Go to main content
You are currently viewing the new site, if you wish to visit the classic site click here

Using imagery to effect psychological change in clients with chronic, complex problems, with special reference to Schema Therapy

20 September 2017 9:00 am - 5:15 pm
See pricing tab
Image alt text

Schema Therapy (ST) was developed by Jeffrey Young for use in treatment of personality disorders and other chronic disorders, such as when patients fail to respond, or relapse, after having been through other therapies (for example, traditional CBT).

Schema therapy is an integrative psychotherapy combining theory and techniques from previously existing therapies, including CBT, psychoanalytic object relations theory, attachment theory, and Gestalt therapy.

At the International Conference of the ISST in Istanbul, 2014, a small group of schema therapists from Ireland agreed to form the Schema Therapy Association of Ireland, with the objectives of increasing access to formally accredited training in ST and to bringing the best international practitioners to Ireland to share their expertise in workshops.

Two introductory 2-day workshops on ST have been presented in Northern Ireland in recent years, in 2016 a number of NHSCT staff became accredited schema therapists (through an external course), and an ISST accredited training course based in Dublin began in January 2017. STAI is very pleased to collaborate with DCPNI in bringing Prof Edwards to Belfast, as part of a strategy to build on these recent developments.

Imagery methods have a long history within psychotherapy. Imagery re-scripting has become an evidence-based intervention that is widely used in CBT and is central to ST. In contemporary use in CBT, and particularly in ST, there are new and distinctive features. In part these are related to the integration and refinement of theory, to an enhanced understanding of the nature of emotion-focused work in therapy, and to a modern understanding of the nature of autobiographical memory. Experiential exercises, with the objective of eliciting emotional change/healing, are an important part of Schema Therapy. Guided imagery is an experiential technique often used early in schema therapy to help identify unmet childhood needs and to identify which current situations involve the same emotions as the images from early childhood and, thus, clarifies the links between early memories and current triggers of schemas and schema modes.

Imagery is also often an important element of the change phase, using imagery re-scripting through which painful memories are revised in ways that allow for the client to meet her/his emotional needs. If parents or significant others were, and remain, unable to meet the client’s needs, the therapist enters into an image and serves as a transitional source of healthy parenting. This contributes to a secure attachment developing between client and therapist, a form of attachment that is known to foster growth and integration. Imagery during the change phase involves encouraging the patient to express emotions in the session. Imagery is also used to help patients grieve for the losses in their life and to overcome psychological trauma.

Who is this workshop intended for?

Those with a knowledge of the essential concepts of Schema Therapy, e.g. through prior attendance at an introductory workshop. Attendees do not necessarily have to be using ST exclusively - anyone using imagery as part of their therapeutic repertoire for complex clients will benefit from the workshop.

Stranmillis University College Belfast
Stranmillis Rd,

Event Location: 

Workshop Objectives

  • present the rationale for imagery work within a schema therapy framework;
  • include several extended and advanced case examples with audio extracts from sessions that illustrate transformative processes which are potentiated by guided imagery and imagery re-scripting;
  • link these examples with M. A. Conway's research on and theory of autobiographical memory, providing a basis for understanding the relationship between memory and imagination as well the nature of the processes set in motion by imagery re-scripting;
  • consider questions about the accuracy of memories, the nature of false memories, and how schemas, as the fundamental abstracted building blocks of personal meaning, are related to memory and the storage of information about events to which we have been previously exposed;
  • show how the conceptual tools of the ST model can be a helpful guide for therapists with respect to making active interventions in the re-scripting process that can promote resolution and healing.


09:00 Registration and refreshments
09:30 Workshop begins
13:00 Lunch
17:15 Workshop ends
Non-Members £120.00 (£100.00+ VAT)
BPS Members £90.00 (£75.00 + VAT)
DCPNI Members £75.00 (£62.50 + VAT)

This event is organised by the British Psychological Society and administered by KC Jones Conference & Events Ltd.

Tel: +44 (0)1332 224506
Email: [email protected]



Top of page