Schema Therapy

What is Schema therapy?

Schema therapy is a type of therapy used in psychology to help people understand and change deeply ingrained patterns of thinking and behaviour that cause emotional and relationship difficulties. These patterns are called “schemas,” and they are often developed during childhood and continue to affect us in adulthood.

When is Schema therapy used in psychology?

Schema therapy is used when people struggle with long-standing emotional issues, such as chronic depression, anxiety, or difficulties in relationships. It is particularly helpful for individuals who have tried other types of therapy but have not seen significant improvement.

What can you expect in Schema therapy sessions?

In Schema therapy sessions, you will work closely with your psychologist who will help you identify and understand your schemas. Your psychologist will help you recognise how these schemas impact your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours in your daily life. Understanding the origins of these patterns is an important step in the therapy process.

Once you have identified your schemas, your psychologist will assist you in challenging and changing them. This is done through a variety of techniques, including cognitive restructuring, emotion-focused work, and experiential exercises. The goal is to replace negative or unhelpful schemas with more positive and adaptive ones.

Schema therapy is typically a longer-term therapy, with the length of therapy depending on the complexity of your schemas and the progress you make.  It is important to be patient and committed to the process, as changing deeply ingrained patterns can take time and effort.

Throughout the therapy process, your psychologist will provide support, guidance, and feedback. They will help you develop new coping strategies and skills to manage your emotions and improve your relationships. The ultimate aim of Schema therapy is to help you lead a more fulfilling and satisfying life by breaking free from self-defeating patterns and developing healthier ways of relating to yourself and others.

Remember, therapy is personalised to your unique needs and experiences. Your psychologist will adapt the approach to ensure it is respectful, empowering, and supportive of your therapeutic journey.

Reference:  Australian Psychological Society (APS) (2018) Evidence based Psychological interventions in the treatment of mental disorders- A review of the literature, APS) 

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