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The Schema Therapy Bulletin

The Official Publication of the 

International Society of Schema Therapy

Meet the isst board

Interview with chris hayes by vivian FRANCeSCO

As I interviewed Chris Hayes via Skype, his two little ones came peaking in at various intervals and Chris gently shepherded them out! (a stellar example of “Empathic Confrontation”)

1.What role do you play on the ISST board? What made you want to accept that role?

I am Board Secretary of the ISST and I have been on the Board since 2014.

 I sought to be on the ISST Board because I am passionate about helping members get more out of their membership. I believe that there is great potential for more professional support and exchange of ideas between members. The Schema Therapy Bulletin is an example of such efforts!

The Board is beginning to create many opportunities for members to communicate with each other and learn what is happening currently in the expansive Schema Community. Bringing members together and providing support is profoundly important to me!

2.How did you first learn about Schema Therapy?

I initially learned  about ST in my clinical psychology training. At one of my placements, an old supervisor had been using the Schema model in a trauma treatment program for armed forces veterans. It made a great deal of sense to me and (not unlike many of us who use the model) it felt intuitively “right” with how I saw myself  practicing therapy.

3. What were you doing (professionally) before you heard about Schema Therapy? (position/job/population/practice style or therapeutic model)

Prior to and during my clinical training, I was working with a lot of young people with emerging  personality disordered presentations as well as clients with substance abuse problems. I tended to gravitate toward clients who were fairly complex, disorganized and difficult to engage. 

Before becoming familiar with   Schema Therapy, I primarily adhered to a CBT based approach.

I found the emotionally focused and “ limited  re-parenting”  styles  of the model to be the key elements that brought about change. However I still liked the structure and conceptualization style of CBT.

4.​ How did you get your training in Schema Therapy​

I moved overseas to London for nine years (as many Australians do). I was already very interested in Schema Therapy when Jeff Young announced  that he had established  a training   program at his Center in New York. I was accepted into the program and I then travelled to NYC several times. This is something you can't do when you live in Perth, Australia as it is a 30 hour flight!

5. In your clinical work how do you use Schema Therapy? -How did you first get into Schema Therapy?           

I work part time at a specialist government service that treats adults who have been sexually assaulted or have experienced childhood sexual abuse. Schema Therapy and EMDR are currently my main treatment modalities here and often I will combine these approaches. At this service we are currently involved with an international randomised control trial comparing Imagery re-scripting as a stand - alone trauma treatment with EMDR for the treatment of childhood trauma (under Arnoud  Arntz).  I also do a great amount of training in Schema Therapy (around 10 workshops a year) throughout Australia and I supervise several clinicians who are working at accreditation.

6. How has Schema Therapy changed your practice?

Schema therapy has massively changed my practice. The concept of modes has really helped me to keep compassionate and grounded when coping modes are “kicking in” and underneath it all there is a “vulnerable   little child”!

I do like complex and challenging clients and working In this model seems to benefit them greatly! .I like being “real” as a therapist and this fits so well with limited re-parenting. The model has definitely allowed me to be more open in therapy rather than hiding behind a stiff clinical role!

7. What do you see in the future for the evolution of Schama Therapy and the ISST?

I think a promising direction would be to further explore neurobiological links to schema and mode development (for example EMDR, Poly Vagal theory, ETC).  The "trauma" research community and the Schema community could really benefit from more integration of ideas. It has been interesting looking at how interpersonal neurobiological ideas by Dan Siegel seem to fit so well with the ST model

8. How do you enjoy spending your time when you're not doing schema therapy?

I have a family with 2 children under age 5 who keep me very, very busy!! I love music and I used to play In a local Perth band so I like seeing live music. I enjoy listening to new music and I virtually “digest” albums!  I like buying a new album and listening to it endlessly!

9. How do you get into your "happy child mode"? 

This is like asking a comedian to be funny on the spot! Actually, I like being  in ”happy child mode” and I feel fairly comfortable having this side of me come out! My wife and my children are great at helping me! I love playing games with my kids and practical jokes shared with them and also with my colleagues at work seem to get me in my mode

10. Are there any special wishes or hopes you have for your future years of practicing Schema Therapy? 

In terms of the ISST community, I do hope we continue to grow and support each other. It has been good seeing the listserv frequented more over the last 12 months. I am hoping others will become more confident in sharing their expertise with the rest of the Schema Community.

Personally, Remco Van Der Wijngaart and Susan Simpson are looking more deeply into ways to improve the “art” of imagery re-scripting and overcoming the problems that therapists face when using it. We are just about to record a DVD focusing entirely on imagery re-scripting. It should be available by the middle of 2016.


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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