Professor David Edwards delivers keynote lecture at Psychotherapy Congress

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In February Professor David Edwards was honoured at a congress on “The changing faces of psychotherapy” in Stellenbosch. The two day congress, organized by the Milton H. Erickson Institute of South Africa (MEISA), attracted delegates and presenters from Europe and North America, as well from South Africa. A cocktail party during the congress on February 9th was held in Professor Edwards’ honour and Woltemade Hartman, the Director of MEISA, acknowledged his longstanding contributions to psychotherapy training in South Africa.

Professor Edwards also delivered an invited keynote lecture entitled, “Guided imagery and imagery rescripting in psychotherapy: Historical overview, conceptual framework and principles of practice.” He drew on his own work on the use of guided imagery in psychotherapy and provided a historical perspective on the use of these methods going back to the late nineteenth century. He showed how they are increasingly used in contemporary cognitive-behaviour therapy and becoming part of standard evidence-based practice in treating psychological disorders.

At the congress, Professor Edwards also presented a three hour workshop on schema therapy an approach in which Professor Edwards is internationally certified. In schema therapy, interventions are drawn from a range of relational, experiential, cognitive and behavioural techniques and imagery methods have an important role. Schema therapy was developed to treat complex cases that do not respond to short term treatment and is particularly useful when working with personality disorders and clients with a long history of traumatic experiences. In recent randomized controlled trials in Holland and the USA, schema therapy was found to have a high degree of effectiveness with borderline personality disorder, a condition which many authorities had considered untreatable.