About the Journal

PCSP is a peer reviewed, open-access journal and database. It provides innovative, quantitative and qualitative knowledge about psychotherapy process and outcome. PCSP is published by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists (nationalregister.org).

CE exams (two credits each) are available on selected recent PCSP case studies. 

Exam: Kelly’s Circle of Safety and Healing: An Extended Schema Therapy Narrative and Interpretative Investigation

Exam: The Hybrid Case Study of "Cloe"


Oct. 28, 20222 -- FROM THE EDITOR  


 Kelly’s Circle of Safety and Healing: An Extended Schema Therapy Narrative and Interpretative Investigation

*** David Edwards, Rhodes University, Makhanda, South Africa  


*** Jefferson Singer, Department of Psychology, Connecticut College  

*** Judith Margolin, Private Practice, Princeton, NJ 


        What would therapy look like if an adult patient from a troubled family could transform the anxious, at times terrified childhood selves within their memory into personas that could come alive and populate the therapy room? And then the personas could participate in a kind of group therapy to receive a positive reparenting for these unhappy, abused “child parts”?

        In this case study of Kelly, schema therapist David Edwards does just this. Coming from a highly disturbed family of origin, Kelly “goes deep” to transform the disturbed and vulnerable childhood parts and defective, punitive parent figures within her memory and inner life into live personas that enter the therapy room, such as the “Terrified Toddler,” the “7-Year-Old Self-Sacrificer,” the “Defective 9-Year-Old Coping With Impossible Demands,” and the “10-Year-Old Ugly Duckling and Head Girl.”

        At the end of therapy, Kelly is able to vividly create an imaginary “circle of safety” that admits healthy and supportive figures in her life (her husband, Rick, her uncle Mike, Edwards as her therapist) who form a protective ring around her vulnerable childhood selves. This results in a dramatic remediation of Kelly’s presenting problems: tension and irritability with her husband and children, headaches, and a painfully critical attitude towards herself.

        Kelly’s case study is followed by commentaries by Jefferson Singer and Judith Margolin, who each analyze the case study in terms of their area of expertise. Singer has been a leader in the role of narrative autobiographical memories in defining identify (e.g., see his web site on “self-defining memories” [http://www.selfdefiningmemories.com/]). And Margolin is well known for her work in schema therapy, particularly with clients manifesting Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). The issue ends with Edwards’ response to the commentaries.

** Below Table of Contents: Click on the article title for the Abstract. Click on the pdf button for the pdf file. 

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