Richard G. Erskine, PhD, held online workshop: Shame, internal criticism and relation withdrawal: psychotherapy of the schizoid process on December 4, 5 and 6, 2020.

This event was sponsored by the consortium of:

National Association for Transactional Analysis of Serbia

TA Centre – Association of Transactional Analysts of Serbia

TAUS regional TA association

Center for Transactional Analysis

Serbian Association for Transactional Analysis

Serbian Association for Integrative Psychotherapy

Shame, internal criticism, and relational withdrawal are core components of a “schizoid process”.  This internal process of fragmenting the Self can be present, yet unrecognized, in the psychotherapy of many clients where  Shame is a protective dynamic to avoid vulnerability, humiliation, and the loss of contact-in-relationship with others. The compounded and continual reinforcement of the core Script Belief ‘something is wrong with me’ presents the therapist with complex challenges. Often clients withdraw into a protective internal space that requires a sensitive attunement to their private experience.

In this 3-session Zoom Seminar Richard Erskine did not only teach about the therapeutic significance of Shame, he also explored the theory of the Schizoid Process and how it might relate to some of clients who were depressed, shy, suffer from internal criticism, or fear intimate relationships. 

Dr. Erskine illustrated the self-stabilizing process of internal-splitting, the various forms of the Self, the dynamics of compliance and withdrawal, alternating attachment patterns, the function of internal-criticism, and the therapeutic methods required for working with each part of the Self.

Working with individuals for whom internal criticism and shame are primary ways of organizing their emotional experience and who engage in a Schizoid Process as an ongoing coping mechanism, it is essential that the psychotherapist has an understanding of the client’s phenomenological experience and patience with the client’s difficulty in voicing their internal sensations and feelings. Such clients require a psychotherapist who is consistently attuned to their various affective states.

At the workshop, Dr. Richard Erskine made use of PowerPoint illustrations and formal teaching as well as engaging the participants in discussions of their therapy cases in order to explore the dynamics of shame, internal criticism, confusion and relational withdrawal. Various methods of a Relational Approach to Psychotherapy were emphasized. 

This online video seminar was held in English and Serbian with consecutive translation.  (You can read here about consecutive interpreting: what is consecutive interpreting).

Dr. Erskine insists on consecutive translation, because this is the best way to attune alive with translators and participants – to monitor whether participants understand the content, to monitor participants and their reactions and potentially include them in the discussion.

If you didn’t participate in the workshop, and want to watch the recording (or recordings of any of the workshops organized or co-organized by NATAS) you can order recording. Our recommendation is to participate in person whenever it is possible, because that way you can communicate with a lecturer directly.

Only participants who had taken part in seminar got certificate of 9 hours of education.

For results of evaluation of this seminar, click here.

Handouts, PowerPoint presentation and video recording of the seminar are not included in the price.

For more information please contact:

Zvonko (Zvonimir Ninić); E-mail:; Phone: +381641376144

Richard G. Erskine, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist and Training Director of the Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy. Originally trained in client-centered child therapy, Dr Erskine also studied Gestalt therapy with both Fritz and Laura Perls. He is a certified clinical Transactional Analyst and a Licensed Psychoanalyst who has specialized in psychoanalytic self-psychology and object-relations theory. His work is an integration of these concepts and fifty years of clinical experience which has included working with disturbed children, inmates in a maximum security prison, borderline and narcissistic clients, post-traumatic stress and dissociative identity disorders. Recently his research and clinical practice have focused on the treatment of the schizoid process and on the psychotherapy of obsession. He is the author of several books and scores of articles on psychotherapy theory and methods. His best-selling book (with Jan Moursund and Rebecca Trautmann) is Beyond Empathy: A Therapy of Contact-in-Relationship(1999, Brunner/Mazel).