David Edwards

1-de-photoDavid Edwards is a Professor at Rhodes University, South Africa and is currently President of the International Society for Schema Therapy.  At Rhodes University, he was involved in the professional training of clinical and counselling psychologists from 1980 to 2009. Now retired and working part time for the University, he conducts and publishes research on aspects of psychotherapy and supervises research students.

He has a longstanding interest in psychotherapy integration and has experience with expressive approaches to psychotherapy through drama, dance, sculpture, painting and drawing, particularly within the humanistic and transpersonal traditions. In his research, he has promoted the role of case study methodology in the development of applied clinical science and used case studies to provide a contextualized evidence-base for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder in South Africa.

2-isst-logo-2016He was fortunate to be connected to the beginnings of schema therapy when he attended seminars with Jeffrey Young while training in cognitive therapy at the University of Pennsylvania in 1984.  His enthusiasm was refreshed when, at a conference in Barcelona in 2007, he met Arnoud Arntz. one of the leaders in the Dutch group. In 2008, he attended a workshop presented by Arnoud Arntz in London and learned about the new research on schema therapy as a treatment for borderline personality disorder. He joined the newly formed International Society for Schema Therapy (ISST) and is certified as a schema therapist and trainer in individual ST and in ST for couples.  He is currently President of the ISST.

See his full CV here.


David Edwards is

  • Certified as a schema therapist and trainer for individual schema therapy and schema therapy for couples by the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST).
  • Registered as a Clinical Psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.
  • An Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and registered as a Clinical Psychologist with the Health Professions Council of the United Kingdom.
  • A Diplomate and Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy which provides training and sets standards for Cognitive Therapy as developed by Aaron Beck.


David Edwards’ early publications on the use of imagery in cognitive therapy were influential in promoting the integration of imagery methods into cognitive and behavioural psychotherapy and anticipated current use of these techniques in schema therapy. He has also written on the historical roots of schema therapy. His interest in historical perspectives on psychotherapy arose from reflection on his own experience and from writing an article and a book chapter on the history of imagery in psychotherapy.

He recently published two short articles entitled:

Schemas in clinical practice: What they are and how we can change them (2014) (click to read).

Self Pity/Victim: A Surrender Schema Mode (2015) (Click to read)

Go to David Edwards’ RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS page to see more details and to download some of his case studies and other articles.

Conferences and networking

Throughout his career, David Edwards has made regular presentations at conferences in South Africa and overseas where he has had the opportunity to meet leaders in his fields of interest, including trauma, cognitive therapy and schema therapy.  He has also been involved in committees of the ISST dealing with professional training issues, supervision, and the development of a training and certification program for schema therapy for couples.

Below are pictures taken at some of these conferences with some of the colleagues locally and internationally I have been privileged to meet and network with.

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