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Ida A. Shaw, M.A. & Joan M. Farrell, Ph.D. 

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Joan and Ida are advanced level Schema Therapists and Trainer/Supervisors who co-direct the Indianapolis Center of the Schema Therapy Institute Midwest, approved by the International Society Schema Therapy (ISST). The Indianapolis Center specializes in Group Schema therapy.

Joan is an Adjunct Professor in Clinical Psychology at Purdue University (IUPUI) where she supervises the practice of clinical psychology graduate students. She was a clinical professor at Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM), in Psychiatry for 25 years. She is Research and Training director of the IUSM/Eskenazi Community Mental Health Center for Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment & Research. Ida is the main trainer and supervisor of Group Schema therapy at the BPD Center. She holds the same position for the five country international trial with 12 clinical sites testing GST for BPD and the trial in the Netherlands adapting GST for Avoidant PD and social phobia. Joan is co-PI, with Arnoud Arntz, Ph.D, for the BPD trial. Joan was the elected Executive Board Member, Coordinator for Training & Certification of the International Society for Schema Therapy (2012-2018) and is presently the Chair of the ISST Training & Certification Advisory Board (TCAB). She was elected as an Honorary Lifetime Member of ISST for her work to advance Schema Therapy. Ida is an ISST Certified Child & Adolescent Schema Therapy supervisor/trainer and the chairperson of the ISST Work Group on Child and Adolescent Schema Therapy, which defined certification standards for that area. She is also a member of the ISST TCAB.

In their work together they have integrated their complementary cognitive and experiential treatment approaches with social learning and developmental psychology theory to develop a group treatment model for Schema Therapy (ST). Influenced by their 40 years each of clinical experience and by the work of Jeff Young, they adapted ST interventions and limited reparenting to a group model and developed uniquely group interventions to accomplish ST goals (Farrell & Shaw, 1994, 2012). They first established the group model for outpatients in a specialty clinic for BPD at the IUSM outpatient clinic. This program was awarded an Indiana Governor’s Showcase Award in Mental Health and a NIMH grant. They went on to develop an inpatient ST program that combines individual and group modalities and directed a dedicated BPD unit for ten years at a university affiliated psychiatric hospital in Indianapolis. They evaluated their model of Group Schema Therapy in a randomized controlled trial for outpatients (Farrell, Shaw & Webber, 2009)- with a grant award from the US National Institute of Mental Health) and in two inpatient pilot study (Reiss, Lieb, Arntz, Shaw & Farrell, 2013). Both studies demonstrated strong positive effects on BPD symptoms and global function as well as high recovery rates. 

Joan & Ida have given keynotes, symposia and Master Clinician workshops on GST internationally (22 countries) for over 25 years. They receive outstanding evaluations for their enthusiastic and collaborative teaching style that includes demonstrations and group role play experiences for participants. 

A quote from the founder of Schema Therapy, Jeffrey Young PhD, who attended a Farrell-Shaw Workshop:

“Group Schema Therapy has the potential to deliver the powerful treatment strategies of the schema approach in a more cost effective manner than has been possible with individual schema therapy -- with equivalent or perhaps superior results. The experience that the authors have gained over 30 years is evident throughout. The approach Joan and Ida have developed is truly unique, exciting and promising. Joan Farrell is an outstanding schema therapist who serves as the “stable base”, emotional center, and “educator” for the group as a whole – a role I can imagine myself learning to fill, given enough time and experience. What truly amazed me – perhaps because her style is so different from mine and Joan’s -- was the remarkable group work of Ida Shaw. It is hard to convey the level of originality, creativity, and spontaneity she brings to the group experience. She is able to blend elements of gestalt, psychodrama, role-playing, and her own infectious style of play into an approach that perfectly fits the intensive demands of schema mode work, cajoling patients to change in profound ways.”

Jeffrey Young Ph.D.
Schema Therapy Institute of New York
Columbia University, Department of Psychiatry


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