Schema Therapy is an integrative approach to treatment that combines the best aspects of cognitive-behavioral, experiential, interpersonal and psychoanalytic therapies into one unified model. Schema Therapy has shown remarkable results in helping people to change negative (“maladaptive”) patterns which they have lived with for a long time, even when other treatment interventions they have tried before have been largely unsuccessful.
The Schema-Therapy model was developed by Dr. Jeffrey Young, who originally worked closely with Dr. Aaron Beck, the founder of Cognitive Therapy. While treating clients at the Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Young and his colleagues identified a segment of people who had difficulty in benefiting from the standard approach. He discovered that these people typically had long-standing patterns or themes in thinking, feeling and behaving/coping that required a different means of intervention. Dr. Young’s attention turned to ways of helping patients to address and modify these deeper patterns or themes, also known as “schemas” or “lifetraps.”
The schemas that are targeted in treatment are enduring and self-defeating patterns that typically begin early in life. These patterns consist of negative/dysfunctional thoughts and feelings, have been repeated and elaborated upon, and pose obstacles for accomplishing one’s goals and getting one’s needs met. Some examples of schema beliefs are: “I’m unlovable,” “I’m a failure,” “People don’t care about me,” “I’m not important,” “Something bad is going to happen,” “People will leave me,” “I will never get my needs met,” “I will never be good enough,” and so on.
Although schemas are usually developed early in life (during childhood or adolescence), they can also form later, in adulthood. These schemas are perpetuated behaviorally through the coping styles of schema maintenance, schema avoidance, and schema compensation. The Schema Therapy model of treatment is designed to help the person to break these negative patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, which are often very tenacious, and to develop healthier alternatives to replace them.
Dr Rose is a Certified Schema Therapist and regularly uses Schema Therapy to address the following emotional difficulties:
- Personality Disorder
- Self-destructive behaviours (e.g. addiction, self-harm, promiscuous sexual relationships)
- Problems with intimacy, including difficulties initiating or sustaining relationships
- Repeatedly ending up in abusive relationships
- Eating disorders
- Chronic mental health problems which have not improved despite previous courses of therapy.
If you think that Schema Therapy may be helpful for you please contact Dr Rose on 07393 488534 or email: [email protected].
Watch these videos about Schema Therapy:
In this video, Dr Jeffrey Young (the founder of Schema Therapy) explains some of the principles of Schema Therapy for the treatment of personality disorder:
This video describes how Schema Therapy can be applied to the treatment of addiction.