What is Schema Therapy?
Schema Therapy helps people to change long-standing patterns by shifting entrenched unhelpful beliefs and coping styles. In Schema Therapy, psychologists work together with clients to identify and explore the origins of their schemas. After understanding why their schemas have developed, the emphasis is on working towards healing the schema using a number of different techniques including mindfulness, thought challenging, imagery, chair-work, role-playing, exposure and general coping skills training.
The aim of Schema Therapy is to truly shift the way the person feels about themselves and others, not just to change the way that they think.
What is a schema?
Schemas are broad, pervasive beliefs that we have about ourselves and other people. Negative schemas develop during childhood and adolescence in response to our needs not being met (needs such as safety, consistency, stability and validation).
Negative schemas can interfere with us having our emotional needs met as adults because they colour the way we perceive ourselves and the world around us. They can block us from experiencing healthy relationships and often lead to symptoms of mental illness and a general sense of dissatisfaction with life.