Schema Therapy for Complex Trauma: An Experiential Skills Masterclass

16-17th May, 2024 (online)
(9.30am - 4.30pm UK time)

Janis Briedis and Dr Helen Startup, Consultant 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.

Training costs and to book

£290 for a two-day workshop.

Payment may be made by card or bank transfer. Please email us if your employer requires an invoice and/or if you wish to pay by bank transfer.

Add to cart



ISST Schema Therapy Society STS