Arnoud Arntz
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Arnoud Arntz is professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with an affiliation at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. His main research interests lie in the fields of PTSD and personality disorders, both applied and fundamental. He also practices as a psychotherapist at PsyQ in Amsterdam, where he treats patients with trauma and personality disorders. Together with Adam Radomsky he was editor of the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry.

His research focuses on psychological processes underlying personality disorders (PDs), especially borderline personality disorder (BPD), and anxiety disorders, especially PTSD; and their treatment. Using the approach of experimental psychopathology he tested psychological theories of anxiety disorders and PDs and contributed to the development of their psychological treatment. In developing and testing psychological theories and treatments he aims to connect basic research and clinical work. He is perhaps best known for his contributions to the development of Schema Therapy and Imagery Rescripting. He was project leader of the multicenter RCT that compared schema therapy (ST) to Transference Focused Psychotherapy as treatments of Borderline PD, and of another multicenter RCT that compared ST to treatment as usual (TAU) and CCT for 6 other PDs. Currently he is PI of an international RCT comparing working mechanisms of Imagery Rescripting and EMDR for PTSD that originated from childhood traumas, and together with Dr Joan Farrell PI of the international RCT that compares group-ST to TAU for Borderline PD. Professor Arntz also chairs a Dutch-German collaborative study investigating basic brain and cognitive processes in BPD and their change during treatment, which is associated with the international RCT on group-ST.


Imagery Rescripting: a transdiagnostic technique to address problems related to traumatic and other negative experiences.

In Imagery Rescripting the meaning of the memory representation of a traumatic (or otherwise negative) event is changed by having the patient imagine as lively as possible a different outcome that meets the needs of the patient better. Imagery Rescripting is a powerful technique with empirical evidence for its effectiveness across disorders. It can be integrated in various forms of psychotherapy, or used as a complete treatment. Imagery Rescripting can be applied to memories of events that really happened in the past, but also to imagined events (like in nightmares, or feared future catastrophes). Although it is often applied when patients report intrusions (esp. of a visual kind), the technique can also successfully applied to change the meaning of experiences that contributed to dysfunctional schemas. Although its name suggests that the original memory representation is erased, research indicates that this is not the case. Rather, it seems the meaning of the memory (and not the memory of facts) that is changed.

The workshop will focus on the generic use of Imagery Rescripting, so that participants can use the technique in a variety of clinical problems, including PTSD, social phobia, chronic depression, and personality disorders. The basic protocol will be introduced, with both the therapist changing the script, and the patient from an observer perspective changing the script. Methods to increase the impact on the original memory representation, especially when it comes to (traumatic) childhood experiences will be discussed. Other issues that will be treated include when to start the rescripting, that full reliving of trauma memories is unnecessary, and dealing with problems like dissociation.

The workshop will be active, that is participants will practice techniques in pairs while support is provided; and there will be an interactive part where participants can raise questions and bring in specific cases.