choice Magazine

Beyond the Page Podcast ~ Advancing Healing: An Inside Look at Schema Therapy in Coaching and Personal Growth

December 05, 2023 Garry Schleifer
choice Magazine
Beyond the Page Podcast ~ Advancing Healing: An Inside Look at Schema Therapy in Coaching and Personal Growth
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Imagine a world where you could identify triggers and choose healthier responses, leading to profound personal growth. Welcome to our enlightening conversation with Dr. Katia Vlachos and Dr. Michael Watkins.

Dr. Katia Vlachos is a coach, author, and speaker who helps ambitious women make bold decisions and live fulfilling lives. She is the author of A Great Move: Surviving and Thriving in Your Expat Assignment. She has written for Harvard Business Review, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and Medium. She is based in Zurich, Switzerland, and works with clients all over the world.

Dr. Michael Watkins is a professor of leadership and organizational change at IMD Business School. He is the author of the international bestseller The First 90 Days, which has been called "the onboarding bible" by the Economist. He is based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

These esteemed guests enlighten us on the captivating world of Schema Therapy and its applications. They unpack the intricate Schema Trigger Mode Framework and elucidate how this cutting-edge approach can address issues such as personality disorders, chronic depression, and anxiety in coaching sessions. They also underscore the importance of maintaining clear boundaries between coaching and therapy.

Taking a deep dive into modes and schemas, we learn how these are different versions of ourselves that emerge when we experience triggers. We also come to understand how unyielding standards and other schemas can manifest in leaders and professional women, empowering us to make conscious choices about our responses. We're not just talking theory here, we share practical techniques to help clients identify and interrupt their automatic responses, bringing tangible change in their lives. The conversation about positive intelligence in coaching, specifically the correlation between gremlins, saboteurs, and modes is sure to leave you intrigued.

In the final section, we venture into the empowering side of Schema Therapy, emphasizing the importance of comprehending and addressing our own schemas.  This episode isn't just a discussion, it's a stepping stone on your journey of self-improvement. Don't miss out on this chance to revolutionize your coaching practice or personal growth journey!

Watch the full interview by clicking here

Find the full article here: https://bit.ly/BTP-KVMW

Learn  more about Katia and Michael

Katia's gift to our listeners: Take the Break Free Quiz to understand where you feel trapped in your life and how you can break free here:  https://www.katiavlachos.com/break-free-quiz

Grab your free issue of choice Magazine here - https://choice-online.com/
 
In this episode, I talk with Dr. Katia Vlachos and Dr. Michael Watkins about their article published in our September 2023 issue.

Garry Schleifer:

Welcome to the choice Magazine podcast, Beyond the Page. choice, the magazine of professional coaching, is your go-to source for expert insights and in-depth features from the world of professional coaching. I'm your host, Garry Schleifer, and I'm thrilled to have you join us today. In each episode, we go beyond the page of the articles and blogs published in choice Magazine and we dive deeper into some of the most recent and relevant topics impacting the world of professional coaching, exploring the content, interviewing the talented minds behind the articles and uncovering the stories that make an impact. choice is more than a magazine. For over 20 years actually, over 21 years now, we've built a community of like-minded people who create, use and share coaching tools, tips and techniques to add value to the business and, of course, what we all want, impact our clients. Yay. In today's episode, I'm speaking with certified professional co-active coach, author and speaker, Dr. Katia Vlachos, and professor of leadership and organizational change, This is a tough one, Dr. Michael Watkins, who are authors of an article in our latest issue, Humanizing Healthc are and if you're on video, this is what the issue looks like, Courageous Conversations at a Crossroads. Now I lost my page and I want to reference stuff. Whatever, that's what this podcast is like. The article is entitled "The Schema-Trigger- Mode Framew ork ~ Harnessing the power of schema therapy in coaching." Dr Vlachos CPCC, ACC, is a professional Co-active Coach, author and speaker who helps intelligent, ambitious, globally-minded women make bold decisions, creating fulfilling lives, and live up to their potential. She's the author "A Great Move Surviving and Thriving in your Expat Assignment, A guide on how to make successful global transitions. She has written, among others, for choice, the magazine of professional coaching and I'm putting that first, then the Harvard Business Review, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and Medium. Good for you, and her work has also been featured in the New York Times, the Financial Times and numerous articles and podcasts. She's a researcher and policy analyst by training, with a master's from the Harvard Kennedy School and a PhD from the Rand Corporation. BShe works with clients all over the world, joining her. co-author, Dr. Michael Watkins is a professor of leadership and organizational change at the IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland, and co-founder of Genesis Advisers o boutique leadership development company. In 2023, he was inducted into the Thinkers 50 Hall of Fame in recognition of his decades of contributions to management and leadership. He is the author of the International best seller, "The First 90 Days, which has been called "the onboarding Bible by the Economist. I thought that was pretty cool. He previously was a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School. In addition to his research and writing, Michael coaches C-level executives taking new roles, using the 90-day onboarding book no doubt supports leadership development at senior levels and consults in organizational transformation. A m, but well worth it. You guys have really done a lot. Thank you so much for joining me today. Just thrilled that you took the time to write for us. Welcome.

