The Schema Therapy Institute of South Africa

The Schema Therapy Institute of South Africa (STISA) is directed by David Edwards who is certified as a schema therapist and trainer in both individual and couples’ therapy by the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST).

STISA disseminates schema therapy within South Africa as well as internationally.  Founded by David Edwards, the Schema Therapy Institute of South Africa offers professional training in the form of workshops and clinical case supervision.  There is also an international therapist certification program approved by the ISST.

David Edwards also provides clinical services including psychotherapy based on the schema therapy model, and other shorter term therapies. He works with adults, adolescents, individuals or couples or families. He also undertakes psycholegal assessments.

Information about other South African practitioners who use schema therapy is available on request.

STISA’s training program
in schema therapy
is approved by the ISST
See also: 

Schema Therapy
Clinical services offered by David Edwards
More information about David Edwards

Professional training in schema therapy

STISA offers comprehensive training resources in schema therapy in the form of clinical supervision and workshops.  These are particularly suitable for professionals practicing psychotherapy with difficult cases. They are intended for Clinical and Counselling Psychologists as well as other South African professionals who can practice psychotherapy in terms of their scope of practice (as determined by the HPCSA). Professionals such as creative arts therapists or Registered Counsellors who practice within a hospital or other clinical setting where schema therapy is applicable, may also benefit. Some practitioners may like to draw on the workshops and supervision to inform and enrich their current practice. Others may like to embark on a comprehensive program of training that will lead to certification as a schema therapist with the ISST.

This page provides information about all these training options under these headings:


CPD:  Workshops and supervision offered in South Africa are accredited for CEU points within the Continuing Professional Development requirements of the HPCSA.


Workshops and supervision count towards the requirements for ISST accreditation (unless otherwise specified)


David Edwards offers workshops on schema therapy that provide standalone training experiences or, for those interested in advanced training, cover the modules of the ISST training requirements.

ISST certification training includes 40 hours of training workshops. There are 25 hours of didactic training covering the central concepts, the research background, and interventions used in schema therapy. Clinical examples are presented on DVD or via audio that provide a bridge between theory and practice. There are also 15 hours of experiential/role-play  exercises that provide experience of the practice of specific schema therapy interventions.  This  40 hour training is offered as 6 day workshop program approved by the ISST. Download the STISA training program here.  Normally we offer three days in February of March of each year so that the course can be completed over two years.

These workshops typically include:

  • Presentation of the central concepts of schema therapy
  • Presentation of self-report instruments used in assessment for schematherapy
  • Presentation of training material on DVD.
  • Presentations of therapy sessions of my own or of local psychologists.
  • Experiential training exercises.
  • Discussion of the implications of the approach for case formulation, treatment planning and ethical practice
  • Discussion of participants’ own case material

Upcoming Workshops

Next training workshop in Cape Town likely to be in February or March 2020.

Request a Workshop

If you would like to invite David Edwards to give a workshop to your specifications, please contact us.

Past Workshops

March 3rd – 5th 2019:  Schema therapy training course Part 1 (Days 1 – 3).  Cape Town.  High Constantia Conference Centre,  Constantia, Cape Town.
2nd May 2019: Advanced schema therapy workshop at the ISST ENLIGHT workshop event in Edinburgh, Scotland.
May 11th – 13th 2019:  Schema therapy training course Part 2 (Days 1 – 3).  Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

May 15th – 16th: Advanced schema therapy workshop. Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
November 6th – 8th 2018:  Schema therapy training course Part 2 (Days 4 – 6).  Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Workshops in Australia in April 2018.  Perth and Melbourne: Two day advanced workshops.  Adelaide (Australian Psychological Society Clinical Conference) a one day advanced workshop and a one day workshop on schema therapy for couples with Bruce Stevens.

February 25th-27th 2018:  Schema therapy training course Part 2 (Days 4 – 6).  Cape Town.  High Constantia Conference Centre,  Constantia, Cape Town.

