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05 Oct 2019 12:28 AM | Travis Atkinson (Administrator)

ENLIGHT 2019 premiered in the beautiful city of Edinburgh from May 1st through the 3rd. The sold-out venue at the Royal College of Physicians in the heart of the historic Old City was the sight where participants from around the world gathered for three days of intensive, all-day workshops from some of the leading experts in schema therapy.

We are happy to share the Featured Presentation at ENLIGHT 2019, presented by the Founder and Creator of Schema Therapy, Jeff Young, titled, "The Interplay Between Schemas and Modes for Lasting Results."

Jeff discussed the challenges many therapists face when struggling to balance between a focus in treatment on schemas relative to modes. The end result of a sometimes fragmented approach between the two concepts can lead to incomplete treatment outcomes that may not fully realize both emotional and behavioral change in patients.  

When therapists solely focuses on schemas to treat a patient, they may underutilize the effectiveness of mode work to break life patterns and to create behavioral changes. Similarly, therapists who practice a singular focus on mode work may limit the full impact targeting schemas can have to help a patient create deep emotional changes.

Jeff clarified on a conceptual level how schemas and modes can work together simultaneously to create both emotional and behavioral change. Originally, the shema and mode concepts were not developed to be separate approaches to treatment, but rather to be addressed at the same time. He demonstrated how to change schemas at a deep level within the context of working with modes.

Additionally, some schemas are not addressed in mode work, so an effective schema therapist may best meet the needs of a patient’s schemas by flexibly stepping out of mode work when appropriate to target specific schemas. Effective schema therapy also encourages therapists to tailor their treatment approach to focus intensely on an individual’s schemas when the need arises.

The skilled schema therapist is also adept at shifting from a schema focus to a mode focus, flexibly, depending on the particular needs and life situation of a patient. One example would be when therapists are working with patients experiencing Borderline Personality Disorder who may need to have their schemas addressed in the beginning stages of treatment, followed by a shift to target modes as the therapy continues.

Jeff explained how to determine when to focus more on schemas or modes, or to use both concepts simultaneously depending on the stage of therapy and the life situations patients are facing.

Ultimately, effective schema therapists can flexibly use the interplay between schemas and modes to help patients create both deep rooted emotional shifts and change chronic behavioral patterns to achieve optimal and lasting results.


We were thrilled to have Jeff Young as our Featured Speaker during the opening day of ENLIGHT 2019. In his clear and concise way, Jeff presented concepts about schemas and modes that can benefit all therapists who practice schema therapy. We are very grateful to Jeff for graciously granting us permission to share both his slides and our digital recording of his Featured Presentation. 

Active ISST Members enrolled on the website can view Jeff's Featured Presentation by tapping the "Watch Now" button below. 



Read about training program offers from Sponsors of ENLIGHT 2019, including:
  • Schema Therapy Academy in IbizaVISIT
  • Schema Therapy School in LondonVISIT
  • Wainer Psicologia Cognitiva Schema Therapy Training Program in BrazilVISIT
  • Schema Therapy Training Center of New YorkVISIT
  • Schema Therapy Associates in London: VISIT
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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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