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SKILL CLASS 3 | DAY 1: 2.30 PM - 4.00 PM

Using Empathic Confrontation and Schema Mode Work with Treatment Teams to Create a Safe and Open Ward Climate

by Marjolein van Wijk-Herbrink and David Bernstein


Adolescent patients with severe externalizing behaviors (e.g., conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder) are often difficult to treat. Research has shown that externalizing behaviors are a manifestation of early maladaptive schemas arising from experiences of disconnection and rejection. We have developed Schema Therapy interventions to facilitate the healthy functioning of treatment teams, which we are using in several closed settings in the Netherlands. In this skills class, we demonstrate the use of empathic confrontation and schema mode work to counter maladaptive schema modes within treatment teams. We conduct a mock team meeting, where we invite participants to play the roles of various team members, to demonstrate interventions used by the team's coach to facilitate healthier team functioning.  In our experience, when these interventions are regularly used in bi-weekly coaching sessions with the team, they greatly facilitate the team's healthy functioning, leading to a more open and supportive, and less repressive, climate on the ward. 

Level of Experience Required for Participants: 

Intermediate (Participants have had basic ST Training)

About the Presenters:

Marjolein van Wijk-Herbrink

Marjolein van Wijk-Herbrink has worked in several clinical and non-clinical settings with adults and adolescents with personality disorders and externalizing behaviors. She is a psychologist trained in ST by David Bernstein and Truus Kersten. She is also a researcher (she will obtain her PhD in April 2018): Her research focuses on Schema Therapy in adolescents with externalizing behaviors, and covers both theoretic and clinical aspects. She contributes to the implementation of milieu-based ST at wards of closed youth care settings by providing training and supervision to youth care workers.

David Bernstein

David Bernstein is widely recognized as one of the leading innovators and researchers in Schema Therapy.  He earned his PhD in Clinical Psychology from New York University in 1990, and served on the faculties of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Fordham University in New York City.  He was trained in Schema Therapy by Dr. Jeffrey Young, and worked at Young’s Schema Therapy institute in New York City.  Since moving to the Netherlands in 2004, he works as Professor of Forensic Psychotherapy at Maastricht University, where he conducts research on personality disorders, aggression, and antisocial behavior.   He was Vice President of the International Society for Schema Therapy and is the coauthor of Schema Therapy: Distinctive Features, and the DVD series, Schema Therapy: Working with Modes


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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