Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy

Integrative Psychotherapy
Training Programs and Workshops


Withdrawal, Silence & Loneliness: Psychotherapy of the Schizoid Process

Richard G. Erskine, PhD.

A training workshop: Friday & Saturday, November 17 & 18, 2023
London, UK

Broadway House, Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NQ

The Schizoid Process has been described as a split in a person’s sense of self that results in silence, loneliness, a social façade, and relational withdrawal. These forms of coping with relational challenges are acutely reflected in the lives of many clients who come to psychotherapy and counselling with symptoms of depression, relational difficulties and/or social anxiety. Often, such clients find themselves continually plagued by internal criticism and shame as a primary way of organizing their emotional experiences. A splitting of the self can be present, yet unrecognized in many clients. Dr. Erskine will offers several ways of understanding and empathetically working with clients for struggle with silence, loneliness, internal criticism and constant adaptation.

Through case studies and clinical examples, the workshop provides us with an understanding of the Schizoid Process and focuses on several issues:

1. The four different levels of psychological splitting and how we can work therapeutically with the concomitant psychological fragmentation;

2. How the Schizoid Process relates to some of our clients who present as depressed, shy, reticent or fearful of intimate relationships;

3. The therapeutic significance of both internal criticism and shame – especially in cases where shame has become a protective dynamic for the client to avoid vulnerability, humiliation and loss of contact-in-relationship with others;

4. Drawing on Object Relations and Integrative Psychotherapy, the workshop explains multiple methods and styles of intervention specifically designed to work with:

◦ Attachment Patterns of the social self

◦ The frightened, vulnerable self

◦ The internal saboteur and

◦ The encapsulated self

Dr Erskine will illustrate the self-stabilizing process of internal splitting and highlight the correlations with various forms of self, the five components of shame, the dynamics of compliance and withdrawal, alternating attachment patterns and the function of internal criticism.

Overall, the workshop draws on Developmentally-based, Relationally-focussed techniques from Integrative Psychotherapy to emphasize the importance of understanding the client’s phenomenological experience, the significance of silence and the need for patience when the client struggles to voice their internal sensations and feelings; so we can effectively address the resolution of loneliness, internal criticism, compliance and relational withdrawal.

The suggested readings for this course are:

1. Withdrawal Silence Loneliness: Psychotherapy of the Schizoid Process. By Richard G. Erskine. Publish by Phoenix Publishing. ISBN-13:978-1-800131-87-3

2. The Art and Science of Relationship: The Practice of Integrative Psychotherapy. By Richard G. Erskine and Janet P. Moursund. Published byPhoenix Publishing.ISBN: 13:978-80013-137-8

Ordered both books directly from Phoenix at.

Contact: For information and registration please contact:
The Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists, by the National Board of Certified Counselors for counselors and by the American Board of Examiners in Pastoral Counseling for pastoral counselors. The Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.