Bergen International Conference
on Forensic Psychiatry
September, 2022


The Bergen International Conference on forensic Psychiatry will host workshops on the adjoinng days of the conference.

Monday 24th of October 2016

Workshop 0900-1600
Workshop Venue:  DRÆGGEN 8 at the conference hotel
The Practical Management of Borderline Personality Disorder

John Livesley (CAN)

This course will describe a unified trans-theoretical treatment model that combines strategies and interventions used by all effective therapies. The rationale for such an approach is based on evidence of similar outcomes across the different therapies. The course begins by offering a framework for understanding the nature and origins of personality disorder that is used to define treatment targets and strategies. Building on this foundation, an integrated approach is presented that has two main components: intervention modules and a model of how personality pathology changes with treatment. Interventions are organized into modules which allows therapists to tailor treatment to the needs of individual patients. Intervention modules consist of general treatment modules based on change mechanisms common to all effective therapies that are used throughout treatment with all patients and specific treatment modules consisting of interventions drawn from the various specialized therapies that are used to treat the specific problems and impairments of individual patients such as emotional lability, hostility, and rejection sensitivity. The general modules consist of interventions to build an effective treatment process by establishing a structured process, an effective therapeutic bond, consistency, and validation and interventions to build motivation and enhance self-reflection. Specific treatment modules are added to this structure created by the general modules as needed to treat the problems of individual patients.  The actual modules used varies throughout therapy as different issues become the focus of treatment.  Most therapies progress through phases with each phase focusing primarily on a specific set of impairments.  The typical sequence for most therapies involves focusing successively on: (i) engagement, safety, and containment: (ii) managing emotional dysregulation and promoting emotion processing capacity; (iii) treating interpersonal problems, and (iv), constructing a new sense of self/identity and building a life worth living.  The phase model of therapeutic change allows specific interventions to be used in sequential and coordinated way.

John Livesley is a speaker at the Bergen Conference and his BIO is found by following this link.

Friday 28th of October 2016

Workshop 0900-1600
Workshop Venue: DRÆGGEN 1 at the conference hotel
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for the Treatment of Personality Disorders

Shelley McMain (CAN)

This one-day workshop introduces participants to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for the treatment of individuals with personality disorders (PD’s).  A theoretical approach to personality disorders will be discussed, explaining the development of PD symptoms. The workshop will present the core principles underlying DBT practice and demonstrate how they guide clinical decisions in challenging situations. As well, participants will learn about DBT’s modes of intervention and the functions of each mode. The benefits of establishing a clear treatment framework will be highlighted as will the strategies for structuring treatment. The workshop will also include a discussion of the core treatment strategies of DBT and a demonstration of these strategies through role plays and videotaped session excerpts.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss pervasive emotion dysregulation and DBT’s biosocial theory so that participants will be able to understand the goals of DBT.
  • Explain the functions of each mode of DBT so that participants can consider how to flexibly apply DBT.
  • Describe two strategies that can be used to promote engagement and collaborative behavior.


Shelley McMain is a speaker at the Bergen Conference and her BIO is found by following this link.


Workshop 0900-1600
Workshop Venue: DRÆGGEN 3 at the conference hotel
Metacognitive interpersonal therapy

Giancarlo Dimaggio (IT)

Metacognitive Interpersonal Therapy (MIT) has been originally developed to treat personality disorders. It has recently been manualized for personality disorders other than borderline (Dimaggio et al., 2015). In this workshop I will describe the main general feature of MIT and in particular how it is aimed at: improving metacognitive capacities; recognize maladaptive schemas; form a shared understanding of functioning with the patient; take critical distance from maladptive interpersonal patterns; start forming more adaptive relational patterns and then acting accordingly. I will then describe how these principles are tailored to treat patients with prominent aggression (e.g. domestic offenders). One core principle I will outline is that a key aspect of treatment is refrain from putting a focus on the patients’ inability to empathize with others. Instead, the first focus will be helping them improving self-knowledge, in particular the cognitive-affective antecedents of aggression and then find more adaptive way to regulate them.

Giancarlo Dimaggio is a speaker at the Bergen Conference and his BIO is found by following this link.


Workshop 0900-1600
Workshop Venue: DRÆGGEN 8 at the conference hotel
Schema Therapy for Impulsive, Aggressive, and Antisocial Patients: An Introductory Workshop

David Bernstein (NL)

In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of the Schema Therapy (ST) approach as applied to a complex and challenging group of patients: those with personality disorders (PDs), impulsivity, anger, aggression, and antisocial and addictive behaviour.  ST (Young, Klosko, & Weishaar, 2003) is an integrative therapy that combines cognitive, behavioural, psychodynamic object relations, and humanistic/experiential approaches.  ST was developed for patients with PDs who often respond poorly to standard forms of psychotherapy.  Bernstein and colleagues (2007) have adapted ST for patients with aggressive and antisocial problems, including psychopathic patients who are often viewed as “untreatable.”  The effectiveness of ST was recently tested in a 3-year, multi-center randomized clinical trial in the Netherlands.  One hundred three male forensic inpatients with Antisocial, Borderline, Narcissistic, or Paranoid PDs, or Cluster B PD Not Otherwise Specified, were allocated to receive ST or treatment-as-usual (TAU).  At baseline, fifty four percent had significant psychopathic traits (PCL-R > 25) and 83% were at high risk of (violent) recidivism on the HCR-20.  Patients in the ST condition showed significantly greater reduction in PD symptoms, greater improvements on risks and strengths on the HCR-20 and START, reductions in early maladaptive schemas, and more rapid progress in re-entering the community, compared to TAU patients.  In light of these findings, the Netherlands has officially designed ST an evidence-based treatment for forensic patients with PDs.

Participants in the workshop will be introduced to the concept of schema modes, emotional states or “parts of the self” that temporarily dominate a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviour.  Working with schema modes is the central concept in the adaptation of ST for forensic PD patients.  Using lecture material, videos, live demonstrations, and exercises, participants will learn how to recognize schema modes, and use this concept to understand, and more effectively respond to, the challenging behaviour of these complex PD patients.

David Bernstein is a speaker at the Bergen Conference and his BIO is found by following this link.