50 Hours course Schema Therapy

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Schema therapy is an integrative form of psychotherapy that integrates methods and techniques from interpersonal, experiential and psychodynamic therapy to effectively treat personality disorders and/or persistent anxiety- and depressive disorders . Research has shown that most personality disorders can be treated successfully with Schema Therapy.
A schema therapist makes use of cognitive, behavioural and experiential techniques, influencing the patient through three channels: feeling (experiential), thinking (cognitive) and doing (behavioural).
In addition to these three channels there are four distinctive focal points in the therapy: life outside the therapy, events within the therapy setting (primarily the therapeutic relationship), experiences from the past, and the future.
Schema therapy focuses on changing dysfunctional schemas/modes into more flexible and less extreme schemas/modes and developing adequate coping strategies so that patients develop a more positive image of themselves and others as well as a more nuanced view of the world around them.


  • Assessment: Exploring schemas, coping strategies and schema modes, including the use of questionnaires, the downward arrow technique, and imagery. Summarising information using a case conceptualisation form and creating a case conceptualisation model or mode model.
  • The therapeutic relationship
    Limited reparenting, emphatic confrontation, setting limits and dealing with the schemas of the therapist.
  • Specific cognitive techniques
    Schema diary, multi-dimensional evaluation, pie chart and flashcards.
  • Experiential techniques
    Imagery rescripting, historical role play, and chairwork.
  • Behavioural Change Strategies and homework assignments
    Role play, training skills, and behavioural experiments.

This course will teach you how to apply all of the techniques with all of the personality disorders. In addition to the theory, significant attention will be given to the practical application of skills.
Moreover, participants will learn much more about their own schemas, coping strategies and modes. One of the ways to achieve this goal is to make a Case Conceptualization of each other in pairs. To this end, everyone gives relevant details of his or her life history and fills in questionnaires about schemas and modes.


Acquired knowledge and skills in this course will be assessed in two different ways.

  1. Assessment of acquired knowledge: making a case conceptualization and a mode model

Participants will be assigned into pairs to form a case conceptualization. In turns, each of the participants will take the role of the therapists as well as the role of the client. During 3 sessions, each participant will take the role of the client and will bring in personal information about his/her life. We understand that the training will have to be a safe place in order to be able to share this personal information. Therefore, we will take into consideration any preferences of the participants in assigning these therapist-clietn pairs. This ‘client’ will be referred to in the syllabus as the ‘client for the CC’. The 3 sessions with your client need to result in a filled in case conceptualization form and a mode model. The teachers will review these case conceptualizations in order to assess if the participant is proficient enough to work with the concepts used in schema therapy. 

Participants will receive extensive written feedback. This feedback will not be about the client, but merely on how the therapist processes all the information in terms of needs, schemas and coping styles and modes. In case the case conceptualization is not yet sufficient, the participant will receive specific suggestions how to make improvements.

  1. Assessment of acquired skills: practical exam

A practical exam is scheduled on the last day of the course. During this exam, the group will be split in 2 sub groups, each with one of the presenters. In these 2 subgroups, each participant demonstrates his/her skills during a role play with another participant. The ‘client’ in this role play will play the role of a case that will be handed over by the presenters. Two participants in each sub group will play the client in order to offer each participant to take the role of the therapist.

The criteria for rating the skills of the participants are described in the syllabus and will be discussed during the course. In case a participant is not able to demonstrate these skills well enough during the role play, options will be offered for a resit of the exam. This resit can be one of the following options:

  • A second role play during that last day of the course
  • A scheduled role play with one of the presenters on another date
  • A recording of a session with a client, demonstrating one of the emotion focused techniques 


At the end of the course, the participant will have acquired knowledge about essential elements of schema therapy:
The concepts used in schema therapy (core emotional needs, schemas, coping styles, modes)
The therapy relationship of Limited Reparenting
The use of cognitive-, emotion focused- and behavioral techniques


At the end of the course, the participant is able to apply these elements from schema therapy sufficiently when treating clients with a personality disorder. For a more detailed description of these skills, we refer to the syllabus, ‘Assessment’ and the Schema Therapy Competency Rating Scale that will be one of the materials participants can download from the website. A mean rating of ‘4’ will be seen as sufficient for what can be expected as the level of competence after the course.


Therapists who work with clients suffering from a personality disorder and/or persistent, therapy resistant depressive- or anxiety disorders.


This training course is certified by both the Dutch Society for Schema Therapy (VSt) and the International Society for Schema Therapy (ISST). Although both societies share most of the requirements for certification, there are however, some differences as well.
Below, we will describe the requirements of both societies. We will then discuss the practical implications for participants who want to sign up for this course.

