Log in

JUNE 24 - 26, 2021 / WORLDWIDE




SEGMENT 5: 2.45 - 3.45


Interpersonal Neurobiology and the Virtual Connection 

with George Lockwood, Rita Younan, Sara Caprini, Samantha Flores and Suzy Redston

Virtual connection as a means of dealing with social distancing has always been central to Limited Reparenting. Once found and bonded with, the child within our adult patients usually longs for more time and responsiveness than is possible, resulting in an inevitable experience of  a social gap built into the process. Rather than the typical emphasis on setting limits on these needs, limited Reparenting involves leaning more in the direction of finding and developing ways to extend ourselves beyond these limits by one form or another of virtual connection.

In this way Schema Therapy, perhaps more than most other therapies, has a long history of addressing social distancing by means of virtual connection during challenging times. Limited reparenting usually leads to the therapeutic attachment taking on an importance and depth over time. When bigger forms of social distancing arise, such as a therapist or patient needing to move, this has made it more likely that both therapist and patient will be motivated to find a way to continue the relationship.

This has taken Schema Therapy further in the direction of developing processes that allow for forging and nurturing secure attachments via virtual connection.These influences have led to a range of tools and strategies and an accompanying theoretical framework that we see as based on the notion of transitional objects, space and processes. 

In this webinar we will draw on 25 years of experience with virtual connections in the context of limited reparenting, initially using phone and transitional objects and then adding email, text and video. This has transpired in the midst of cross country moves and, over the past year, into the phase of near exclusive virtual connection.

We will discuss some of what we have learned in terms of what has been gained, what has been lost, what has remained unchanged, which patients are not able to adapt to this format and why, how best to integrate virtual with actual, how to best leverage the plasticity that comes with virtual and how best to minimize the risks.  An overview will be provided of how virtual connection has allowed for more systemic leverage by enabling a flexible integration of individual, couples, family and extended family therapy.  Particular attention will be paid to working with BPD and complex PTSD.

We will outline the above mentioned tools, strategies and theoretical frame and discuss how our understanding of the findings emerging out of the fields of attachment theory and interpersonal neurobiology have informed our efforts. This includes what is being discovered about the pivotal role of right to right hemisphere interactions and the impact that differential susceptibility (i.e. being more or less highly sensitive) has on working virtually. 

About the Presenters

George Lockwood

George Lockwood has been in full time private practice for the past 38 years, 26 of which have been focused on the practice of Schema Therapy.  He is a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cognitive therapy under the supervision of Aaron T. Beck in 1982 where he first met Jeffery Young as a clinical supervisor.  He then pursued training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and object-relations approaches.  His interest was in using insights from these approaches to deepen and broaden the range of effectiveness of CBT and he became one of the main collaborators with Jeffery Young in the development of Schema Therapy. This relationship has spanned several decades. George and Jeff’s  first professional collaboration began in 1986, pre-Schema Therapy, when they both set up a meeting with Albert Ellis at his Institute in New York City.  George posed questions to both Al and Jeff to explore the similarities and differences between Rational Emotive Therapy and Cognitive Therapy. The resulting publication (Ellis, Young, & Lockwood, 1987) received wide circulation in graduate programs in the U.S.A. due to its highlighting major differences between what had been considered highly overlapping approaches (see list of publications below).  In 1992, George and Jeff edited a special issue of the Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy on personality disorders which included the first published article on schema therapy by Jeff (with Michael Lindemann) and an article by George examining the integration of psychoanalytic approaches into cognitive therapy (Lockwood, 1992; Lockwood and Young, 1992; Young & Lindemann, 1992).

George is an ISST certified Supervisor and Trainer and has provided training in Schema Therapy beginning in 1996 in California and from 2000 to the present through the Schema Therapy Institute Midwest, of which he is the director.

He attended the conference in Coimbra, Portugal, where the International Society of Schema Therapy ISST was founded and served on the first executive board as Public Affairs Coordinator.  He was elected to that position for a further two terms (6 years in all). He has regularly presented at all the ISST conferences from Coimbra (2008) to Amsterdam (2018), giving workshops and participating in symposia and panel discussions. These have addressed a range of important topics including how to work with challenging clients who don’t respond to the regular approach we usually start with in schema therapy; the integration of an understanding of child and adult temperament in the role of attachment; the catalyzing role of  play and the amplification of positive affect in producing change; the development of positive and negative schemas, and using an understanding of these in informing and leveraging therapeutic change.

