Speaker Arnoud Arntz

Plenary Lecture

Schema Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder

Schema Therapy is one of the “big four” psychotherapies for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). These specialized psychotherapies share some commonalities, such as a theory about the development and maintenance of BPD, guidelines how to handle the therapeutic relationship, guidelines what technique to use for what type of BPD-related problem, and what the mechanism of change is thought to be. However, the content of these elements differs largely between the “big four” therapies. As to the origins and maintenance of BPD, ST focuses on the importance of the frustration of emotional needs and traumas during early development, which are hypothesized to underlie the formation of maladaptive schemas. The combination of schema activation and coping strategy leads to the emotional-cognitive-behavioral states, which are called schema modes. These schema modes are central in both the case formulation which offers both patient and therapist insight in the patient’s problems. Moreover, the currently activated schema mode guides the choice of technique for the therapist. Change in schema modes is therefore hypothesized to be an important mechanism of change. The therapeutic relationship is characterized by limited reparenting, that is that the therapists offers in the therapeutic relationship corrective experiences to what was missed during childhood. How Schema Therapy differs from the other “big four” therapies, TFP, DBT and MBT, and relevant research findings will be discussed.


Schema Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder

Arnoud Arntz

The aims of the workshop 

In this workshop the major techniques of Schema Therapy for  Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) will be discussed and illustrated by means of video examples and life demonstrations. Participants will learn how to make a schema mode model for their patients, to recognize the modes that need to be addressed in the session, and what techniques can be used for which modes. Special attention will be paid to the therapeutic relationship, more specifically to the concept of limited reparenting and how to use it for what mode. Lastly, the phases of treatment will be addressed, as each phase requires different techniques and a different use of the therapeutic relationship.