New developments in schema therapy: experiential techniques
University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
May 11-12 2019
Looking Narcissism in the Mirror: An Experiential Schema Therapy Workshop
David Bernstein & Limor Navot
University of Maastrich, the Netherlands
May 14-15 2019
Experiential techniques are considered both by patients and therapists as very powerful and central to schema therapy, yet challenging. Therefore good training to build up confidence and knowledge how to apply them is necessary. Recent research into mechanisms of change revealed the importance of addressing the vulnerable child mode and the healthy adult mode. Experiential techniques are very suitable in bringing about change in these modes. The workshop will focus on experiential techniques like imagery rescripting, drama rescripting, perspective change using drama, empty chair technique and multiple chair techniques, and involves demonstrations and practice in role plays.
Narcissistic patients are challenging, since they appear to be unmotivated to change, externalize blame for their problems, and subject their therapists to denigrating or boundary transgressing behavior. In this experiential workshop, participants will gain knowledge and skills in applying Schema Therapy to this difficult population. We place particular emphasis on working with schema modes, changeable emotional states, in the “here and now” of the therapy relationship. Participants will learn to switch patients from Self-Aggrandizing modes, which are denigrating, exploitative, or entitled, into states where they can experience and accept painful emotions. We also emphasize helping therapists to manage their own emotional reactions in the face of patients’ provocations. Core Schema Therapy techniques, such as limited reparenting, empathic confrontation, and limit setting, as well as experiential exercises, such as role-playing and “serious games,” will help therapists develop competencies in working with narcissistic patients. We will use the iModes, a set of cards with images representing the schema modes, to enhance the learning process. A basic familiarity with Schema Therapy concepts is required for this workshop.