Katia Vlachos:

It's a pleasure, thank you.

Garry Schleifer:

Yeah, Well, okay. So first of all, so okay, this whole issue is about Humanizing Healthcare. This really is not an article about that. It's in our mpact column. Why did you choose to write this article?

Katia Vlachos:

Okay, you go, no, you go.

Garry Schleifer:

No, you go.

Katia Vlachos:

But you discovered schema therapy first, right? And shared it with me and we both became really interested. You will talk about how you got like kind of deeper knowledge into it, but we both find ourselves using it with our clients, different kinds of clients and bu issues on the table schema therapy applies to everything, because it applies humans, right. We're very passionate about it and we thought it's useful for coaches to become more aware of what tools they can use from it and where the boundaries are.

Michael Watkins:

And I think you know, to be upfront about it, neither Katia nor I are psychotherapists or psychologists, right? So we're coaches, but so we're looking for frameworks we can apply in coaching. But of course, we also got interested in the overlaps and boundaries between coaching and therapy, and we'll talk about that a little bit later on.

Garry Schleifer:

Yeah, and seriously, thank you both for doing this, becaus I remember way back when we first started publishing churc choice, there was an issue called coaching versus therapy, and you know, when you submit articles that are published like this, it introduces the fact that it's not versus, it's as well as or in, you kno in collaboration with or on the next step from. So thank you so much for doing this article.

Michael Watkins:

Oh, thank you. n coaching versus therapy sounds like an advertisement for a cage match.

Garry Schleifer:

Yeah, no, we're not going to go there, not at all. Coaching is a very loving compassionate sport. o we don't do the cage match thing Very good. So let me tell you a little bit about schema therapy, maybe just as a starting point eah, and why we got so interested in it.

Michael Watkins:

It is a school of psychotherapy. You know there are many schools of psychotherapy. It was developed in the mid 1960s really by Jeffrey oung and his colleagues and it was designed to basically take on pretty serious mental health conditions that we're proving not to be really treatable through things like cognitive behavioral therapy alone. Right, it incorporates elements of cognitive behavioral therapy, but it's but it goes beyond that into the emotional side of things. And it was, it was kind of tuned to deal with personality disorders, Nrcissistic personality disorder, Borderline personality disorder, chronic depression anxiety. It was pretty serious, you know, conditions and panic issues and so on. Wo but to me and I think for both of us, it was the practicality of the framework that was really so attractive and the intuitive nature of the framework.

