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MAY 28-30, 2020 / WORLDWIDE



Day 2: Keynote Address

Schema Therapy in a Time of Crisis

9.00 - 9.30 am

Central European Time

Presented by David Edwards


At a time of crisis, we need to strengthen the Healthy Adult in ourselves so we can stay present and not flip into a “fix it” mode. We also need to support clients in accessing and strengthening their Healthy Adult. I will look particularly at the Healthy Adult qualities of mindfulness and wisdom and suggest an additional important quality:  courage. I will highlight how these develop whether in ourselves or our clients as part of a developmental process that is lifelong. A developmental understanding is central to the schema therapy approach and I look at some of the challenges this poses as we understand what can go wrong as one developmental stage gives way to the next. Early maladaptive schemas from a lower stage may not be replaced as we move to the next stage, and continue to operate (fixations) and some emotionally charged schema patterns may be split off from the rest of the system altogether (dissociations). At a time of crisis these maladaptive schema systems may become particularly problematic because of triggering by uncertainty, interpersonal conflicts and hardship. Conceptualizing the client’s problems developmentally helps us to become aware of what we can and cannot do within the limits of a therapy session, and to accept and work within our own limitations and those of the client while maintaining balance, groundedness and capacity to care.

About the Presenters:                   

David Edwards:

Lives in Cape Town, South Africa, where he runs a training program in schema therapy through the Schema Therapy Institute of South Africa. He is registered as a Clinical Psychologist in South Africa and the United Kingdom. He is currently President of the ISST. He trained in cognitive-behavioural, humanistic and transpersonal approaches to psychotherapy, and has a longstanding interest in psychotherapy integration. In the 1980s, he was fortunate to attend seminars with Jeffrey Young, the founder of schema therapy, and has followed the development of schema therapy since its beginnings. For over 25 years, he taught cognitive-behavioural therapy to trainee clinical and counselling psychologists at Rhodes University, and offered intensive workshops to students using expressive therapies including psychodrama, clay sculpture, drawing and dance. He retired from a full time academic position at Rhodes University at the end of 2009 but remains on contract as a researcher and supervisor.

He has over 100 academic publications in the form of journal articles and book chapters. The focus of many of these is trauma and complex trauma. Several of them are clinical case studies. He has published several papers on case study methodology and is one of the editors of the recently published Case studies within psychotherapy trials: Integrating qualitative and quantitative methods (Oxford University Press). He has also written articles and book chapters on the history and application of imagery methods in psychotherapy and is the author, with Michael Jacobs, of Conscious and unconscious in the series Core concepts in psychotherapy (McGraw Hill, 2003). The focus of his current work is on the phenomenology of schema modes and understanding the deep structure of modes. This is reflected in a recent pair of articles on modes in a case of anorexia nervosa. These as well as many of his publications are available in full text from his ResearchGate page at: PUBLICATIONS



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