Schema Therapy

Recent research has shown that short-term Cognitive Behavioural therapy can be effective in helping clients overcome emotional problems, especially anxiety and depression. However, short term Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is sometimes not enough and clients may require longer term therapy. As a result of this Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been expanded by various researchers and Schema therapy was created. Schema therapy is a long term therapy that is effective in treating personality disorders, chronic depression, relationship issues and other complex difficulties. Schema Therapy integrates cognitive behavioural techniques with other widely practiced therapies. 

What are Schemas?

Schemas are enduring negative patterns, beliefs and feelings about oneself and the environment. Core schemas are formed when needs are not met in childhood, which then prevents similar needs from being fulfilled in adulthood. For example, children who have been abused or treated unfairly by parents or siblings can develop mistrust/abuse schema.  Due to this experience in childhood they may grow up to expect others to put them down, hurt or abuse them. As schemas are self perpetuating, resistant to change and often out of awareness, individuals may end up drawn to partners who put them down, and are abusive toward them. Clients who present at therapy are often confused about long-term patterns and the way in which they interact with other people. Gaining insight into our schemas can be the first step toward change.  There are 18 schemas in total, however not all will be relevant to the individual.  A comprehensive assessment will enable clients to identify schemas that are relevant to them. Schemas are hard to change, however, by addressing core schemas clients can begin to see the benefits of how change can occur in all areas of their life.

Choosing a Therapist

When entering into therapy it is important to select a therapist who is experienced, adequately qualified and is connected to a professional association with high standards and codes of ethics. Schema Therapy is a long term therapy, which can last from 12 months to 3 years depending on the seriousness of the client’s problems. When seeking a therapist for Schema Therapy it is important to clarify the therapist’s commitment to the long term therapy.  

Schema Therapy can be helpful with;

  • personality disorders
  • chronic depression
  • relationship issues
All Therapies