Katia Vlachos:

o the three key concepts we talk about in the article as well is schemas, triggers and modes, right, and schemas, simply said, is very deep patterns of thinking and feeling that also reflecting in a person's behavior. And there are very often, or most of them are formed in childhoods and very early years and and there are usually ways of coping with childhood experience, with upbringing, that at the time are adaptive and, as a person you know, in adulthood they become maladaptive, so they kind of follow people throughout their lives unless you know, somebody becomes aware of that, and they see therapy or coaching. Yes, so it may influence the way people see themselves, the relationships, others, the world. So they're kind of the world view, and an example that often comes up in both of our work is a schema called unrelenting standards. I basically when a person constantly strives to achieve very high standards, like impossible standards usually perfection, and that can be formed in childhood, when I don't know, at home there's a lot of emphasis on performance and the performance is rewarded, or when love and appreciation is conditional on performance. So it's a coping mechanism. You become really really good at things in order to be loved and appreciated, but as you grow up, this becomes something that holds you back because you're trying to achieve perfection, you're constantly working, you're never taking a break, you're not deriving joy and fulfillment out of things. It's more like checking the next box and then check the next box, and and and. So the idea is to help people you know become aware of that and cope with it.

Michael Watkins:

So it should be clear, Garry, that neither Kati and arrive any experience with unrelenting standards ourselves.

Garry Schleifer:

Oh, obviously not. This article i full of imperfections.

Michael Watkins:

This is purely theoretical.

Garry Schleifer:

Yeah.

Michael Watkins:

But I think, to K this point, I think you know what's challenging about this is it can be very functional early in your lives. right, you know you can be that striving, that constant striving that constant, you know, drive for perfection can take you arguably pretty good places until you kind of tend to hit a wall, right, and you can end up in the state we call joyless striving. Right, you're still striving, but the joy of doing it is gone. And for me, you know, as someone who does work with leaders, what we also saw was leaders exporting those demands onto the people who worked for them, right? So I had a leader I worked with who used to say, he was pleased but never satisfied with the work that his team did.

Katia Vlachos:

Oh, and it was always on to the next thing, on the next thing, on the next thing.

Michael Watkins:

No celebration, no, you know, no appreciation really, it's just that's the new baseline. Oh, here we go, right. So I think the schemas, you know, which I'm relenting standards, I think, is a classic example and where I think gets you know, kind of operational to a degree, is in the, these ideas of triggers and modes, right? So, triggering I think most of your audience, I'm sure, is familiar with the term. There's been lots of discussion about triggers and people get triggered by whatever it is that triggers them. You know, there's certain hormonal and physiological things that go on, and the trigger for unrelenting standards could be, you know, you failing to do something that you thought you should have been able to do, or someone working for you that hasn't achieved the kind of level of performance you expect, and that's, that's the trigger, right? Then that last concept of modes is, I think, for coaches, particularly important, because modes are basically versions of you that show up when you're triggered. Who is Garry when he is triggered? What version of Garry we would call it a mode shows up and how does that version of Garry behave? Basically is the core of the idea. Getting into exploring some of that is at the core, arguably, both of how you apply it in coaching, but also how you apply it in therapy.

Garry Schleifer:

Yeah, no, that's great because, to be honest, until I reread it and read about inferred mood versus mode, then I realized, oh, it's a mode, as in, a mode of operation. So you operate as in, you know, on page 21, brilliant, thank you for that pullout sidebar. Unrelenting standards, a common mode, demanding parent, which is driving oneself to work harder and avoid mistakes. So what you're saying is you become like a demanding parent, which is really what your experience was. That caused this in the first place. So full cycle.

Katia Vlachos:

Yeah, yeah, exactly. I mean, I often ask my clients okay, so who's talking now, like? Who is it Like? Who shows up when you get triggered? Yeah, Right, and that's the idea is, you know, you have the pattern and then you have the trigger that brings it out, and then you have the mode, which is you know, this is who is like exploding, you know , or?

Garry Schleifer:

Yeah, exactly.

Katia Vlachos:

Or the opposite or sacrifices themselves or yeah, because I mean his schema. I mean we have both encounter unrelenting standards in our work and you can talk a bit more about what's more common with leaders, and in my case, women are conditioned to sacrifice.

Garry Schleifer:

Oh go, no kidding. So that one is a big one, or they have to try about 10 times harder in order to get the same promotion that the man's getting.

Katia Vlachos:

Exactly. Well that's true, yeah.

