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John Louis

John Louis

Dr John Philip Louis earned his PhD (Clinical Psychology) from Stirling University in the UK, and is a certified Advanced Schema Therapist, Supervisor and Trainer. He co-authored a schema therapy-based parenting programme called “Good Enough Parenting” (GEP) with his wife, Karen McDonald Louis. John has developed and validated several psychological instruments, including a measure for positive schemas, as well as positive and negative measures of past parent-child interactions. These scales have been translated and used globally by clinicians and researchers. His empirical support for GEP has been published in many peer-reviewed journals (see below). John also offers an ISST-approved Individual Schema Therapy Certification Programme and provides professional in-person training courses. He and his wife have authored four books focused especially on parenting and marriage which have been translated into several languages (see They have been married for 36 years with two adult children and four grandchildren.

  • How does culture shape the way we define what is healthy in schema therapy?

    Co-presented with Michelle Neo, Edward Chan, Beatrice Ng-Kessler, Chaiyun Sakulsriprasert, Duygu Yakin

    The majority of schema therapy research is rooted in Western contexts, resulting in clinical samples that are largely representative of Western populations. In the Delphi consensus study, Pilkington and colleagues (2022) identified the important gaps in research on the schema therapy model with two areas of concern relating to the need to expand research to “people who are from racial and ethnic minorities” and “adapting schema therapy to different cultures.” Currently, there are few papers that have examined schema therapy within Asian populations, however, the existing findings do reflect the universality of both positive and negative schemas when compared across different cultures (Louis et al., 2018) and that with cultural modifications (whilst preserving the integrity of the schema model) it is an appropriate therapy for Asian clients (Mao et al., 2022). Unfortunately, the investigation of schema therapy across Asian demographics remains limited due to challenges such as difficulty in participant recruitment, resource constraints, complexities in the translation of schema terminology, and a shortage of trained schema therapists in the Asian region. This Round Table will tie into the conference theme “How Schema Therapy Empowers Healthy Modes” by exploring the question “How does culture shape the way we define what is healthy in schema therapy?” with an emphasis on the exploration of what healthy schemas and modes can look like in Asian populations (versus non-Asian/Western populations). Our discussion will explore the intersection of schema therapy principles and Asian cultural values including how the definition of “healthy” may present differently in a Western vs. Eastern context, how schemas and modes may present differently across cultures, the potential issues that may arise when culture is not factored in schema formulation and how certain cultural concepts (e.g. filial piety) may pose challenges for shifting coping modes (e.g. compliant surrenderer). Each of our panellists will share their unique thoughts and experiences in their application of schema therapy within Asian populations across both research and clinical settings. References Louis, J. P., Wood, A. M., Lockwood, G., Ho, M. H. R., & Ferguson, E. (2018). Positive clinical psychology and Schema Therapy (ST): The development of the Young Positive Schema Questionnaire (YPSQ) to complement the Young Schema Questionnaire 3 Short Form (YSQ-S3). Psychological Assessment, 30(9), 1199-1213. Mao, A., Brockman, R., Neo, H. L. M., Siu, S. H. C., Liu, X., & Rhodes, P. (2022). A qualitative inquiry into the acceptability of schema therapy in Hong Kong and Singapore: implications for cultural responsiveness in the practice of schema therapy. Clinical Psychologist, 26(3), 341-350. Pilkington, P. D., Younan, R., & Karantzas, G. C. (2023). Identifying the research priorities for schema therapy: A Delphi consensus study. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 30(2), 344–356.

  • The Healthy Adult Mode; Key Similarities and Differences Between four empirical based models and their Clinical Implications

    Co-Presented with George Lockwood, David Bernstein & Guygu Yakin
    Four major research based approaches to the development of our understanding of the Healthy Adult Mode will be discussed with a focus on the key areas of overlap, differences, possibilities for integration, clinical implications and suggestions for further development. Each had distinctly different starting points. Yakin and Arntz have been exploring the interactions between healthy adults and child modes. Bernstein cast a broad to develop a model drawing on the work of Seligman, Bowlbly, Frankle, Ryan & Deci and the DSM-5 model of healthy functioning, among others. Louis and Lockwood started with 18 positive schemas hypothesized by Lockwood, Perris and Young as the adaptive counterpoints to the 18 early maladaptive schemas. Louis and Lockwood also developed a second model of the healthy adult mode in a nurturing context with their starting point being hypothesized counterpoints to the maladaptive parenting interactions operationalized in the Young Parenting Inventory. Tilling the soil of healthy adult functioning from such distinct yet compelling directions offers the promise of significantly advancing our understanding of this important and complex construct.

    Yakin and Arntz’s work involved in-depth qualitative analysis of the interactions between child modes and healthy adults by conducting 45 to 60 minute semi-structured interviews. Three broad themes and 10 subthemes emerged. Bernstien’s personal strengths model consists of four domains and 16 primary factors and has an accompanying scale for clinical use. Louis and Lockwood’s model of healthy adult functioning consists of 14 positive schemas organized into 4 domains and Louis and Lockwood’s model of the healthy adult parent consists of 7 parenting schemas. Each of these two models have an accompanying scale for clinical use. All four of these models are in the midst of ongoing research and updates on recent findings will be provided.

  • Association between Resilience and Positive and Negative Schemas using the Good Enough Parenting Model

    Families and society in general face enormous burdens arising from children with problematic behaviours. Fortunately, studies have shown the benefits of parenting interventions that are able to reduce such behaviour (Bonin et al., 2011; Herman et al., 2015;; O’Neill et al., 2013). Given these benefits, it is hugely advantageous to explore ways to educate parents and help them take balanced and holistic preventative measures. An evidenced based early intervention parenting program called “Good Enough Parenting” (GEP; Louis & Louis, 2020), which incorporates schema therapy principles, has been developed to equip parents with step by step guide on how to meet core emotional needs in children. The deprivation of core emotional needs is theorized in schema therapy to be associated with the development of rigid, active negative schemas. Conversely, meeting these needs are associated with the development of positive schemas. To-date, GEP is the only evidenced based parenting program (Louis et al., 2021; Louis & Louis, 2020) with a dual focus on both the positive and negative schemas plus core emotional needs. Positive schemas have been found to be associated with resilience both directly and indirectly (Chi et al., 2022) whereas negative schemas especially vulnerability and dependence have been found to be negatively associated with resilience (Faraji et al., 2022). The three psychometrically validated instruments developed by the presenter – The Young Positive Schema Questionnaire (Louis et al., 2018a), The Positive Parenting Schema Inventory (Louis et al., 2018b), and the latest version of the Young Parenting Inventory – R3 (Louis et al., 2022) measure positive schemas, and positive and negative parent-child interactions respectively; these will be discussed in full. This session will position clinicians and parents to better implement preventative measures, especially targeting early years in children as this has shown to provide the greatest benefits (Heckman, 2013).

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