Schema Therapy is an integrative approach drawing on CBT, gestalt, psychodynamic and interpersonal therapeutic models, which places significant emphasis on the therapeutic relationship, emotional experience, and early life experiences. Often practitioners and clients embarking on Schema Therapy, opt for the intimacy of individual therapy, with its powerful focus on the therapy relationship. Nevertheless, many practitioners face obstacles in seeing Schema Therapy accepted unless limited goals are set so that Schema Therapy fits with brief treatment programmes.
Farrell and Shaw developed a format for delivering Schema Therapy in a group setting that has been shown to be highly effective on its own, and in combination with individual Schema Therapy. Indeed, the data seems to suggest that in some situations, Schema Therapy can work more swiftly in a group or when group therapy is added to treatment, than individual therapy alone. Groups, in their nature of being like a family, can provide a strong re-parenting vehicle to effect change in individuals with personality disorders. The group process seems to catalyse some aspects of the change process that may be slower in individual work. The intense emotional activation that is necessary for change in Schema Therapy, takes place readily in a group setting. Indeed, Group Schema Therapy treatment for drug and alcohol and other addictions is extremely effective as groups disinhibit affect, creating strong motivation for behaviour change and the strengthening of the Healthy Adult mode. Another variable directly impacting the success of treatment of personality disorders is client drop out – again, the outcomes with group Schema Therapy, is most gratifying, with drop out rates far below other group treatment approaches.
Standard Certification Training in Group Schema Therapy (GST) will include the following modules:
Module 1: Introduction to the GST model, preparing patients for group, establishing safety and connection, co-therapist limited reparenting learning the dance and signals, facilitating corrective emotional experiences, holding the frame, balancing the structure with matching patient modes in the ‘here and now’, schema education in group, mode conceptualisations. (4 didactic hours and 2 role-play hours
Module 2: Group interventions for Maladaptive Coping modes and Healthy Adult Mode, Mode awareness and management, getting through Detached Protector Mode, empathic confrontation and limit setting for OC modes, group mode dialogues and role plays, Healthy Adult Mode, facilitating the experience of competence and self-awareness. (3 didactic hours and 3 role play hours)
Module 3: Group interventions for the Child Modes and Good Parent, healing VC and channeling anger of AC, limiting IC, group imagery work, anger expression/release in group and play, banishing PP and moderating DC with Good Parent component of Healthy Adult. (3 didactic hours and 3 role play hours)
Module 4: Self therapy in group – participant opportunities to experience GST interventions themselves and practice taking the leader role with trainer coaching and feedback. (2 didactic hours and 4 role play hours)
Please note : Additional supervision and final tape rating is required and can be obtained from the two trainers at an additional fee.
Agnes Sullivan is an ISST Approved Supervisor & Trainer in Schema Therapy and Group Schema Therapy, running an ISST Approved Training & Certification Program in Schema Therapy in London.
She was trained in Schema Therapy by Dr. Jeffrey Young, the founder of Schema Therapy, and by Joan Farrell and Ida Shaw, the founders of Group Schema Therapy. She has been working with complex client cases using Schema Therapy, and training / supervising clinicians in Schema Therapy for over a decade.
If you’re currently enrolled in this course, you can find training materials here.