Michael Watkins:

Plus the minority candidates too, right, over-credentializing is fairly typical, right.

Katia Vlachos:

Yeah.

Michael Watkins:

No, no. And so in leaders we see things like punitiveness right, that kind of self-beating yourself up, which can be related to unrelenting standards, but not necessarily always there. We sometimes see a schema called entitlement, which is basically on the road to narcissism. You know, yes, and but one of the studies that I did on this with leaders in our programs found that pretty close to 50% of the leaders at senior levels had, you know, arguably diagnosable, unrelenting standards, right, which is pretty extraordinary.

Garry Schleifer:

that percentage again.

Michael Watkins:

Yeah, no, it's crazy, and we get them at a point in their life where it's not necessarily working for them anymore. Right, they're in their mid-40s. It's kind of they're starting to say, well, what is this all about? Exactly so.

Katia Vlachos:

Yeah, and it can also lead to burnout, and you know, absolutely yeah.

Garry Schleifer:

Yeah, okay, so you've identified all of this. You know what it looks like in leaders. How do you introduce it in your coaching?

Katia Vlachos:

Yeah, so if I can, say how I do that. And then you can say because yeah, I don't only work with leaders. Some of them are but some of them are professional women or self-employed or entrepreneurs. In most cases I have them do like, right at very close to the beginning of the engagement, there's an assessment they take and then you get a sense and I mean I present to them okay, this is what schemas are. This is like exactly what we're doing here. I explain it. It's not you know, you're not ill or anything. These are. You know, we all have them kind of normalize it a bit, but this is what it looks like. These are yours.

Garry Schleifer:

And I just, here you go.

Katia Vlachos:

Exactly.

Michael Watkins:

Congratulations.

Garry Schleifer:

Or pick one from page 21. Exactly.

Katia Vlachos:

Very, very sometimes I you know I don't send it to them in advance.

Garry Schleifer:

We go through it together.

Katia Vlachos:

No, let's have some fun, that will scare people, right, it's important to understand this is not something that you should be scared of. This is actually empowering because you have a choice. Once you know what's going on, once you're starting to become aware of how it shows up, then you have a choice, and that's one of the things I emphasize is you can choose how you respond. Right, you can choose not to go into the automatic, you know, mode once you get triggered. So, yeah, so we identify them and then we start a conversation. Okay, do these make sense to you? First of all, because sometimes the questions you know, sometimes things show up that they don't agree with. Most cases they do, but there's also exceptions, right?

Garry Schleifer:

Well, they won't agree that day, but then in between that coaching call and the next one they go. You know, I thought a little bit and I'm like, okay, maybe you have a little bit of that and I'm like, oh yeah, I mean no, you don't say that out loud, but yeah, you have to give them a bit of time to digest, right.

Michael Watkins:

Right, it's a lot yeah.

Katia Vlachos:

So you know, that's the other thing. You have to go gradually. You can't just like give them a list of 10 things that are, yeah, I mean, I try to do it bit by bit. So, we start with the top three, you know, and maybe even the top two if there's like really heavy numbers, because there's scores for each schema and the assessment is based on the original Jeffrey Young questionnaire and we adapted to the ones that are the schemas that are most relevant for our clientele and there's specific questions for each schema.

Michael Watkins:

This was interesting and important, by the way, but it's one of the things we liked a lot about the schema framework was there were these diagnostic questionnaires and there was this framework of the certain kinds of schemas, and we both have used it.

Katia Vlachos:

I mean, we were the first to take it. Yeah, we were. But also what?

Michael Watkins:

you call the break free questionnaire, right, which is, yeah, so that was a big plus right, because you could begin to kind of have something data wise to show somebody and they kind of look at it and to catch this point, they on your point, they may actually go, no, not me. And then, well, you know, there are the numbers, Garry, yeah right, there's a 50-50 chance you're one of them.

Katia Vlachos:

Yeah, but I call it the break free, because it's what holds you back, and once you see it, then you can actually, you know, break free.

