Introducing a 10 session treatment plan

10 Session Schema Therapy
How to provide blended short-term schema therapy to your clients, integrating online tools into your work in a structured way

We would like to share how you can provide blended short-term schema therapy to your clients, integrating online tools into your work in a structured way within a secure, shared space (Secure Nest). This could be integrated into face to face or video conference sessions.

The short-term schema therapy protocol is based on the development and refinement of time-limited schema therapy treatment protocols for group and individual therapy over the past 10 years.

We want to thank those who played a substantial role in bringing this protocol together:

  • Dr Rita Younan
  • Michiel van Vreeswijk
  • Sally Skewes

The need for short-term schema therapy

For clients with complex psychological presentations, one of the challenges is that there is not enough access to specialised treatment. We live in a time of diminishing psychotherapy session allowances, where therapists and clients are seeking time-limited schema therapy treatment programs.

In addition, schema therapy is generally seen as a long-term treatment, not usually considered for short-term therapy. If we want to provide effective schema therapy for clients, we need to look at how we can offer treatment over a shorter time frame.

Over the last few years, Sally Skewes and leading international schema therapists have been developing and testing time-limited schema therapy treatment programs to meet healthcare limits. Preliminary results for a variety of disorders, including: borderline personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, mixed personality disorders, and complex trauma, working in both inpatient and outpatient settings were presented at the ISST Conference in Vienna and Jeff Young was the discussant on this important topic: Utilizing the mode model to effectively meet world-wide, ever-shrinking psychotherapy session allowances: can schema therapy be relatively brief?

A short-term schema therapy protocol

Sally has continued to collaborate with leading schema therapists to develop and refine a time-limited schema therapy treatment protocol for group and individual therapy. This protocol is for individual schema therapy, consisting of 10 individual sessions and the use of a schema therapy based eHealth platform (Secure Nest) between sessions.

The combination of Secure Nest and individual sessions has been shown to enhance the schema therapy process in a pilot study. In particular, the use of Secure Nest extends the connection to the therapist between sessions, enhances limited reparenting and provides a shared safe place.

This protocol provides a highly focused treatment program, together with the option of adjusting the program with where the client is at in therapy, which modes are present and support available.

This innovative protocol focuses on meeting today’s demands and making schema therapy as useful as possible across clinical populations. Through the use of this protocol we also aim to provide structure to the therapy process, increasing client engagement and retention.

Where to find the protocol

The protocol, which guides therapists and clients through the in person and online components, can now be found in the Library feature of Secure Nest in a new section titled ’10 Session Treatment Plan’. Therapists and clients who are linked to a therapist will be able to see these modules.


Please find an infographic below which highlights the structure of the protocol and some of the included exercises and activities, with three overriding themes covered over the course of 10 sessions.

If you have any questions about how to get started with this exciting new protocol, please get in touch with us.

We are conducting an online workshop (sold out) with local schema therapists on May 8th and look forward to hosting future events to train therapists in this new way of working. Please ensure you are signed up to our newsletter for future training programs.

The Secure Nest Team


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Secure Nest provides personalised online therapy tools designed specifically for schema therapy. Read more here or register for your free trial.