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  • 09 Nov 2020
  • (UTC-03:00)
  • 10 Nov 2020
  • (UTC-03:00)
  • London


Two-day workshop: 9-10th November, 2020

The BPS, 30 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4UE, United Kingdom

with Dr Helen Startup and Janis Briedis, Applied Psychologists

Individuals who have endured prolonged and/or severe trauma, with origins in their younger lives, often struggle to get their needs met in adulthood. The profound relational and experiential consequences of trauma also interfere with the very processes that are usually relied upon to build safety in a therapeutic encounter. For example, where there has been relational trauma, there will be mistrust, which may manifest as a complete avoidance of true connection, or as intense attachment to the therapist (and oscillation between the two). As therapy progresses, the process of developing a shared formulation in the context of inter-personal mistrust, high levels of dissociation and an unintegrated sense of self (sometimes manifesting as ‘mode flipping’), can lead to bewilderment or disengagement if there is not a framework for naming and containing this. Furthermore, intervening where there are high levels of dissociation, pre-verbal trauma and strong reliance on avoidant styles of coping, can be difficult where therapists overly rely on cognitive and narrative based interventions.

During this workshop we present the schema therapy approach to working with individuals who have endured severe and prolonged trauma. The workshop will cover the following topics:

  • How to construct a shared and meaningful ‘schema mode formulation’ in the context of a highly fragmented sense of self
  • The rationale for pacing this work safely and effectively – ‘walking the tightrope’ of regulation potentially overwhelming affect while processing trauma effectively
  • A relational framework for using the therapy relationship for change where attachment has been severely disrupted
  • Strategies for working with hyper-arousal and hypo-arousal including dissociation by drawing on ideas from the polyvagal theory, sensorimotor psychotherapy and somatic experiencing  

Throughout the workshop we will present ways of augmenting the core change techniques of Schema Therapy – imagery, chair work, limited reparenting and empathic confrontation – by weaving in body focused techniques to directly address trauma reactions.  We will provide ample time for case discussion and for live practice.


Dr Helen Startup is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Senior Research Fellow with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.  She oversees personality disorder research for the trust and is a founder and co-director of the Sussex Parenting Clinic which is a recently commissioned service set up to support the parenting needs of adults who are seeking help for their own mental health difficulties.  Helen is an accredited CBT therapist and Schema Therapy Supervisor and Trainer, and is passionate about improving outcomes for those with complex mental health needs. 

Janis Briedis is a Counselling Psychologist and Schema Therapy Supervisor and Trainer, working in private practice in London and having worked in a complex case service in the NHS for over a decade. He is a trained CBT, EMDR, compassion-focussed and sensorimotor therapist working with complex cases. Janis has taught Schema Therapy, CBT, trauma-focussed approaches and mindfulness in the NHS as well as the academic setting, and is a visiting lecturer at a number of universities in the UK.

£345 for two-day workshop (£315 early bird rate before 9th October 2020)


For more details see: www.schematherapyschool.co.uk

Email: info@schematherapyschool.co.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 77 3493 1562 (Janis Briedis)

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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