Garry Schleifer:

And does everybody have at least one of these on your list that you've seen in working with your clients?

Michael Watkins:

Pretty much yeah. Yeah, it's. I may become across one person and I'm not sure they were telling the truth, Garry, honestly, they were narcissists probably. Yeah, well, no, because you know we all tend to have some experiences in childhood that you know today the word trauma is thrown around pretty indiscriminately. But shaping experiences right, and also, you know we were parented in a generation with a different set of beliefs about what good parenting looks like, yeah, and if you come, for example, from a, you know, an immigrant family with a lot of ambition to go forward, you know you're getting that pressure probably pretty early to really kind of go for it, you know. So, yeah, no, we don't see many, you know, kind of schema free people.

Garry Schleifer:

I know, but we all have something. Yeah, exactly, we all have a past. We all have something, you know. One thing I want to check in with the two of you on is one of the things that came to mind for me when I was reading, uh thinking of the modes, we worked in coaching school. You did, too, CTI. We talked about gremlins. This is similar to gremlins saboteurs.

Katia Vlachos:

Are you familiar with positive intelligence as well? The different kinds of sabotage and stuff. So yeah, so I think this is the earlier version of that. Right okay, it is the. Well, we see, I think in CTI it's the and in positive intelligence the saboteurs are not you.

Garry Schleifer:

They're right. Exactly that's what I mean. Yeah, so that's why it's wondering these ones you know.

Michael Watkins:

So we believe. Actually just me. I believe that positive intelligence is an adaptation largely of the schema framework, focusing especially on the modes, and there's nothing wrong with simplifying and popularizing.

Garry Schleifer:

Right, and make it useable.

Michael Watkins:

Yeah, exactly, absolutely right. So a lot of respect for their ability to do that. I personally I don't know about you, but I personally find the levels of schema trigger mode really quite helpful. Right, because you can talk at different levels and the schema stuff can. You can begin to touch on early experience. But you got to be super careful about that for the reasons we'll talk about. You know, regard to the boundary right between schema and therapy and coaching.

Garry Schleifer:

Well, I think I, yeah, go ahead, Katia.

Katia Vlachos:

No, I was going to say possibly the schemas also go a little bit deeper than yeah, like you said, the saboteurs are more like. How does that show up? And we both took positive intelligence and it's a great framework and I use both and my clients love the saboteurs and they actually stay with you right, because they're very memorable.

Garry Schleifer:

Well, and especially if you give them a character. lk I had a mone money gremlin, and it was a combo between Shrek, the lipstick dragon there you go. nd Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars.

Michael Watkins:

Oh my God, it's hilarious. That's not a pretty picture.

Garry Schleifer:

Well, it is if she smiles, She e could be this tall, or she could be three stories tall, depending on how much my money story was affecting me that day. So I always think of that as still being around, and especially when I'm thinking down about money or finance or whatever, I recall the you know, my money gremlin. BThese are these are you, is i and we can get into the boundary n coaching and therapy. Maybe this falls in that line, do we? Can we consider this a third person, and not us person, like a Savitur gremlin?

Michael Watkins:

So the way the therapist would tell you is that they're versions of you, right, they're all you, they're not some alien. You know that's you kno taking you over and is directing your actions, right. But it's also something I think that's important about what you're getting at, too, is you can have multiple modes that you operate in, right, depending on what triggers you, depending on the schemas that you have. One of the most interesting things we do, I think, as part of the continuing conversation that Kati is describing, is start to help the client begin to identify, perhaps, the multiple modes that they operate in, and even beginning to connect to what you said, Gary, naming those modes right, so that you begin to have almost a part of your character associated with that particular mode and we can talk about when Jaba shows up right. Yeah right.

Katia Vlachos:

No, we do, yeah, yeah, you know for sure.

Michael Watkins:

So no, it's really. But I think also you know maybe a bit too about sort of how I think you're particularly gifted at this how you work with the clients to begin to help to move them forward using the framework.

