Chronic and recurrent mental health problems are often not just a challenge to the patient but also to the therapist, as these severe conditions frequently defy standard treatment approaches. Many of the Axis I disorders (depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, somatoform disorders, addictions and diffuse psychiatric complaints) have a high risk of becoming chronic conditions that eventually wear out the patient and the treatment providers. Standard CBT treatments that aim at symptom reduction often fail to address the maintaining factors that relate to the intra-psychic dynamics of personality functioning. The workshop addresses this gap by utilizing an integrative approach of evidence-based therapies (ranging from CBASP to Schema Therapy to psychodynamic approaches e.g. TFP, MBT) that focuses on personality functioning as an underlying factor in maintaining chronic mental health disorders. It aims to refine therapists’ conceptualization of these complex cases and to enhance their repertoire of interventions based on a clearer understanding of the patients’ pathology.  


  • Detailed look at the concept of personality functioning (and similar theoretical constructs) and its clinical implications as well as ways to assess it in every day practice
  • Discussion of often overlooked maintaining factors for chronic mental health conditions ranging from intra-psychic dynamics to interpersonal trauma and systemic factors
  • Review of clinical theories of Axis I disorders (anxiety, OCD, PTSD, addictions and others) with a focus on personality function for the maintenance of these disorders
  • Introduction to specific treatment modalities that aim at recovery of complex mental health concerns with focus on Schema Therapy, Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy and Transference Focused Therapy.
  • A fresh look at the biopsychosocial model of mental health and its paramount importance for understanding chronic mental health disorders
  • Demonstrations and practice of specific treatment approaches that address personality functioning as well as rich case illustrations 

Intention of Workshop:

Participants will acquire a broader and deeper understanding of possible maintaining factors for chronic MH disorders (which will in turn inform successful clinical interventions) and hopefully gain a sense of excitement for working with these often complex cases.


Tobias Schulze, Clinical Psychologist: I received post graduate training in CBT and was licensed as psychological psychotherapist in Germany. Working many years in MH inpatient units I have developed a focus in my work on treating Personality Disorders and specifically on Narcissistic PD, as well as recurrent and chronic mental health conditions. I work from an integrative perspective combining Schema Therapy, ACT and psychodynamic understanding.


Venue: Hawke’s Bay Club, 53 Marine Parade, Napier 4110

Times: 9 am to 5 pm on both days

Catering: full catering provided (morning lunch, tea) for all dietary needs

Fee: $365 - early bird available until 12th of September, after that $425. Credit card payments possible but will incur a $15 surcharge.

Registration: Please register at, your registration will only be final once the full fee has been received. All cancellations 30 days or less before the event cannot be reimbursed, but you are free to transfer your spot to a person of your choice.