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Conference Day 2: Early Afternoon Selections 2:30 - 4:00

"mode work with picture cards" 

 WORKSHOP BY peter graaf


In therapy with children, adolescents and adults, using picture cards is a good way to display modes. Patients can identify themselves with pictures of various characters. The participants will get to know a special technique of mode work and try out creative ways of using these cards - and imagery. This technique complements the classic schema therapeutic practices (chair work, imagination) and facilitates case design/ case conception with and for patients. 


The therapist encourages the patient to recognize the different aspects of his personality with the help of the picture cards ("Which types fit to you?"). The selected characters are then explored in more detail. They are given titles (e.g. ”The bragger”). Special attention is paid to the vulnerable child ("What does the lonely „Fritz“ need, so he gets and feels better?"). In addition, the function of certain parts is explored in further depth ("Where does this mode come from? Why is it useful? What are its disadvantages?"). The therapist reinforces positive and competent parts ("What could the healthy adult do?") and encourages the patient aim at a better satisfaction of needs in everyday life. Then, in a following chair work session the patient tries implementing these parts in concrete life situations. To remind him/ her of the positive overcoming and accomplishment the patient will get copies of the mode cards to take home with him/her.

Teaching methods: video recordings, life-demonstration, exercise in role play. Participants are supplied with a set of cards so they are able to gather some experience by their own.

Mode cards in two sets with 56 cards each:
  • to activate and explore emotions
  • for taking low-threshold first steps into mode work 
  • as a stimulus for behavioral change and getting started with mode role plays
  • as small memos to take with you in every day life

  • 2013: Loose, Graaf & Zarbock (2013) - Schematherapie mit Kindern und Jugendlichen. Weinheim: Beltz
  • 2014: Picture-Cards for Modework with Children and Adults - Graaf (2014) Schematherapie met Kindern, Jugendlichen und Erwachsenen. Weinheim: Beltz 
  • 2016: Graaf (2016) Schematherapie mit Bedürfnissen, Emotionen und Modi arbeiten. Weinheim: Beltz

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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