Katia Vlachos:

Yeah, so once we've identified the schemas, then we talk about how they show up and then you know. It's about becoming aware and starting to notice. Right, same with. You know similar, exactly. It's like similar to the sabotage you notice when they show up. You notice what it is that triggers, you notice what shows up and then you start to reflect okay, what's a healthier response that I want to choose? How do I bring out the healthy adult mode, which is our preferred mode? Right, the bolded, different? That's the one we want to go towards. And how do I interrupt the automatic response? So what I do with my clients often is I say, when you get triggered, where do you feel that Like? Where does it show up in your body? Because it you know it shows up in the body before the mind starts to make up the stories and the picking up in general. So we practice that, so we say, okay, imagine you're getting triggered, blah blah. Okay, where do you feel that? And they feel it in a specific part. I'm like, okay, next time you notice this is happening. That's when you make the choice and you already have the choice ready for you Ready? Yeah, exactly, Next time you get triggered, right. So next time this happens, this is how I want to show up, and it sounds really simple, right? And it really isn't, and so I manage to expect this as well. So we start with awareness, we start with noticing the body, and we're just gonna keep doing that and we're gonna keep practicing and in the end, you know, at some point it's gonna become more natural. I just feels weird and you're like you know I'm not doing this, you know this doesn't make any sense. I'm really upset now I'm. You know I'm gonna be the angry child, or whatever, I'm gonna really take on the angry child. But there is an element of choice and it comes with practice and it comes with time. So this is how I approach it and this is you know, coaching focuses on the now and on the future right, and this is what we try to help them with. How are you gonna manage it when it shows up? We're not gonna heal, and we'll talk about this later on right. But you know, and we, make that very clear to them. And yeah, no, I'll stop here, because then I'm going into therapy and I don't know.

Michael Watkins:

This is great, right, and s when I talk to leaders about this, I talk to them about, you know, understanding progress not being the quick fix to new and better G ay gay right, hat that doesn't happen. And there are stages you go through, gary right, and so I always say you start with blissful ignorance, right, you don't even know what you're doin doing. Right, you don't have any Jbjust over it. just shows up when Java decides to, and wreaks havoc in your life. But then there's this point you get to where you realize, after the fact that you've been Java, right, and you're kind of going oh, geez, I was just yeah, there it was again. And then gradually, you start to work yourself to Jaa's gonna show up. I can feel it. oh darn, java showed up again. Right, you know. But at least you're aware before it happens and eventually you work towards okay, you know Jaba's gonna show up, but no, java's not gonna show up today. I'm gonna walk out of the room rather than blow up, right. And then you have to do a little bit of meditation, which I think you work a lot with your clients on, to calm myself down, to calm down the automatic responses. and do you wanna see a little bit about the name?

Garry Schleifer:

What's that, Katia?

Katia Vlachos:

It's a lot like parenting. Well isn't coaching always. Lots of deep breathing, yeah.

Garry Schleifer:

Sometimes standing in a corner, yeah.

Michael Watkins:

Just that you d o a lot of work with the body and with mindfulness and relaxation. It's a way to kind of work into something else, right?

Katia Vlachos:

Yeah, exactly. Yeah go ahead.

Garry Schleifer:

Where is it in your body, like you said earlier, right, you're tapping into our next issue on neuroscience and some of the myths and realities and body and gut and all that sort of stuff.

Katia Vlachos:

So yeah, yeah wonderful. Fantastic, All related all related, but you're gonna allow him

Garry Schleifer:

Last words about coaching versus therapy. I must say thank you, as always brilliantly said. This work is no substitute for professional psychological treatment when such treatment is needed. Therefore, coaches must know their limits and respect the boundary between coaching and therapy.

Katia Vlachos:

Well, this is important. We hear about it throughout coaching, training. Right, it's a big deal, and it's something I was, to be honest, very mindful of when Michael first mentioned schema therapy, and I said schema therapy? So we had a lot of heated debates about who is allowed to do what, and so this comes out of our you know both our experience, but also our kind of arguing with each other about it. So we're trained, I would be debating. Debating, aren't we?

