Schedule Therapy for Eating Disorders

Instructor: Susan Simpson

Organizer: Norwegian Forum for Form Therapy in collaboration with the Norwegian Association for Cognitive Therapy

Place: Store auditorium, Gaustad Hospital in Oslo

Date: 06 February - 07 February 2025

Course fee: NOK 5 (includes lunch)

Registration deadline: December 15, 2024

About the course

Schema Therapy is an innovative transdiagnostic treatment model that is ideally suited to the treatment of eating disorders, and is well equipped to address the rigidly held belief systems, characterological traits, affective instability, trauma-based symptomatology and comorbidities that have been shown to interfere with clinical outcomes in eating disorders (Cooper & Kelland, 2015; Segura-Garcia et al., 2013; Wilson et al., 2007).

Schema Therapy has demonstrated promising preliminary findings for eating disorders (Simpson et al., 2010; Simpson & Slowey, 2011), including one randomized controlled trial (McIntosh et al., 2016). Further, robust RCT evidence indicates its effectiveness in the treatment of disorders that are frequently comorbid with eating disorders, and which appear to interfere with the effectiveness of first-line treatments, including borderline, cluster c, and narcissistic PDs, chronic depression, and complex trauma (for reviews of the evidence see: Bakos et al., 2015; Hawke & Provencher, 2011; Hopwood & Thomas, 2014; Jacob & Arntz, 2013; Masley et al., 2012; Pugh, 2015; Roediger & Zarbock, 2015 ; Sempertegui et al., 2013; Taylor et al., 2017).

The workshop will provide therapists with an opportunity to learn powerful techniques for working with eating disorders, including those with entrenched beliefs, high complexity and comorbidity (eg OCD, rigid personality traits, PTSD). Anyone interested in learning to apply the schema therapy mode of work to assist people with eating disorders would benefit from this workshop. The workshop will provide participants with practical experience and guidance in the use of innovative versions of imagery, chair work and other techniques for change. Videos and demonstrations will be used to illustrate experiential change techniques. Training will specifically include working with vulnerable [child] modes, limited reparenting skills, bypassing avoidant or overcompensatory coping modes, and fighting punitive (self-critical) or guilt inducing thinking patterns that drive eating disorder behaviours. Participants will receive handouts that they can use in their clinical work.

The workshop will offer you methods to cope with these challenging situations and will include:

  • Methods to formulate complex eating disorder thoughts, behaviours, urges, & comorbid disorders using schema 'modes'
  • Imagery & chair-work to set limits on self-defeating 'inner critic' modes
  • Recognize & learn to work with common coping modes in Eating Disorders including: Flagellating &, Invincible Overcontroller modesand Helpless Surrender modes
  • Empathic confrontation & chair-work to bypass strong coping modes, especially the 'Overcontroller' and 'Detached Self-Soother' modes
  • Working with clients who are reluctant to participate in experiential work & to connect with emotions.
  • Methods to access vulnerability & distress in eating disorders in order to enhance healing.
  • Enhancing client's Healthy Adult mode in treatment.
  • The latest evidence-base for Schema Therapy with Eating Disorders & common comorbidities

Approved by

Norsk Psykologforening has approved the education in Schema Therapy as a compulsory program for the specialty in psychotherapy. The Norwegian Psychology Association approved this course as 16 hours maintenance-active. The course will be applied for as an optional specialist and postgraduate course of the Specialization Committee in Psychiatry and the Speciality Committee in General Medicine by the Norwegian Medical Association.

Briefly on Schema Therapy


Transdiagnostic psychotherapy model
Evidence-based and integrative treatment method
Recent research shows that Schema Therapy is very suitable for the treatment of relationship problems, personality disorders and complicated psychiatric conditions.

About course instructor


Dr. Susan Simpson is a Clinical Psychologist who has specialized in Schema Therapy for complex eating disorders over the past 20 years. She currently works in an NHS outpatient eating disorders unit in Scotland. She also runs the only ISST-accredited Schema Therapy training program in Scotland. She regularly runs Schema Therapy workshops through Schema Therapy Scotland and Schema Therapy Training Australia. She is part of an international research group which is currently investigating the effectiveness of Schema Therapy for eating disorders. She has published several research papers on the schema therapy model applied to a range of clinical populations, and has presented her findings at national and international conferences. She is currently co-authoring the first book on Schedule Therapy for Eating Disorders, which will be published by Routledge in 2020.

Isst-standard

The education program is approved by the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST) as a counselor for international certification in Schema Therapy. This course is mandatory to be certified.

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