Janis Briedis is a Consultant Psychologist, advanced level Schema Therapist, Supervisor and Trainer with many years of clinical experience in the NHS and private practice. He teaches regularly schema therapy, CBT and trauma-focused approaches in a variety of NHS and academic settings. Janis has worked in primary care, drug and alcohol, LGBTQ services, community mental health teams and specialist psychology services and has a wide range of clinical experience working particularly with complex trauma, dissociation, personality disorders and relationship difficulties. Janis is a co-director at Schema Therapy School UK.
A SOMATIC PERSPECTIVE OF WORKING WITH MODES IN SCHEMA THERAPY
Modes are as much somatic as they are emotional, cognitive and behavioural constructs. We all have modes which consist of patterns that have formed over many years since childhood, and somatically have become automatic movements, gestures and expressions that inform our sense of self. When there has been trauma or negative attachment experiences in the past, these patterns will often be expressed as entrenched somatic defensive actions. Each mode is likely to have specific indicators in the body, and its own verbal and non-verbal story to tell. This workshop will focus on recognizing and working with somatic aspects of modes in schema therapy, particularly when modes are difficult to access through a verbal narrative. The workshop will draw on ideas and techniques from sensorimotor psychotherapy (Ogden et al 2006), somatic experiencing (Levine, 1997), polyvagal theory (Porges, 2011) and somatic internal family systems (McConnell, 2020), and explore ways in which somatic focus can enhance the depth of therapeutic relationship, increase client’s capacity to reparent their younger selves, and access a more embodied Healthy Adult self. The proposed workshop will cover the following core topics and will use didactic components, video demonstrations and practical exercises with the group: • Drawing awareness to somatic aspects of schemas and modes • Working within the ‘Window of Tolerance’ – guidelines for working with the body safely • Somatic resources to improve emotional regulation • Techniques for directly working with the body to alter somatic patterns • Methods of enhancing existing ST techniques (imagery, chair work and flashcards) via a somatic pathway