Schema Therapy

Schema Therapy is an effective psychological treatment for personality disorders and other complex problems.

Schema Therapy

Schema Therapy is an extension of traditional Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that focuses on more complex and longstanding difficulties such as personality disorders and complex trauma. Schema Therapy maps current psychological issues back to maladaptive behaviours and beliefs that have formed as a result of earlier adverse experiences, and that may be reinforced periodically by more experiences that are similar in some way to the earlier patterns.  Schema Therapy helps the client understand how their early experiences have shaped their responses to stressors, and how ‘pushing their buttons’ may produce predictable but unwanted ways of responding to situations.  During therapy those unhelpful parts of the person are explored in some depth, using a range of techniques that help the person gain conscious control over parts of themselves that may have previously been triggered automatically at a subconscious level.

Schema Therapy was developed by Jeffrey Young, an experienced and brilliant psychologist who recognised that many of the traditional CBT approaches were very limited in their effectiveness with certain patient groups.  His Schema Therapy model is now widely recognised as an effective evidence-based treatment approach for treating many psychological conditions that were previously considered resistant to treatment.  Schema Therapy has been used to successfully treat Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and has been used in prison settings to work with individuals who have deeply embedded sociopathic traits.   Schema Therapy also provides a new way of working with the various psychological issues arising from early trauma or neglect, or merely from exposure to too many experiences that affect our sense of safety and belonging in the world.

Schema Therapy is also very flexible, and combines well with other treatment approaches such as EMDR Therapy, providing an overarching theoretical framework in which a psychologist can customise a range of therapy approaches to achieve the best outcomes for the client.

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