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WORKSHOP 7 | DAY 2: 2.15 PM - 5.45 PM

Engineering Corrective Emotional Experiences: Designing Protocols for Group Schema Therapy in Various Settings, Treatment Lengths, and Patient Groups

by Joan Farrell, Rita Younan, Heather Fretwell, and Eelco Muste


This workshop will present a method for designing flexible protocols for Group Schema Therapy of varying lengths from 20 sessions to 2 years; for mixed or homogeneous diagnoses; with and without individual therapy sessions. This method of protocol design divides schema therapy into its major components (Mode Awareness, Mode Management and Mode Healing) and then selects structured sessions of each for the modes pertinent for a specific group and treatment length. Setting goals appropriate for various lengths of treatment and with various patient membership and plans for non-responders will be discussed. The issue of integrating individual and group ST will be addressed and the use of individual therapy “bank accounts”. The need for flexibility and the caveat that ST cannot be totally manualized will be emphasized. Presenters represent and have extensive experience in university outpatient and inpatient settings, private psychiatric hospital and day-therapy programs, a large community mental health outpatient clinic, and private practice. They practice in the US, Australia and the Netherlands. They have developed protocols for a wide range of treatment lengths, patient groups and settings. The work of the presenters on protocols for Borderline Personality Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, mixed personality disorders, chronic depression and complex trauma will be used as examples. Research on these protocols will be briefly summarized. The emphasis will be on participants being able to apply the method to their own patient groups and settings. Participants will work on a rough draft plan for their population and setting of interest in the workshop with presenter feedback. The emphasis is on program design not lecture.

This workshop is intended for: 

Intermediate (Participants have had at least basic Schema Therapy Training)

About the Presenters:

Joan Farrell

Joan Farrell, PhD, (with her partner Ida Shaw) has facilitated self-therapy groups for over 30 years leading to their book Experiencing Schema Therapy from the Inside Out: A Self-Practice/Self-Reflection Workbook for Therapists. Guilford Press, 2018.

She is an advanced level ISST Certified Trainer/Supervisor in individual & Group ST. She co-directs the Indianapolis Center of the Schema Therapy Institute Midwest, a training, research and practice center with ISST approved training programs in individual, Group and Child-Adolescent ST. She offers training nationally and in collaboration with ISST Training programs internationally – thirteen countries so far. She has published research articles, book chapters, a training DVD and three books on Schema Therapy. Group Schema Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder, Wiley 2012 and The Schema Therapy Clinician’s Guide: A Complete Resource for Building and Delivering Individual, Group and Integrated Schema Mode Treatment Programs, Wiley, 2014.

Joan is a licensed Clinical Psychologist, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of clinical psychology, at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and was a faculty member of the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM), in Psychiatry for 25 years. She is the Research Director of the Center for BPD Treatment & Research of the IUSM/Eskenazi Community Mental Health Center. She is an investigator on a number of international schema therapy outcome studies and was awarded a National Institute of Mental Health (USA) award for a randomized controlled trial of Group Schema Therapy. Joan is a member of the Executive Board of the ISST and the Coordinator for Training & Certification 2012-2018.

Heather Fretwell

Heather Fretwell, MD, graduated from psychiatric residency at the Indiana University School of Medicine in 2006.  Working with mentors Joan Farrell and Ida Shaw, developers of the group schema therapy model, she created an outpatient group schema therapy program for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), which currently treats over 150 patients with BPD.  She is Medical Director of the Center for BPD Treatment & Research at Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSOM), Eskenazi Health. Heather has worked her entire career in community mental health, specifically Midtown Mental Health at Eskenazi Health where she is the Area Chief for Outpatient Psychiatry. She also directs the Personality Disorder course for psychiatry residents at IUSOM, and is the 2018-19 President of the Indiana Psychiatric Society. As faculty of the Schema Therapy Institute Midwest-Indianapolis, her interests include expanding the knowledge and utilization of schema therapy in the US Midwest region.

Eelco Muste

Eelco Muste is a Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist and works ad interim from his own company (muste.nu) as a management adviser, trainer and interim Clinical Psychologist, currently at a general hospital as director of a day treatment program and as a trainer.

He is owner of the company Schematherapie in Bedrijf Schematherapie in Bedrijf for training, supervision and coaching. Since 1997 he works with Schema Therapy and is specialized in treating personality disorders in a variety of settings. Based on his clinical practice, he has written several articles and chapters on Schema Therapy and was the chief editor of the Handboek en Werkboek Klinische schematherapie. He runs several training programs and workshops and lectures in the field of Schema Therapy and was actively involved in the Dutch Register for Schema Therapists.Handboek en Werkboek Klinische schematherapie. He runs several training programs and workshops and lectures in the field of Schema Therapy and was actively involved in the Dutch Register for Schema Therapists.

For more information and contact see:



Rita Younan

Rita Younan is a clinical psychologist, director and founder of the Schema Therapy Institute Australia.  She is certified in both Individual and Group Schema Therapy and has an ISST-Approved accredited training program. In conjunction with Professors Joan Farrell and Ida Shaw, Rita implemented an inpatient and outpatient Group Schema Therapy Department at a private psychiatric hospital in Melbourne, Australia.  A feasibility study on the effectiveness of this treatment program was recently published in Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy. She works in private practice, using mostly schema therapy in both individual and group settings, and is involved in a number of research projects. In addition, Rita is also on the Group Certification Committee for ISST, along with the Quality Assurance Committee.

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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