Michael Watkins:

Sorry.

Katia Vlachos:

It's my English. I'm not native.

Garry Schleifer:

Well, technically neither am I, but anyway. pirit debates.

Katia Vlachos:

ebate about it. So we're trained to recognize when we should refer somebody to a therapist In terms of schema therapy. Our field, or a playing field, I would say, is, you know, we deal with the present and the future. Like I said, we deal with modes, we deal with triggers, we help people show up differently, be empowered, choose. We're not into the business or the function really of helping people heal those schemas, those traumas. We can't deal with, obviously, with mental illness or with serious mental health situations. And when we recognize something like that, even you know, through our work with schemas, people can get triggered or they can get w hile you're working with them. Exactly, that's t tricky part, right, and you have to to. And you know, I think we're we've gotten quite good at recognizing when something like that happens and, very gently guiding them towards getting additional support and we don't have to dump them. Obviously, you know we can still keep working with them, but you know there's somebody helping them deal with the distress, deal with the, with the schema and there are fantastic methods for helping people actually recognize when this happens, how this happened, how it impacted them and how they're going to deal with it, and then they're quite effective, but they're not going to feel this.

Michael Watkins:

Exactly, And if you're opening up the early trauma box, you're, you'r you're in territory. You shouldn't be. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I should say, there was an early experience we had with this tha, you know, I think, helped clarify, at least for me initially, and I think we reached a good compromise in our view, which wa I was coaching, you know, senior exacts, very senior, and finding there were things that were going on with them that I just didn't feel at all qualified to deal with. Right, you know, narcissism would be an example where they were clearly suffering, right, or this unrelenting standards that was clearly, you know, anchored in something early in their lives. And so I started doing joint work with schema therapists, with the same client, and so, you know, leader X, I would have therapy sessions with a, one of the very gifted schema therapists that I got to know, and I would work more on the trigger mode, behavioral, future oriented side, and the results were really pretty incredible. Right, because you've got, you've got people that know what they're doing on both end of that events, of that equation, working with the same person with the same language, which turned out to be super valuable and important. But it also, you know, I think, really clarified for me, you know, what's the relative roles of those two.

Garry Schleifer:

Yeah, that would be great. Love to know, that know somebody else is, and you know, and even every once in a while you all three get together and just kind of you know, say.

Michael Watkins:

So that's a tricky one, But ike all coaching, you have to be very thoughtful about confidentiality. Yeah, so the client is always in charge and I would say to play it. Hey, is it okay with you if I talk to your therapist about X? And likewise the therapist would say is it okay, you know, if I Michael about why? So the there, the clients always at the center in control. Yeah, but when they allow those discussions to happen, it can be incredibly productive. Right, because again, coordinate the relative roles.

Katia Vlachos:

Yeah, but good question that's. That's a good statement, yeah.

Garry Schleifer:

Well, thank you so much for that. You know, one of the things I'm getting out of this and about anything related to therapy and coaching, is knowledge, observation, awareness and possible actions. And then, of course, at the root of it all is, if this client's in distress and whatever you're leading them to is causing you to see that, send them back.

Michael Watkins:

It's a very nice way to articulate it.

Katia Vlachos:

Because there's go ahead. No, no, I was gonna say because you have to talk about some of the past experiences, but again, very carefully, very gently, very mindfully, because you can't like, they have to understand where it's coming from.

Garry Schleifer:

Well, I know, like you're coaching a client, you can never not talk about the past. It's like they talk about an incident and chances are you're gonna say something like oh, when has this happened before and what did you do about it? So really, you know, it's not about not talking about the past, it's about talking about the past for the benefit of now and the future.

Katia Vlachos:

Right, xactly the road.

Garry Schleifer:

So, and if the past is causing pain or frustration and the client is like, really like I'll just use the word in distress, then you're out of your depth. Your league, like Michael was saying, wasn't feeling comfortable with it. Yeah, and that could be the case for just about anything, like you know. If somebody says, well, I wish I knew more about this, and you're not a consultant or a trainer, then you know well, so what will we do about this? You know, go over that way. That's a good point. Yeah, it's good. Wow, this has been awesome. Now you mentioned an assessment. Do you have an assessment for people to use or no?

