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Mar 2015 by PCI College

Bite-Sized Book Review: Schema Therapy, A Practitioner's Guide by Jeffrey E. Young, Janet S. Klosko & Marjorie E. Weishaar

Eilish McGuinness is a PCI College Lecturer and was the first person in Ireland to qualify as an Advanced Schema Therapist. Here, she reviews 'Schema Therapy, A Practitioner's Guide' by Jeffrey Young et. al. and

The work of Jeffrey E. Young and his colleagues represents a major contribution to the evolution of cognitive -behavioral therapy and is an innovative, integrative therapy, blending elements from cognitive-behavioural, attachment theory, psychoanalysis, and Gestalt.   It retains two vital components of CBT, which I believe work very well, in that it is both structured and systematic in its approach.  It has the common-sense appeal of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and the depth of the psychodynamic and existential models.  Schema Therapy (ST) was originally developed to treat patients with entrenched, chronic psychological Axis 2 disorders that were proving difficult to treat with traditional CBT methods.  Today, this model is employed to treat many of our higher functioning clients. 

Schema Therapy, A Practitioner's Guide is a rich and highly informative text that outlines the principles of the schema model, schema assessment and evaluation, and all the major components of schema therapy, including cognitive and experiential strategies along with behavioral pattern breaking.  Strategies and procedures are laid out in a clear and compelling manner, including invaluable advice on implementation.  The combination of solid empirical research and useful verbatim case examples elucidate the model.  

The therapeutic relationship, specifically the notion of limited re-parenting and empathetic confrontation receives significant attention in the next section.  This part also concerns itself with specific ttreatment strategies for individual schemas.   

The second half of this volume is devoted to Schema Mode work, a schema approach to treat our more disordered clients who present with rigid self-punitive and self-critical patterns.   The authors conclude with detailed schema mode strategies for the treatment of these personality disorders, namely borderline and narcissistic personality disorders.  

The richness of the clinical material is enough to give practitioners a basic understanding of how to apply schema therapy and schema mode work and will appeal to psychotherapy integrationists from many traditions.

Eilish McGuinness
, MIACP, MISST (March 2015)
PCI College Lecturer


Eilish is an Advanced Certified Schema Therapist, Supervisor and Trainer. (MISST) in private practice in Ashbourne, Co. Meath and a core lecturer on the degree program  in Counselling & Psychotherapy in PCI College.   

Eilish will facilitate a full day workshop on Schema Therapy as part of the Professional Certificate in Third Generation CBT Approaches, beginning in PCI College on Saturday 18th April. The Certificate covers several 'new generation' CBT-based approaches including Dialectical Therapy, Mindfulness-Based CBT approaches and Compassion Focused Therapy. For more details and to book your place now, click here.

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