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JUNE 24 - 26, 2021 / WORLDWIDE




TRACK 4 PART 2: 2.45 - 7.15 pm CET


Contextual Schema Therapy and the Four Dialogues: Using Chair Work for Healing and Liberation

with Scott Kellogg and Amanda Garcia Torres

I believe that Contextual Schema Therapy (Roediger, Stevens, & Brockman, 2018) is a form of next-generation Schema Therapy.  I have been particularly struck by:

(1) the affirmation of Attachment and Assertiveness as the two fundamental polarities of personality and of therapy

(2) the emphasis on putting the strengthening of the Healthy Adult mode at the center of the therapeutic project

3) the inclusion of Third Wave and approaches – especially the use of defusion and self-witnessing techniques

(4) the decision to move from the language of Parent Modes to that of Inner Critic Modes. 

Chairwork has been playing an increasing central role in Schema Therapy in recent years (Kellogg, 2015).  The discovery of the Four Dialogues in 2018 was significant  breakthrough because it provided a powerful and elegant model for effective psychotherapeutic action whether using Chairwork, Imagery, or more conversational forms of clinical encounter (Kellogg, 2018, 2019).  The Four Dialogues are: Giving Voice, Telling the Story, Internal Dialogues, and Relationships and Encounters. 

Giving Voice involves amplifying and giving expression to a feeling, interviewing a part to better understand it, and/or empowering people to claim power and affirm the decisions that they are making in their lives.

Telling the Story is centered on working with people to express and work through difficult, painful, or secret narratives.

Internal Dialogues involve working with the patient’s inner parts or modes. These chairwork dialogues usually take one of three forms: (1) Polarity Dialogues; (2) Alternative Dialogues; or (3) Mode Dialogues.

Relationships and Encounters dialogues are rooted in the interpersonal world, and it involves working with the cycle of emotions—or the expression of love, anger, fear, and grief.

This model provides a framework not only for listening to patients, but also for taking effective action. 

Drawing on the insights and strengths of both Contextual Schema Therapy and the Four Dialogues, the goal of this presentation is to outline how Chairwork can be used to treat a range of clinical issues as a way of empowering clinicians to create more powerful dialogue-based interventions.  

Topics to be covered are:

(1)  Foundations – An introduction to the Four Principles and the Four Dialogues

(2)  Voice Dialogue – Mode Experiencing and Interviewing; Voice Dialogue as a Defusion technique

(3)  Three-Person Storytelling – Working with difficult narratives from different perspectives as a way of increasing and decreasing the emotional intensity (Roediger et al., 2018)

(4)  Schema Restructuring dialogues – Using the Alternative Dialogues to examine evidence for and against a schema; Cost-Benefit Analysis/Pros and Cons Coping Mode Dialogues (Arntz & Jacob, 2013)

(5)  Complex Emotions – Using Vector Dialogues to process ambivalent feelings toward others

(6)  Interpersonal Mistreatment and Trauma

a.     Telling the trauma story

b.     Engaging with those involved in the story; caring for the Child Self

c.     Challenging trauma-rooted schemas

d.     Existential Intentionality – Claiming personal authority and choosing freedom and the future

(7)  Inner Critic Dialogues

a.     Diagnostic interview the Inner Critic – Malevolent internalization or protective mode?

b.     Mode Dialogue – The Healthy Adult and Inner Critic Modes negotiate a new relationship

c.     Complexity Dialogue – Bad-Self/Good-Self Alternative Dialogue 

If time permits, there will be an opportunity for a Chairwork-based case consultation.                                                                                                       

About the Presenters

Scott Kellogg

Dr. Scott Kellogg is an ISST-certified Advanced Schema Therapist who has also received training in both Gestalt Therapy and Voice Dialogue.  He created the Transformational Chairwork Psychotherapy Project in 2008 and he currently teaches this method of psychotherapeutic dialogue to practitioners in both the United States and abroad.  Dr. Kellogg is in private practice in New York City.

Dr. Kellogg received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and he has served on the faculties of New York University, the Rockefeller University, the Yale University School of Medicine, and Teachers College/Columbia University.  He is also a Past-President of the Division on Addictions of the New York State Psychological Association.

In his writings, he has focused on such topics as Gestalt Chairwork, Humanistic Addiction Psychotherapy, and Schema Therapy.  Dr. Kellogg is the author of Transformational Chairwork: Using Psychotherapeutic Dialogues in Clinical Practice (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).

His websites are:

Transformational Chairwork: http://transformationalchairwork.com/

Gradualism and Addiction Treatment: http://gradualismandaddiction.org/

His email is: EMAIL

Amanda Garcia Torres

Amanda Garcia Torres is a certified Chairwork Psychotherapist in private practice at Chairwork Therapy NYC and a Trainer with The Transformational Chairwork Psychotherapy Project. Her work is guided by a lifelong passion for addressing suffering and injustice, particularly within historically oppressed populations


Arntz, A., & Jacob, G. (2013). Schema Therapy in practice: An introductory guide to the schema mode approach.  Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.


Kellogg, S. (2014). Transformational Chairwork: Using psychotherapeutic dialogues in clinical practice. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.


Kellogg, S. (July, 2018).  Transformational Chairwork: The four dialogue matrix.  Schema Therapy Bulletin.  http://transformationalchairwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Kellogg-TCW-Four-Dialogue-Matrix-ISST-Bulletin1.pdf


Kellogg, S. (October, 2019).  Transformational Chairwork: Therapeutic change using the four dialogues.  InPsych: The Bulletin of the Australian Psychological Society Limited, 41, 16-21. https://www.psychology.org.au/for-members/publications/inpsych/2019/october/Transformational-chairwork


Roediger, E., Stevens, B. A., & Brockman, R. (2018).  Contextual Schema Therapy.  Oakland, CA: Context Press.

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Why Schema Therapy?

Schema therapy has been extensively researched to effectively treat a wide variety of typically treatment resistant conditions, including Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Read our summary of the latest research comparing the dramatic results of schema therapy compared to other standard models of psychotherapy.

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