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Hannie van Genderen

Hannie van Genderen

Drs. Hannie van Genderen is a clinical psychologist/psychotherapist; Retired director of a Schema Therapy Training Institute in the Netherlands and part of a private practice in Schema Therapy . Co-author of “Breaking Negative Thinking Patterns” and ”Schema Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder “ Level of ISST membership: full member, trainer and supervisor, individuals, Groups.

  • Chairwork for patients with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder Generating corrective emotional experiences when dealing with strong coping modes

    Co-presenting Remco van der Wijngaart

    The essential goal in schema therapy is to validate unmet needs in our patients by creating corrective emotional experiences. Changes in Child modes and the Healthy Adult mode are the best predictors for therapy success (Yakin et al.,2020), and unmet needs are best felt when the client is in the Vulnerable Child mode. Therefore, in schema therapy the aim in every session is to connect with this emotional side of the client. Many clients, however, have developed coping modes that make it difficult for both the client and the therapist to connect to the Vulnerable Child mode or Healthy Adult of the patient. This is also strongly the case for patients with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) who struggle with rigid and persistent Coping modes, especially the rational and intellectual Perfectionistic Overcontroller.

    Chairwork is considered an effective technique to help the therapist bypass coping modes and connect to the Vulnerable Child modes (Krans & van der Wijngaart, 2022). Yet, applying this technique effectively can be very challenging in the face of extremely rigid and persistent Coping modes. For example, patients with OCPD may find it extremely difficult not to speak from the Perfectionistic Overcontroller mode even when sitting on the chair of the Vulnerable Child. How can we help these patients to connect to their emotional sides? And even if you are successful, how do you create a corrective emotional experience when your patient sees these emotions as uncomfortable, distracting and unproductive? This workshop offers specific methods and techniques to create corrective emotional experiences with patients who have extreme difficulties in connecting to their emotional sides, which is so crucial for healthy change in schema therapy.

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