Schema Informed Therapy
Schema Therapy is most effective in the treatment of personality disorders, anxiety disorders, depression, relationship difficulties; and is used when people fail to respond or relapse after having been through other therapies.
What is Schema Therapy?
Schema therapy was developed in an attempt to help those who had not seen any benefits with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and aims to change negative patterns or beliefs that people have lived with for a long time – also known as ‘schemas’. These schemas typically begin early in our life, though sometimes, they can form later on in adulthood, and can be reinforced by certain behaviours, patterns of thinking and the mind’s coping strategies. Therefore, schema therapy helps you to break these ways of thinking, feeling and behaving, and replacing them with healthier alternatives.
Schema therapy’s main focus is to identify core schemas and how they might have contributed to negative patterns that are present in your life and which prevent you from having a meaningful life and meaningful relationships. Some of the core schemas that this therapy focuses on are ones of abandonment, defectiveness, emotional deprivation, mistrust and social isolation.
How does it work and is it effective?
Duration of Schema therapy varies, but generally is considered to be a long-term therapy – lasting as long as you need it to (6 months – 2 years).
Your therapist will begin by getting to know you and getting to understand what your schemas are/look like, how they originated and how they affect you. Different strategies are used in this process, including the process of you filling out various questionnaires.
You and your therapist will develop a shared understanding of your difficulties, and role-playing and imagery work will often be used in order to help you overcome your schemas.
Towards the end of therapy, changes in behaviour and breaking patterns will be the main focus, until you feel confident enough in your newly learned abilities.
Schema therapy is an evidence-based approach and is particularly effective in the treatment of personality disorders. It has also been shown to change negative thought patterns in which people have lived with for a long time – even when other therapies and methods prior to Schema therapy have been unsuccessful.
MakingWays – the CBT approach