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Round Table Discussion 3: Day 2 4.15 PM - 5.45 PM

Emotional focused experiential work

via video conferencing

by Xi Liu, Aspasia Nika, Hagara Feldman, Josh Kates, Mary Giuffra, and Vivian Francesco

Chair: Xi Liu

Online therapy has garnered increasing attention in recent years. The technology available for using video conferencing in online therapy has vastly improved, allowing for more secure and stable communication. However, the ability to deliver emotion focused therapy across technological application environments is sometimes met with skepticism.

When done well, therapy using video conferencing can even enhance therapeutic alliance and attain optimal attunement. There are many components specific to the technological environment that the therapist can utilize. These components must be understood and used wisely in order to create a safe and intimate environment.

This roundtable discussion will focus on both the clinical and technical aspects of delivering schema therapy via a virtual online environment. We will discuss technical aspects that set the foundation such as secure technological platforms, lighting and camera work to create a sense of self, space and “perspective” online. Patient cases will be used to illustrate how strategies such as chair work, imagery rescripting and other emotion focused strategies can be incorporated into video conferencing.


Dr Xi Liu is an accredited schema trainer/supervisor and advanced ISST schema therapist. She trained as a Clinical Psychologist in Sydney Australia where she completed her research doctorate at the Emotional Health Clinic, Macquarie University, specialising in anxiety disorders. When she moved to New York City in 2014, she started her private practice, LifeTherapy.org, where she specialised with creative, multicultural and LGBT patients. She regularly provides therapy to staff deployed with Doctors without Borders (MSF). Xi has an interest in technology and has worked in User Interface Design, was involved with the NYC CBT Technology committee and built websites for private practice in Australia and USA. She is the Chair of the Online Schema Therapy Special Interest Group. She is now located in Barcelona, Spain. - www.lifetherapy.org -


Aspasia Nika is a graduate of the Department of Psychology, Panteion University, Athens. Since 2009, she is occupied in Athens Alzheimers’ Association in the fields of psychotherapy for caregivers of people with dementia and neuropsychological assessment of elderly. She is a certified Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist, carrying out group and individual cognitive behavioural

therapy of depression and anxiety disorders. Aspasia is an Advanced Certified Schema Therapist in private practice and has experience in online Schema Therapy. In 2015 she participated as individual schema therapist of the Athens-Greek site (representative Dr Ioannis Malogiannis, MD) at the 1st Department of Psychiatry, Medical School of the University of Athens, Eginition Hospital, for the clinical study RCT of Group Schema Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder.. She is also a member of the Greek Society of Schema Therapy.

Hagara Feldman is an accredited Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) specialist and an Advanced Schema Therapist and Supervisor. Since 2009 she has been practicing schema therapy and has received the ISST certification in 2013. Over time schema therapy became the solid foundation of her therapeutic practice, integrating with CBT and with some ideas and interventions from additional experiential focus therapies (EFT, AEDP).

She has practiced CBT in both the public and the private sectors, in mental health and in bariatric services. Since 2007 she has been providing therapy in her private practice based in Kfar-Saba, Israel. She specializes in Axis I disorders, personality disorders, work with holocaust survivors and LGBT related issues. Hagara supervises clinicians and students from varied training programs for Schema Therapy and CBT in Israel. She has extensive experience with a wide range of patients from different cultures, in and outside of Israel (on-line).

Josh Kates is an ISST certified advanced schema therapist and trainer/supervisor. The primary focus of his work is with adults challenged with anxiety, depression and personality disorders. His practice also encompasses extensive work with couples. Josh was a pioneer in online therapy and in 1999 and 2000 his work was featured in two in-depth CNN stories on distance therapy. Josh is experienced with both therapy and supervision using synchronous and asynchronous teletherapy using several technology applications. Josh is the author of dozens of articles previously featured in Parents Guide magazine and other online resources. He maintains several websites including his primary site, www.joshkates.com.

Mary Giuffra has a PhD from New York University where she served as a full-time tenured professor. She specialized in family dynamics, child development and outcomes of trauma and illness on families. Mary was a consultant to several universities in the United States. A psychotherapist for 41 years, curiosity and a desire for excellence led her to explore various clinical modalities. She served as supervisor and faculty of several training institutes, including Bowen's Family Systems, Core Energetics, Somatic Experiencing Trauma Work and Addictions. She is certified as an Advanced level Schema Therapist and a Schema Therapy Trainer/Supervisor and is also certified as Advanced level Schema Therapy Couples Therapist and Supervisor/Trainer.

Mary has published numerous articles and book chapters on couple and family dynamics, child and adolescent development, along with the impact of trauma and illness on development.  She is currently on the ST-C Education and Work Groups, the ST Trauma Group and the Online Therapy Group. She has been exploring online therapy for several years.

Vivian Francesco is an Advanced Schema therapist and supervisor with many years experience. She has studied with Dr. Jeffrey Young and continues to work closely with him. Vivian specializes in treating adolescents, young adults and couples who are experiencing difficulties in relationships as well as creating a warm and “reparenting” environment for individuals struggling with anxiety and depression and various personality disorders. In Vivian’s online therapy sessions, she utilizes her creative background in graphic design and photography to create an intimate and interesting therapy environment with maximum visual opportunity to relax and concentrate on the therapeutic process. 

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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