Schema Therapy was developed by Jeffrey Young Ph.D. It is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy whereby negative thought patterns about the self and the world are challenged in order to alter unwanted behavior patterns or treat mood disorders such as depression.
A schema is a pattern that begins in childhood and reverberates throughout life. Perhaps one was often criticized, deprived emotionally, abused, excluded, etc. A schema or “controlling belief ” can inhibit ones mental well-being. Eventually schemas can become a part of us and tend to be self-perpetuating throughout our lives. They can negatively interfere with our jobs, relationships and even our goals in life. The purpose of schema therapy is to identify which schemas we have that are constantly being triggered and to mend them.
There are 18 different schemas such as abandonment, emotional deprivation, defectiveness, self-sacrificing, negativity- pessimism, etc. Once we have identified and thoroughly processed a schema we then move to heal the schema via written flashcards. Together we come up with new thinking and alternative behavior to deploy in situations where a schema is being triggered. I send these flashcards home with clients and advise them to keep them nearby, to re-read them and hopefully the new ” alternative behavior ” can be used in similar scenarios where the schema is being triggered.
Many of my clients have seen immediate and long-term results from this mode of therapy. By helping clients to change the types of messages that they internalize they can then stop the cycle that prevents them from attaining true happiness.