Dutch Society for Schema Therapy (VSt)

Those participants who have a BIG-registration as a Mental Health Psychologist (GZ-psycholoog), Orthopedagogue (Orthopedagoog generalist), Psychotherapist, Clinical Psychologist or Psychiatrist, members of specialist psychological societies or occupational therapists (RVB), who work with clients with a personality disorder and/or persistent, therapy resistant depressive- or anxiety disorders are allowed to participate in this course. Also, those in training to become one of the previously mentioned registrations are allowed to participate. One condition for participation is to have some knowledge and skills from cognitive behavioral therapy.
Others, e.g. basic psychologists, pedagogues or people following a HBO education other that occupational therapy, are only allowed to join the course, when they collaborate closely with colleagues who are registered schema therapists.
Did you follow an education that is not mentioned above, please contact us via the ‘Contact’-page.

International Society for Schema Therapy (ISST)
To qualify for certification in Schema Therapy a person must fulfill the following two qualifications:
1. Academic training: Hold at least a master’s degree in psychology, clinical social work, psychiatric nursing or a counseling area that leads to licensing; or medical degree with psychiatric residency (or residency equivalent if it is defined differently in that country). 

2. License or certification for practice: In countries that certify or license the above professions, a person must be certified or licensed by either the government body or professional organization which grants this. If no such control exists in a country, the standard of one of the national or international professional psychotherapy organizations must be met to fulfill this requirement. 

If you belong to another group that is licensed or certified to practice psychotherapy in your country, please submit this information with your academic qualifications to be considered for certification application. Some countries have described in detail how the ISST qualifications need to be applied for their country. The UK is one example of this and for exception requests these standards are used.

With the above-mentioned requirements, this training course is open for participation for anyone fulfilling one of the 2 societies requirements. 


At the end of the course, the participant will receive a certificate of participation on the condition that the participant has attended the meetings and has sufficiently passed the exams in this course (case conceptualization and the practical exam).

The kind of certificate participants will receive, depends on whether they fulfill the requirements of the 2 schema therapy societies. There are 3 options:

  • Those fulfilling the requirements of the ISST, but not the requirements of the VSt, will receive an ISST certificate.
  • Participants fulfilling the criteria for the Dutch society (meaning that they have a BIG-registration or are in the process for such a registration, or are member of a specialized psychotherapy society), will receive both an ISST-certificate and a VSt-certificate.
  • Participants not fulfilling the requirements for the VSt, will not receive a VSt certificate but will receive an ISST certificate. However, when this participant starts the process of obtaining a BIG-registration, they can contact the teaching institute in order to receive a VSt certificate after all.


Preparation per training day (practice homework assignments of the previous session, reading literature, chosing case for the next training day): maximum of 4 hours.
Formin ga case conceptualization based on the 3 sessions with your client for the CC: maximum 5 hours
The above mentioned hours are a broad assessment in order to prevent a higher study load then anticipated.


The following accreditations have been assigned or are submitted for accreditation(previously they have been accredited):

  • ISST
  • Vereniging voor Schematherapie (VSt)
  • VGCt: Advanced course counting as 50 contact hours
  • FGzPt: herregistratie KP (40 credits)
  • Register Vaktherapeutische Beroepen
  • NVvP: accreditation will be submitted when requested by the participant


  • Remco van der Wijngaart, MSc
  • Hélène Bögels, MSc
  • Chris Korevaar, MSc


Arntz, A., van Genderen, H. (2020). Schema Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder. United Kingdom: Wiley.

Arntz, A., Jacob, G. (2012). Schema therapy in practice: An introductory guide to the schema mode approach. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Genderen, H. van, & Jacob, G.  (2015). Breaking negative thinking patterns.

Young, J. E., Klosko, J. S., & Weishaar, M. E. (2003). Schema therapy: A practitioner’s guide. New York: Guilford.


Day 1

Introduction into schema therapy

  • Core emotional needs, schemas and coping styles

Case conceptualization

Identifying schemas

  • Diagnostic imagery, demonstration and exercise
  • Questionnaires

Therapy relationship of Limited Reparenting:

  • Offer care
  • Offer guidance

Day 2

Schema modes and mode models

Therapy relationship of limited Reparenting:

  • Empathic Confrontation
  • Setting Limits

Schema interaction therapist-client

Day 3

Formulating a therapy plan

Case conceptualization: first session with your client

Cognitive techniques

Psycho education and homework

Day 4

Emotion focused techniques

  • Imagery Rescripting
  • Chairwork

Case conceptualization: second session with your client

Model models of Cluster C patients

Day 5

Emotion focused techniques:

  • Historical Role play

Case conceptualization: third session with your client

Borderline Personality Disorder:

Detached protector

Vulnerable Child mode

Day 6

Borderline Personality Disorder

  • Punitive Inner Critic
  • Angry Child mode


Imagery rescripting middle phase

Day 7

Suicidal ideations and self-harm

Handling crisis

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Self-Aggrandizer: empathic confrontation and chairwork

Breaking behavioral patterns

Practicing skill with an actor roleplaying a borderline patient

Day 8

Practical exam

Phases in therapy

Watching a session of J. Young with a client

Evaluation of the course


The costs for this 8-day training course are €1995, including reader, training materials made available on the website and lunch. Books and audiovisual training material are excluded. You will receive an invoice around 2 months prior to the start of the course.

  • Inschrijven You can register here.

Remco van der Wijngaart