20-22 August 2017:  Introduction to Schema Therapy.  Training workshops for Department of Psychology, University of Stellenbosch.

20 September 2017: Using imagery to effect psychological change in clients with chronic, complex problems, with special reference to Schema Therapy.    Stranmillis University College, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

22-23 September 2017: Guided imagery and imagery rescripting and the new science of autobiographical memory.  Zurich, Switzerland.

29 September 2017: Guided imagery and imagery rescripting and the new science of autobiographical memory.  Cologne, Germany.

8 June 2017:  Advanced work with schema modes – Theory and practice.  ISST Summer School, Barcelona.

19-21 March 2017: Schema therapy training course Part 1 (days 1-3).  The Cellars-Hohenort, Brommersvlei Road, Cape Town

19-21 March 2016:     Schema therapy training course Part 2 (Days 4 – 6). Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands, Cape Town                                    

Workshops presented from 2013-2015
5-8 November 2015
 Parts Therapy Congress – David Edwards presented a 3 hour workshop entitled Creative trajectories of healing in schema therapy: Two case studies
Heidelberg, Germany
21st – 23rd March 2015
Schema therapy training course Part 1 (Days 1 – 3)
Cape Town: Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands
8 – 9 November 2014
Working with personality disorders: The schema therapy approach
Cape Town: Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands
13 June 2014
“An interpretive examination of the rescripting of personal and symbolic imagery in the case of Nina”
ISST conference in Istanbul
April 12th 2014
When trauma is hidden or when trauma-focused therapy fails – the schema therapy approach to complex trauma
Stellenbosch: Conference on Contemporary Approaches to the Management of Trauma.
14th July 2013
Schema therapy, attachment theory and the use of reparenting and imagery to heal the vulnerable child
Brisbane, Australia
22nd – 23rd July 2013
Schema therapy, attachment theory and the use of reparenting and imagery to heal the vulnerable child
Melbourne, Australia
14th August 2013
Schema therapy – The basics
Kingsbury Hospital, Cape Town
24-25 Aug 2013
Schema therapy – Learning by experience
Kingsbury Hospital, Cape Town

South African Diploma in Schema Therapy

Those who complete the full program of 6 day training workshops will have fulfilled the requirements for didactic and supervised role-play training for ISST certification. Whether or not they elect to proceed to further training, they will receive the South African Diploma in Schema Therapy. You can download the details of the 6 day training, as approved by the ISST here:  STISA training program in Schema Therapy.

Clinical case supervision

Supervision of cases within the schema therapy model is at the heart of the training and is a requirement for certification with the ISST (see table below). Although you can learn a great deal about schema therapy from workshops and books, you will  need supervision from a person experienced in the model in order to master the schema therapy approach and take full advantage of its powerful features.

David Edwards offers supervision either individually or in groups. This can be at his office or via the internet.

Supervision group: Thursdays at 18h00 for 90 minutes (currently we usually meet at 17h30 and watch a training video first at his office in Westlake, Cape Town).

Online supervision group: Wednesdays at 18h00.  This usually meets for an hour.

For more information about schema therapy supervision, and the approach to supervision recommended by the ISST, download the document Schema therapy supervision: Information and guidelines for supervisees.  This gives details of supervision fees for those living and working in South Africa.  Other rates apply for those in other countries which are available on request.

If you would like to apply for supervision, contact us for details and we will send you an application form.

If you are considering requesting supervision over the internet, please also read the  document Online consultations-Practical and professional aspects

You can also have internet supervision with ISST supervisors in other countries (though this will be relatively costly). Go to the ISST website for more information or ask us for recommendations.


CPD:  Workshops and supervision offered in South Africa are accredited for CEU points within the Continuing Professional Development requirements of the HPCSA.

