Homepage 2020-02-10T14:41:09+00:00


“Using the iModes in Schema Therapy and beyond: 25 ways to make therapy more effective!”

This short, readable guide explains 25 ways that therapists from all backgrounds – Schema Therapy and other forms of therapy (e.g., cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, humanistic/experiential) – can use the iModes to make their work more effective. This iModes guide contains a total of 63 pages, with 12 full-color illustrations and numerous case examples. The broad and creative uses of the iModes are explained in 8 different chapters.



The Bernstein iModes were developed by Dr. David Bernstein with comic book artist, “Vick”.  Twenty-five beautiful, colored images, which bring the schema modes to life.  Suitable for psychoeducation, diagnosis, and treatment.  Available in male and female versions.  Image of the mode on the front side, name and short description of the mode on the back.  Available in English, Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, French, Norwegian and Hebrew.  Other languages by special order.  Usable with adults and youth from age 12.


“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



Schema modes are emotional states that can change from moment to moment.  They consist of thoughts, feelings, and coping responses that dominate a person’s functioning at a particular moment in time.  Schema modes are the central focus of Schema Therapy, an evidence-based therapy for personality disorders.  When schema modes are triggered, they can cause self-destructive or self-defeating behavior.  All of us have different emotional states.  We aren’t the same way all of the time.  In people with personality disorders, schema modes can be extreme.  Even in people with less severe problems, schema modes can sometimes interfere with relationships or in the workplace, or become active under unusual stress.  Changing schema modes is one of the keys to replacing self-defeating patterns with healthier ones and experiencing more satisfaction in life.


The Bernstein iModes have a direct visual impact. They make it very easy for patients to grasp the idea of the modes, and to recognize their own modes, often within a single therapy session.  The iModes make treatment quicker, more effective, and more productive.


Use the iModes in creative ways to help the patient grasp her schema modes, how the modes are triggered in different situations, and their impact on her life.  Give the patient the set of cards, and let her select the ones that she recognizes in herself.  Tell her a story about her life by laying out the cards on the table.  Start with the Child modes (e.g., Abandoned or Lonely Child), followed by the modes that she developed to cope with her emotional pain.  Show her how situations occurring in daily life can activate modes.  Use the iModes in role-playing exercises.  Put cards on different chairs, and ask her to play the role of her different modes.  Use the cards when a mode is active during a therapy session.  Let her choose the card that shows the mode that she is in “right now.”  Or make up your own new, creative ways to use the iModes with your patients!

An excellent tool for psychoeducation, diagnosis and treatment.

Developed by Dr. David Bernstein, an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of personality disorders. He is currently employed as a Professor at the University of Maastricht.


The iModes make the schema modes come to life!