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Schema Therapy Bulletin: How to Integrate Other Models with Schema Therapy.

21 Oct 2020 9:21 PM | Travis Atkinson

Read about some of the latest strategies to integrate other models into schema therapy, including: Mentalization-Based Treatment, EMDR, Polyvagal Theory, ACT, Internal Family Systems, EFT, DBT, Positive Psychology, and Comprehensive Resource Model. In addition, read part 3 of Working with Infant Modes, and an Interview with Jeff Conway. 
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We are delighted to bring you this latest edition of the Schema Therapy Bulletin (STB)"Integrating Concepts from Other Therapeutic Models with Schema Therapy."

Schema therapy is inherently an integrative model. It was developed by Dr. Jeffrey Young by integrating theory and techniques from a range of models, including psychodynamic, object-relations, cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal, Gestalt techniques, and more. This has provided us with a therapeutic approach informed by developmental and attachment theories and enriched by an amazing array of techniques across experiential, cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal realms.


In this ‘bumper issue’ of the STB, we have included ten articles that describe techniques and theoretical concepts from other therapeutic models that may enhance our understanding and practice for working with clients primarily with a schema therapy foundation.

Felicity Nichols in her article, “Holding Mind in Mind: Mentalization-Based Treatment and Schema Therapy,” explores how concepts from mentalization-based therapy (MBT) can be interwoven through schema therapy. Mentalization is a psychological process which allows us to make sense of behaviors through understanding our own thoughts and feelings. Felicity describes how a capacity for ‘good mentalizing’ can overlap with our understanding of Healthy Adult mode traits, and ways in which MBT may complement our work in schema therapy.   

Harriet Achtentuch in her article, “Integration of EMDR concepts and techniques in Schema Therapy,” explores eye movement desensitization reprocessing therapy (EMDR), and how it can complement schema therapy through strengthening the Healthy Adult mode and enhancing trauma processing.

Alp Karaosmanoglu and Bahar Kose Karaca in their article, “Reviewing Schema Therapy Concepts through the Frame of Polyvagal Theory,” explore ways in which polyvagal theory can enhance our conceptualization of schema coping modes. They describe ongoing research which is exploring ways in which our understanding of the workings of the nervous system enables us to understand mammalian coping mechanisms more deeply.

Eckhard Roediger and Rob Brockman present, “Integrating the functional ACT-processes into the Schema Therapy model." In this article they explore ways in which acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) processes can be integrated into schema therapy. They describe how ACT can help us to understand Healthy Adult functioning in greater depth, and how it can provide useful ideas regarding how to strengthen this mode. They also describe ways in which ACT can enable us as therapists to stay out of our own coping modes and take a flexible approach in order to facilitate client autonomy. 

Lissa Parsonnet and Robin Spiro share their article on, "Integration of ideas and concepts from Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) with Schema Therapy." They highlight ways in which IFS works with ‘parts’ (equivalent to modes in schema therapy terms), and provide some fascinating insights into working creatively with strong affect in Imagery Rescripting.

Agnes Sullivan presents,"Integration of Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) Skills into Schema Therapy." She describes how an understanding of the EFT model can enhance ways in which schema therapists conceptualize and apply limited reparenting and attunement. A case study is provided which brings these ideas to life, showing how bonding and stabilization in schema therapy can be augmented by EFT techniques.

Chris Hepworth presents, “Methods To Manage Emotions – DBT and Emotional Regulation Skills in a Schema Therapy Framework." In this article, he shows why it can be helpful to teach clients skills in emotional regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal skills, and mindfulness in the context of schema therapy, on the basis of their individual conceptualization and unmet emotional needs. He provides guidance on specific skills which can be taught to clients to facilitate Healthy Adult coping within a schema therapy context.

Limor Navot writes, “Looking at the Bright Side: the Healthy Adult Strengths Model," focused on integrating positive psychology with schema therapy. She describes a new model of the Healthy Adult (Bernstein, in preparation) based on the concept of the healthy part of the personality as an adaptive system designed to fulfill universal life tasks, including identity, attachment and negotiating social hierarchies. She illustrates how positive psychology and a strengths approach can enhance our understanding of Healthy Adult functioning in schema therapy.

Janis Briedis and Susan Simpson present, “Integration of Schema Therapy and Comprehensive Resource Model – Expanding Ways of Working with Highly Traumatized and Dissociated Clients.” They describe how the comprehensive resource model (CRM) trauma processing approach can enhance the client’s capacity to remain embodied during trauma processing. Further they suggest that CRM provides powerful mechanisms for enhancing growth of the Healthy Adult self.  They provide case studies, illustrating ways in which CRM can enhance experiential schema therapy work both in individual and group contexts. 

Galit Galid presents a third part in her series on working with Infant Modes (see previous editions of the STB for Parts 1 and 2). In part 3, she draws on the psychoanalytic infant research of  Daniel Stern to deepen our understanding of the universal needs and common deficits of infants. Galit also shares the unique way that experiences are registered at this age which may be later manifested in adult therapy. 

And… don’t miss Vivian Francesco’s interview with ISST's Training Coordinator, Jeff Conway, who serves on the Executive Board.

As always, if you have suggestions for future newsletter topics, or ideas of articles you’d like to submit please contact us.

Susan Simpson (Scotland), Lissa Parsonnet (USA), Pam Pilkington (Australia), Tena Davies (Australia)

The Schema Therapy Bulletin is available to all active ISST Members enrolled on the ISST website.

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