine the STCS and cut-off scores over the next 1 or 2 years based on research data.
Criteria for Training Programs (After January 1, 2009)
The ISST Training Branch will set minimum standards for training programs by the end of 2008, and will be responsible for approving applications to set up training programs that begin afterJanuary 1, 2009. Any country may decide to establish requirements that exceed the ISST minimum standards for training programs.
Revised March 27, 2008