Workshops and supervision count towards the requirements for ISST accreditation (unless otherwise specified)

Advanced training leading towards ISST certification as a schema therapist 

ISST requirements for certification as a schema therapist are as follows:

ISST Requirement
Standard certification
Advanced certification
Didactic training
25 hours
25 hours
Supervised role play program
15 hours
15 hours
Individual case supervision
20 sessions (50-60 min)
40 sessions (50-60min)
Self-therapy as part of case supervision
Highly Recommended: Max. of 3 sessions out of 20 can be primarily self-therapy
Highly Recommended: Max. of 6 sessions out of 40 can be primarily self-therapy
Peer supervision
Highly Recommended
Highly Recommended
Minimum number of patient sessions using ST
Minimum number of cases treated using ST model
2 of at least 25 sessions each (1 with personality disorder, other appropriate for mode work).
4 of at least 25 sessions each (1 with personality disorder, others requiring work with a range of classes of modes).
Duration of supervision
At least 1 year
At least 1 year
Cases for final evaluation (case conceptualization + voice recording)
1. Minimum rating of 4 on Schema Therapy Competency Scale
2. Minimum rating of 4.5 on Schema Therapy Competency Scale

Note: These were taken from the ISST website in February 2015. If you intend to apply for certification in the near future, check the  latest status on the ISST website or by emailing STISA.

Preparing yourself to apply to the ISST for certification

STISA aims to support practitioners in preparing themselves to apply to the ISST for certification. So please let us know if that is your intention.

You can do this from the outset or once you have attended some workshops and experienced some supervision. Once you indicate your interest there is no obligation to complete the training and apply, but STISA will encourage you and provide information and guidance.

By attending the full 6 day workshop series described above, you will ensure that you have met the workshop training requirements. If you have completed previous workshops offered by STISA, these will have covered parts of the training program described above. If you want to complete the Diploma, you can enquire which parts of the 6 day program you have already covered. Similarly, those who provide evidence of having completed accredited workshops in Schema Therapy with other trainers may apply to have these hours recognized in place of specific parts of the 6 day program.

STISA keeps a record of your supervision hours. In the case of group supervision, one hour counts for less than one hour of individual supervision: the number of hours you qualify for is determined by a formula that factors in the number of people attending each group meeting. Thus, for a group of 3, each participant is credited with 28 minutes for each hour. More information about this is available on request. You can also submit a recording of a whole session for supervision and will receive written and verbal feedback. This will count as one hour of supervision. Supervision can also include receiving advice and feedback on the preparation of a case conceptualization and voice recording for submission to the ISST for evaluation. You can enquire about your accumulated supervision credits at any time.

Putting it all together

Trainees can to build up their credits step by step on a pay as you go basis. This means that you pay for each part of the training as it happens, whether it be a workshop, supervision, or having a session recording evaluated and receiving feedback.

Your accumulated credits must fall within the following time frames:

  • You must be in regular supervision for at least one year.
  • Workshop training components need to have been completed within four years of submitting your application. This means that workshop hours completed over four years previously can no longer be credited. The ISST is currently reviewing this and if you don’t meet this criterion, you may be able to appeal to the ISST to consider your case.
  • Once you have completed the workshop training you must apply for certification within two years.

In order to apply for certification once all requirements have been met, applicants must be recommended by STISA. Please note that schema therapy is a complex approach and not all therapists are suited to practice it. Once you embark on regular supervision, you will receive feedback on how you are progressing as a schema therapist and you are welcome to discuss any concerns you might have about your suitability with the supervisor. In the unusual event that trainees does not progress to the required level, STISA will not be able to recommend them to the ISST for consideration for certification.

Once you have completed the training requirements and STISA has agreed to recommend your application, you must submit documentation to STISA who will collate it and forward it to the ISST. Applicants resident outside Africa must normally do this through the co-ordinators in their own countries (information available on request). In order to apply you must be a member of the ISST but you do not have to be a member while undertaking the training. Once you are certified you must remain a member of the ISST in order to advertise yourself as an ISST certified schema therapist.

Further information…

If you would like more information about training leading to certification, please contact us.

Go back to sections on other aspects of STISA training under these headings: