“I’ve been using the iModes cards for several months. They offer a very effective method for working with schema modes in therapy.
I place the set of cards on the table. I use them when a client starts discussing a difficult situation, such as a conflict at work or home, or self-destructive behavior (e.g., addiction, self-harm). We lay the cards in a sequence, starting with the first mode that was triggered, then the second, and so forth. The client can immediately grasp the pattern. He can see his emotions and needs more clearly (e.g., feeling rejected), how his coping was ineffective, and how he could cope in healthier ways. From there, it’s an easy step to using the iModes in role-playing exercises, like the multiple chairs technique. I place the cards on different chairs, and ask him to switch chairs, and play the roles of his different modes. This helps him to feel what it’s like when his modes are activated. I also use the cards to discuss the modes that are active during the sessions, such as detached or self-aggrandizing modes that can interfere with the therapy process. I ask the client, “In which mode are you now?”, and give him the cards to select from. This helps us to take some healthy perspective on the interaction between us, and start a conversation about it.
My clients have had very positive reactions to using the iModes. They find them enjoyable and easy to work with. The cards help them to view their modes from a safe distance and understand the reoccurring patterns in their lives. In short, the iModes are a very valuable addition to the therapist’s “toolbox”!”
Minou van den Ouweland, Certified Health Psychologist, Psychotherapist, and Schema Therapist, The Netherlands