Katia Vlachos:

You use one with the clients as well, I use one with my clients.

Michael Watkins:

It's not something that's kind of publicly accessible, but the one that Katia has is it's on our website.

Katia Vlachos:

Oh, okay. Well, I have a quiz on my website. That's kind of the initial, like the entry level. Anybody can take it. It's on my website. It's called the break free quiz, but I also have the opening assessment that I do with my clients. So I send it to my clients, it's not on my website it's not public.

Garry Schleifer:

Yeah, yeah, but it gets people an idea ecause you know. One of the things I want to know is like, what do you want our audience to do because of our conversation in the article? And if you want them to go over there, name your destination and right.

Katia Vlachos:

Well, they can start by taking the break free quiz. It's https://www. katiavlachos. com/break-free-quiz is my website, and they'll find the quiz there. Gives them an idea. Okay, where do you feel trapped? What's holding you back?

Garry Schleifer:

Yeah, exactly.

Katia Vlachos:

Yeah, but if I wanted your audience to know something is read about it. It's fascinating. I mean, schema therapy is fascinating. Don't be put off by the word therapy, because there's a lot of really interesting concepts and applications, and for me it's well. First of all, what I tell my clients is, again it's something we all have. It's the more you know about it the better, and it's empowering because you have a choice. You're not a prisoner of these schemas.

Garry Schleifer:

You always have the power.

Michael Watkins:

No, but I was just gonna product placements like every single day.

Garry Schleifer:

Right, she said it. You guys well, not just you, both of you said it so many times I'm like, okay already. Okay, why do you think we named the magazine choice?

Katia Vlachos:

It's no coincidence.

Michael Watkins:

It's 21 years ago and it still works. There is one reference that we do recommend. The Cambridge University Press just last year came up with a new sort of summary and distillation of schema therapy called the Cambridge Guide to Schema Therapy. Neither of us are authors of said book and we've received no financial, you know. So what if you did? We're fine with that, you know. But it's fabulous because it really gives you just a wonderful introduction to the schema therapy. What's it called?

Garry Schleifer:

Coaching Guide to Schema Therapy.

Michael Watkins:

There we go, thank you.

Garry Schleifer:

Cambridge Guide to Schema Therapy.

Katia Vlachos:

Thank you, but there's also yeah, there's also the original schema therapy book by Jeffrey Young and there's also the popularized version of that called.

Michael Watkins:

Improving your

Katia Vlachos:

Reinvent your Life. I mean I can provide the link on the screen.

Garry Schleifer:

Yeah, send us that, we'll put it with this recording and that one is much more for clients to understand.

Katia Vlachos:

It's much more for the layperson.

Garry Schleifer:

Good, well, and this to this as well. So thank you very much for that. What's the best way to reach you?

Katia Vlachos:

So yeah, my website www. Katiavlachos. com, and LinkedIn, Katia Blahos appy to connect. Awesome Anyone who wants to know more.

Michael Watkins:

Probably LinkedIn for me, Js Michael Watkins. I manage my own LinkedIn, so I reach out. I get you.

Garry Schleifer:

Yeah, pretty much All right. Well, if you get a message from me, you know it's me, because I do mind too. Not well, so don't expect a response really fast. Best way is email, anyway. But not about me, it's about you. There was my narcissistic schema showing up. Thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you so much for writing the article and talking beyond the page of it. We really appreciate it. I know our audience appreciates it. So thank you very much for your time.

Katia Vlachos:

Thank you, Garry, I'm very honored.

Garry Schleifer:

That's it for this episode of Beyond the Page. For more episodes, subscribe via your favorite podcast app, probably the one that got you here in the first place. I mean, if you're not a subscriber, you can sign up for your free digital issue of choice Magazine by going to choice-online. com and clicking the Sign Up Now button. I'm Garry Schleifer, and join the journey of mastery. Thank you.

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