Schemas are broad pervasive beliefs we have about ourselves and others. They typically develop during childhood in response to unmet needs (e.g. needs regarding safety, consistency, stability, and validation), and can block us from accomplishing our goals and experiencing healthy relationships.
The goal of Schema Therapy is to help people change enduring and self-defeating negative patterns or themes in thinking, feeling, behaving or coping (also known as “schemas”). Some examples of unhealthy schemas include those related to:
- Abandonment – the perception that significant others will not be able to continue to provide emotional support, connection, and/or physical protection
- Mistrust – the expectation that others will abuse, hurt, manipulate, or take advantage, usually with the perception that the harm is intentional, or the result of extreme negligence
- Emotional deprivation – the expectation that their desire for a normal degree of emotional support will not be adequately met by others, in which they are deprived of nurturance, empathy, and protection
- Dependence – the belief that one is unable to handle everyday responsibilities, such as taking care of themselves, solving daily problems, or making good decisions, without considerable help from others
Some of our therapists who utilise a Schema Therapy approach include: