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Improving Healthy Modes

by Barbara Basile, Alessandra Manchini, Olga Ines Luppino, Eckhard Roediger, and Raffaella Calzoni

General Abstract

This Symposium aims to deepen the knowledge of the Healthy Modes (i.e. Healthy Adult and Child Mode), integrating theoretical, empirical and experiential contributions. Literature has shown across the years that the presence of a higher amount of Early Maladaptive Schemas (EMSs) predicts higher levels of psychopathology and lower levels of well-being and life satisfaction. However, the relation between specific schema domains and healthy aspects of personality remains less explored. Which schemas, belonging to which domains predict the underdevelopment of healthy modes? Which variables mediate such relation? The answers raise questions of considerable interest both from a theoretical and a practical perspective. By the use of clinical vignettes and practical experiential examples will be shown how to connect therapist’s and patient’s healthy parts in order to strengthen the therapeutic relationship. Finally, we will provide possible strategies and useful techniques specifically directed at strengthening the Healthy Modes, which is the ultimate goal of any ST intervention.


Presentation 1

Title: What prevents us from being Healthy? Exploring the relation between early maladaptive schemas and the underdeveloped Healthy Adult Mode

Presenter Name: Alessandra Mancini 

Early Maladaptive Schemas (EMSs) have been found to be positively related to a number of psychopathological states, such as depression (Renner et al., 2012; Basile et al., 2018), anxiety disorders (Hawke & Provencher, 2011; Basile et al., 2017), personality disorders (Bamelis, et al., 2014; GiesenBloo et al., 2006) and at the same time lower life satisfaction and well-being (Sahraee et al., 2011). A recent study provided evidences that the relation between EMSs belonging to the disconnection/rejection domain and psychopathology is mediated by emotional dysregulation (Yukin et al., 2019). Importantly, emotion regulation has been described as the ability to resist to be carried away by strong emotions and responding appropriately given the situation (Gratz & Roemer, 2004; Koole, 2009). Under a conceptual point of view, this ability can be looked as part of the Healthy Adult construct. However, the relation between specific schema domains and the Healthy Adult Mode (HA) has been less explored in literature. Through mediation and regression analysis, this study aims at assessing the relation between early maladaptive schemas and the HA mode. We will therefore present preliminary data collected in in both a clinical and a non-clinical sample.

Presentation 2

Title: "Who turned off the light in the playroom?" Considerations about the Happy Child Mode in terms of EMS 

Presenter Name: Olga Ines Luppino 

A large amount of data has suggested multiple pathways by which parenting can influence child wellbeing including socio-relational, psychological and socio-economic variables (Loton & Waters, 2017; Stafford et al., 2016) and confirmed the effect of parental stress, depression and family interaction on children’s subjective happiness (Kang et al., 2017).

Clinical practice confronts us daily with Vulnerable Children buried under the weight of rules, prohibitions, problems belonging to adult’s world and far from the free and creative atmosphere typically characterizing the "playroom" of a Happy Child.

Who turned off the light? Where don’t you see the colors?
It’s known that EMSs are formed when fundamental emotional needs are violated.
EMSs have been found to be positively related to a large number of psychopathological states (Yakin et al., 2019) and other research has documented a relation between EMSs and a wide range of variables like lower satisfaction with life (Sahraee et al., 2011). However, research on how EMSs contribute to the onset and development of such unhappiness, and which factors may be mediating this relation, is scarce.
Through mediation and regression analysis, the present work tries to shed light upon the relation between parenting styles, early maladaptive patterns and Happy Child Mode.
We will therefore present preliminary data collected in in both a clinical and a non-clinical sample.

Presentation 3

Title: How does the Healthy Adult mode really work? 

Presenter's Name: Eckhard Roediger

Everybody talks about the importance of the Healthy Adult mode for making progress in Schema therapy. But besides general remarks frequently details about HOW the Healthy Adult actually functions in detail are lacking. The 6 functional processes and the 3 styles of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy add a lot to the table. This presentation introduces into how to make use of these techniques within a limited reparenting therapy relationship, the mode changing process and balancing change and acceptance.

Reference: Roediger, E., Stevens, B., & Brockman, R. (2018). Contextual Schema Therapy: An Integrative Approach to Personality Disorders, Emotional Dysregulation, and Interpersonal Functioning. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Presentation 4

Title: How „Impact Techniques“ implement Health Adult and Happy Child modes. “Playing” in the therapeutic Relationship 

Presenter's Name: Raffaella Calzoni 

“Impact techniques” consist in a variety of experiential and appealing interventions which demonstrate concepts and models to the patients and support them during the process of change. In schema therapy, these techniques can be used effectively to illustrate pictorially the mode-model and the mode-change as well as to initiate and deepen change processes.

These techniques can be applied to implement the healthy adult and the child in a playful and creative way. The aim of the therapeutic relationship is not only to fulfil attachment needs, the need for autonomy and, if necessary, for limit-setting, but also the need for play, spontaneity and creativity.

This presentation will provide a small foretaste of these techniques within a playful, limited-reparenting therapeutic relationship.

This Skill Class is intended for: 


About the Presenters:

Barbara Basile:

Barbara Basile, PhD in Neuropsychology, Psychologist/ CBT Psychotherapist, Trainer and Supervisor in Schema Therapy at the Institute “Dialogo in Schema Therapy”, Frankfurt (Germany).Teaching at the School of Cognitive Psychotherapy (SPC) and Cognitive Psychology Association (APC) in Italy. Wrote book chapters on OCD, ED, depression and trauma. Author of many scientific publications on Schema Therapy, Emotional Processing, and Neuroimaging in OCD and other psychopathological conditions

Alessandra Manchini: 

Psychologist, CBT Psychotherapist, Ph.D. in social and cognitive neuroscience. Since 2013 working in a private praxis in Italian and English in Berlin-Germany and teaching at School of Cognitive Psychotherapy (SPC) and Cognitive Psychological Association (APC) in Rome-Italy. Member of the of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Verhaltenstherapie (DGVT) and of the Società Italiana di Terapia Comportamentale e Cognitiva (SITCC). Trainer and Supervisor in Schema Therapy (International Society of Schema Therapy, ISST).

Olga Ines Luppino: 

Psychologist, CBT psychotherapist, forensic psychologist, trainer and supervisor in Schema Therapy. Since 2012 working in Private Practice and teaching at School of Cognitive Psychotherapy (SPC) and Cognitive Psychological Association (APC) in Rome-Italy.Author of book chapters and scientific publications on Schema Therapy, OCD and other psychopathological conditions

Eckhard Roediger:

coming soon

Raffaella Calzoni:

coming soon

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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