Schema Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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Schema Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

02 February 2022

Schema Therapy & Exposure and Response Prevention: A blended approach to OCD

Katia Tenore & Olga Innes Lupino

Guidelines identify exposure with response prevention (E/RP) as the first-line treatment for OCD (APA, 2017), supporting the effectiveness of standard cognitive therapy in the treatment of obsessive symptomatology. Unfortunately about 50% of patients may not respond satisfactorily to this treatment (Stanley & Turner, 1996; Baer & Minichiello, 1998) or refuse it. The explanation of this partial failure probably lies in the difficulty of patients, with dysfunctional personality traits, to access emotions and cognitions and in general to establish an adequate therapeutic compliance.

In recent years, starting from some research data on clinical and non-clinical samples, specific conceptualizations of obsessive functioning in the Schema Therapy (ST) framework have been proposed (Gross 2012; Basile et al., 2017). From this preliminary evidence, it emerges that the pervasiveness of OCD is associated with early maladaptive schemas such as Emotional Deprivation, Social Isolation, Abuse, Failure, Emotional Inhibition, Submission and Punishment. Research data also suggest the pervasiveness of the Punitive Parent Mode, which well represents the internalization of normative or moral instances. Those may be at the basis of the high fear of guilt, which is one of the most aspects of OCD vulnerability (Mancini, 2016).

Schema Therapy Institute is delighted to have Katia and Olga present this workshop to address the difficulties associated with treating OCD.  The first aim of the workshop is to present the theoretical approaches that explain OCD in terms of historical vulnerability. Starting from clinical examples, a formulation of OCD in ST framework will be illustrated, according to the Mode model. Experiential exercises (group and individually), and role play will provide practical demonstrations of the use of the main techniques of the ST model in the treatment of OCD. In particular, therapeutic interventions aimed at changing the sensitivity to guilt will be presented, reducing its pervasiveness, and at promoting the acceptance of the possibility and the right to make mistakes. The participants will experience the application of some of the main therapeutic strategies of ST tailored to the obsessive patient, such as Empathic Confrontation, Limited Reparenting and Imagery Rescripting.

About the Presenters:

Katia Tenore, clinical psychologist, teacher at School of Cognitive Psychotherapy  (SPC) and Cognitive Psychology Association (APC), teacher member of the Italian Society of behavioral and cognitive therapy (SITCC). Trainer and supervisor in Schema Therapy approved by International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST).Author of many academic publications on OCD and Schema Therapy.

Olga Ines Luppino, Psychologist and CBT psychotherapist, forensic psychologist, PhD student in Umanistic Sciences, trainer and supervisor in Schema Therapy approved by International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST). Teacher at School of Cognitive Psychotherapy (SPC) and Cognitive Psychological Association (APC) in Italy, teacher member of the Italian Society of behavioral and cognitive therapy (SITCC). Wrote book chapters on Schema Therapy, OCD and Healt Anxiety. Author of many scientific publications on OCD and Schema Therapy.

Workshop Dates & Registration Details:

Due to the time difference between Europe and Australia (AED), the workshop will be delivered online with a mixture of pre-recorded didactic material for each live, dyadic element that is delivered.  The dates and content are as follows:

Wednesday February 2nd @ 7.30pm – 9pm (AED)* Topics covered: 

Historical vulnerability to OCD

·       Schema Therapy: the role of early maladaptive experiences 

·       ST for OCD: empirical findings

Wednesday February 9th @ 7.30pm – 9pm(AED)* Topics covered: 

Combining CBT and ST

·       Treatment: rationale, assessment and techniques

·       Imagery work: Specific Imagery for OCD Assessment

Wednesday February 16th 7.30pm – 9pm (AED)* Topics covered: 

Imagery work: Specific Imagery Rescripting for OCD

·       Combining ERP and Imagery work

*please note every session will have pre-recorded material to review before the LIVE elements, viewing this material is an essential pre-prerequisite week to week.

Cost for the workshop is $499 Early Bird before December 30th 2021, $599 thereafter.  


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  • Start:
    Feb 02 @ 07:30 pm
  • End:
    Feb 16 @ 09:00 pm
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