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Schema Therapy with Trauma

by Patricia Escudero Rotman & Chris Hayes


Schema Therapy was not originally created to help patients with acute crisis and/or recent trauma (Young, 2004). However, clinical experience has shown that the model can also be helpful in these situations. All four traditional strategies (cognitive, experiencial, limited reparenting and behavioral) can be effectively used, if tailored to the presenting challenging clinical issue. Two case studies describing specific interventions with adult recently traumatized patients will illustrate how Schema Therapy can be successfully used.

Expected Points of Discussion: 

  1.   Review of effective treatments for Recent Adult Trauma

  2.   Schema Therapy's Clinical Interventions

  3.   Frequent Challenges when working with these patients

About the Presenters:

Patricia Escudero Rotman

Dr. Patricia Escudero Rotman has been in practice for more than 25 years, both in the United States (mostly in New York City) and Argentina. She is a Clinical Psychologist licensed in Argentina, with a PhD. in Health and Human Services (specialization in Psychology) along with a New York License in Social Work. Dr. Rotman is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. As a member of the faculty, she created the Schema Therapy class for third and fourth year residents. Patricia began her Schema Therapy training in 2004 in New York City with Dr. Jeffrey Young, Wendy Behary, Joan Farrell, Ida Shaw and Scott Kellogg. When living in New York City, she participated in a weekly peer supervision group (that included Jeff Conway, Marsha Blank, Travis Atkinson, Scott Kellogg and Janet Klosko) which further refined her Schema Therapy clinical skills. Her active participation in the Schema Therapy Community allows her to continue learning from experts such as Wendy Behary and Joan Farrell.  Her clinical experience related to acute trauma includes working in a triage clinic in the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy, assisting victims of Hurricane Andrew in Miami, helping family members  and mental health professionals who have been impacted by suicide.  She co-founded the ISST Trauma SIG and has been coordinating this group since 2016. She has training in a number of therapeutic approaches (e.g., DBT, Compassion Focused Therapy, Psychodynamic therapies) but has specialized in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Schema Therapy.  She has made several presentations about trauma both in ISST conferences and in international webinars. After living in the US for 23 years, Dr. Escudero Rotman moved back to Argentina in 2015 where she developed and directed an official Schema Therapy training program in Buenos Aires. She has given many Schema Therapy presentations to professional associations in Latin America (e.g., Association of Argentinean Psychiatry and the Argentinean Medical Association). Her areas of expertise include acute and complex trauma, migration, multicultural issues, and integrating different therapeutic approaches with the Schema Therapy model.   

Patricia has the honor of being a supervisor with the New Jersey, New York and Washington DC Schema Therapy Centers directed by Wendy Behary and Dr. Jeffrey Young. She enjoys doing therapy (mostly online), clinical supervision, leading workshops, directing the Argentinean-American Schema Therapy Institute, and collaborating and learning from colleagues. Her international orientation and fluency in four languages (English, Spanish, French and Italian) enable her to extend the availability of her knowledge and skills as a trainer, supervisor and clinician. Based on her clinical experience, Patricia believes that our Schema Therapy model can help individuals with acute trauma. It is her hope that more schema therapists, both clinicians and researchers, will develop an interest in this field in order to expand our knowledge and effectiveness in treating these patients. 

Chris Hayes

Chris is a Clinical Psychologist and Advanced Schema Therapist based in Perth, Western Australia. He has had extensive experience in both government and private settings working with clients with complex psychological presentations. Since 2005, he has been practicing as an advanced Schema Therapist, supervisor and trainer having completed certification in Schema Therapy at the Schema Therapy Institute in New York City (USA) with Dr Jeffery Young. He is the Director of Schema Therapy Training Australia and presented workshops throughout Europe, Asia and Australasia. 
In addition to the provision of Schema Therapy training and supervision, he is currently employed with the Health Department of Western Australia as a Senior Clinical Psychologist (within a specialist service working with those who have experienced recent or childhood sexual trauma). 

He has co-produced 2 DVD/ video releases "Fine Tuning Imagery Rescripting" and “Fine Tuning Chair Work in Schema Therapy", both of which are highly recommended (and the 1st of their kind internationally).  He has previously served as Secretary of the Board for the International Society of Schema therapy (ISST).

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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