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Withdrawal, Silence & Loneliness: Psychotherapy of the Schizoid Process: Video Course


Speaker: Dr Richard G. Erskine

Product: Video Course
Price: £249

CPD Hours: 10

Video course packs, including all notes are available immediately on booking. The access links are part of your ticket. Online video access remains available for 1 year from the date you receive the video course.

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The Schizoid Process has been described as a split in a person’s sense of self that results in living a social façade. The British object-relations school of psychoanalysis described it as a violent splitting of the self, accompanied by excessive internal criticism that results in the other being experienced as a persecutor. These coping dynamics are observable in our clients’ silence, loneliness, and relational withdrawal — each of which can be viewed as manifestations of a Schizoid Process.

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Full Course Information

These forms of coping with relational challenges are acutely reflected in the lives of many clients who come to psychotherapy and counselling with symptoms of depression, relational difficulties and/or social anxiety. Often, such clients find themselves continually plagued by internal criticism and shame as a primary way of organising their emotional experiences. Dr Erskine posits that a splitting of the self can be present, yet unrecognised in many clients. He offers several ways of understanding and empathetically working with our clients’ Schizoid Process.

Such clients require the psychotherapist’s consistent attunement to their affective state, a sense of meeting their sadness with compassion, their fear with security, and their anger with a sense of being taken seriously in the expression of that anger.

Through case studies and clinical examples, the workshop provides us with an understanding of the Schizoid Process and focusses on:

  • The four different levels of psychological splitting and how we can work therapeutically with the concomitant psychological fragmentation
  • Drawing on Object Relations and Integrative Psychotherapy, the workshop explains multiple methods and styles of intervention specifically designed to work with:
    • Attachment Patterns of the social self
    • The frightened, vulnerable self
    • The internal saboteur and
    • The encapsulated self
  • How the Schizoid Process relates to some of our clients who present as depressed, shy, reticent or fearful of intimate relationships
  • The therapeutic significance of both internal criticism and shame – especially in cases where shame has become a protective dynamic for the client to avoid vulnerability, humiliation, and loss of contact-in-relationship with others
  • Dr Erskine illustrates the self-stabilising process of internal splitting and highlights the correlations with various forms of self, the five components of shame, the dynamics of compliance and withdrawal, alternating attachment patterns and the function of internal criticism

Overall, the workshop draws on developmentally-based, relationally-focussed techniques from Integrative Psychotherapy to emphasise the importance of understanding the client’s phenomenological experience, the significance of silence and the need for patience when the client struggles to voice their internal sensations and feelings; so we can effectively address the resolution of shame, internal criticism, compliance and relational withdrawal.

About the speaker

Richard G. Erskine, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist and Training Director of the Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy (New York City and Vancouver).  Originally trained in client-centered child therapy, Dr Erskine also studied Gestalt therapy with both Fritz and Laura Perls.  He is a certified clinical Transactional Analyst and a Licensed Psychoanalyst who has specialized in psychoanalytic self-psychology and object-relations theory.  His work is an integration of these concepts and more than forty years of clinical experience, which has included working with disturbed children, inmates in a maximum security prison, borderline and narcissistic clients, post-traumatic stress and dissociative identity disorders.  Recently his research and clinical practice have focused on the treatment of the schizoid process and on the psychotherapy of obsession.

He is the author of several books and scores of articles on psychotherapy theory and methods.  His best-selling book (with Jan Moursund and Rebecca Trautmann) is Beyond Empathy: A Therapy of Contact-in-Relationship (1999, Brunner/Mazel) and in 2015, he has published Relational Patterns, Therapeutic Presence (Karnac). His latest book Early Affect Confusion: Relational Psychotherapy for the Borderline Client has been released in January 2022 by nscience publishing house.

© nscience 2022 / 2023



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