The Reconstructive Play of Memory: Commentary on David Edwards’ Case Study of Schema Therapy
Keywords:Schema Therapy; Autobiographical Memory; Self Memory System; Narrative Identity; Self-defining Memories; case studies; clinical case studies
This commentary discusses David Edwards’s (2022) case study of "Kelly’s circle of safety and healing: An extended schema therapy narrative and interpretative investigation," published in Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy. It examines Edwards’s efforts to integrate his imagistic/experiential therapeutic approach to a client’s maladaptive schemas based in childhood recollections with a contemporary model of autobiographical memory, Conway’s Self Memory System. Although I think there is much merit in this integration, particularly in highlighting reconstructive and re-imagining aspects of memory, I call attention to crucial relational dimensions of this reconstruction in a therapeutic dyad. Similarly, in encouraging continued development of this synthesis between schema therapy and autobiographical memory research, I suggest that constructs from Narrative Identity theory including the life story, self-defining memories, and narrative scripts would be of great value. Finally, I note that we are still in preliminary stages of establishing empirical linkages that would support Kelly’s full integrative vision.
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