He has continued to be active in research and publishing and has guided and participated in important theoretical and clinical expansions of the schema therapy model. He has elaborated the construct of positive schemas, and has contributed to the development and validation of the Young Positive Schema Questionnaire.  He has also worked on the conceptualization of the construct of positive parenting patterns, the development and validation of the Positive Parenting Schema Inventory and a major revision and validation of the Young Parenting Inventory.  His account of seven positive reparenting patterns serve as a valuable touchstone for therapists offering limited reparenting to clients and are presented in a recently published book chapter (Lockwood & Samson, 2020).

Rita Younan

Dr Younan is the director and founder of the Schema Therapy Institute Australia.  Dr Younan works both in Individual and Group Schema Therapy and was the Director of The Schema Therapy Department at The Victoria Clinic, a private psychiatric hospital in Melbourne, Australia.  In collaborating with the founders of Group Schema Therapy, Professor Joan Farrell & Ms Ida Shaw, Dr Younan developed an intensive 4-week inpatient program in Group Schema Therapy for Complex Trauma and subsequent outpatient program.

Dr Younan has been provided with permission to empirically assess the feasibility and efficacy of this treatment program and recently presented the data as part of a Schema Therapy Panel at the 8th World Congress of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies.  Dr Younan was invited to present this data in Vienna, Austria at the International Conference for Schema Therapy as part of a panel devoted to Group Schema Therapy.

Dr. Younan is a member of the executive board for the International Society of Schema Therapy and holds the position of Training Co-Ordinator; she is also a member of the Group Certification Committee and the Training and Certification Advisory Board for Schema Therapy.

Dr Younan is a clinical supervisor/teacher for Australian Catholic University at the Post-Graduate level and a research consultant with a number of tertiary institutions studying the effectiveness of Schema Therapy across various clinical applications.

Sara Caprini

Sara lives in Stockholm works as psychiatrist in a specialized unit for personality disorders (Mottagning för personlighetssyndrom), Stockholms Region. She completed her residency in psychiatry in Bologna, Italy, where she received her European License to practice as a Medical Doctor.

Sara completed a basic training in the psychotherapeutic method (both CBT and psychodynamic orientation), along with Psychotherapy programme at Karolinska Institute, before applying for a Swedish psychotherapy license.

Sara completed the schema therapy training program at the Swedish Institute for CBT & Schema Therapy with Poul Perris, located in Stockholm, Sweden. She is currently being supervised by Alessandro Carmelita. 

Samantha Flores

I am a physician specialized in neuropsychiatry. I have a master´s degree in cognitive behavioral therapy and I am a certified advanced schema therapist and I have my own individual schema therapy training program approved by ISST 

I currently run a private practice in psychiatry and psychotherapy. I work with a variety of diagnoses of psychiatric  and neuropsychiatric patients through medication and psychotherapy. I have a special interest in patients who suffer functional neurologic disorders and patients with chronic mental illness as well as personality disorders. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, I have been working on line with clients from different areas of Mexico, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Spain and USA. I teach psychopharmacology  to psychology students at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara.  I am currently running a doctoral research on schema therapy and stress in the medical residency.  

Suzy Redston

Suzy Redston is a psychiatrist working in Australia and became attracted to Schema Therapy over 10 years ago as a wonderful way of working with patients who struggle to understand their own minds. She also uses the schema therapy concepts with teaching junior medical staff and medical students as it creates such an understandable therapy of mind and what may be causing the observed behaviours.

During the first year of the Covid pandemic she found adjusting to the new ways of communicating both exciting and challenging. She has been humbled by all the ways Schema Therapists have found to adapt the treatments to the restrictions we have all found our selves in. In 2021 she is changing her approach to work and hopes to have more time to explore Schema therapy and be a part of encouraging Australian Psychiatrist to consider this therapy for their patients.

LIVE Questions & Answers

CANCELLATION POLICY: No cancellation is possible once registered. Access to all sessions will be available after the summit ends to registered participants. For questions, please contact the ISST Office at: OFFICE

Why not join now? If your membership is approved, you can email us to receive a refund for the ISST member amount. Visit: JOIN US


Are you an ISST Member? Enjoy deep discounts on tickets for the 2021 ISST Virtual Summit. 



Stockholm, Sweden


Coimbra, Portugal


Berlin, Germany


New York, USA


Istanbul, Turkey


Vienna, Austria

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.

"Be the Change You Help Create"

Whether you are a clinician, researcher, educator, or a supporter, we have a place for you in our community. Visit our "Join us" page to find out more about the many benefits ISST offers, and to apply for membership now.
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software