Therapy Skills Lab
Full course description
Forensic patients can be highly challenging to treat. Many exhibit psychopathic personality traits, such as deficient empathy, remorselessness, and manipulativeness. Some are highly impulsive, or have difficulties controlling anger or aggression. Many have addictive disorders, sexual compulsions (e.g., paedophilia), or other Axis I problems. Fifty to ninety percent of forensic patients have Personality Disorder (PDs), particularly Antisocial, Borderline, and Narcissistic PDs. These patients are at high risk for recidivism and have often been considered untreatable. In recent years, however, advances in psychotherapy have led to new hope for forensic patients with PDs.
Schema Therapy (ST) is an integrative form of psychotherapy for personality disorders (PDs) that has shown effectiveness in recent clinical trials, and is being increasingly adopted in forensic settings worldwide, including the Netherlands. Students are not expected to achieve a complete mastery of ST through taking this course alone. However, by learning ST concepts and skills, it is hoped that students will benefit in several ways. Firstly, ST provides a theoretical framework covering early maladaptive schemas, coping responses, and schema modes which help to make antisocial behaviour more explicable. Secondly, ST incorporates concepts and techniques drawn from several schools of psychotherapy, including cognitive, behavioural, humanistic/existential, and psychodynamic approaches. Thus, students will learn methods that form the basis for several forms of psychotherapy. In this course, specific topics will be covered including: the ST conceptual model; the therapy relationship; empathic confrontation; limited re-parenting; assessment and case conceptualisation; cognitive and behavioural therapy skills; experiential techniques; limit setting; and counter-transference reactions. In addition, students will learn basic therapy skills, including active listening, and cognitive therapy techniques such as challenging automatic thoughts.
acquire basic skills of psychotherapy for offenders;
- establish a therapeutic relationship;
- respond empathically to patients;
- focus on patients’ early unmet developmental needs;
- enhance patients’ motivation for treatment;
- conduct an assessment and case conceptualization;
- identify maladaptive cognitive schemas, coping responses, and emotional states;
- analyse criminal behaviour patterns;
- modify maladaptive cognitions;
- utilize experiential techniques, such as imagery rescripting and role playing, to reprocesses traumatic experiences;
- and analyse counter-transference reactions.