Is Schema Therapy Right For Me?
- Do you feel stuck in some area of your life which you don’t seem to be able to change?
- Do you have strong feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, sadness, dependency on others, problems choosing appropriate partners, or being out of touch with your feelings?
- Have you had chronic, long term or relapsing anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addictive behaviors and/or rigid thinking and behavior patterns?
- Do you have vague but pervasive existential problems such as feeling life has no meaning or feeling slightly down on a regular basis?
- Do you have frequent relationship problems that display repetitive patterns such as choosing the wrong partners; getting into relationships where you always feel criticised, deprived, or controlled; or always fighting and feeling angry?
- Have you been diagnosed with borderline personality and “successfully” completed DBT yet still feel unhappy?
- Have you made progress in CBT yet still feel underlying issues are getting in the way of lasting change?
What is Schema Therapy?
Schema Therapy is an integrative approach, founded on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy and then expanded to include techniques and concepts from other psychotherapies. Schema therapy can help you to change entrenched, self-defeating life patterns – or schemas — using cognitive, behavioral, and emotion-focused techniques. Schema therapy focuses on the relationship with the therapist, daily life outside of therapy, and the childhood experiences that led to the development of maladaptive schemas.
The four main concepts in the Schema Therapy model are: Early Maladaptive Schemas, Schema Domains, Coping Styles, and Schema Modes.
- The 18 Early Maladaptive Schemas are self-defeating, core themes or patterns that we keep repeating throughout our lives.
- The 18 schemas are grouped into five broad Schema Domains: 1) Disconnection & Rejection, 2) Impaired Autonomy & Performance, 3) Impaired Limits, 4) Excessive Responsibility & Standards and 5) Overvigilance & Inhibition.
- Coping Styles refer to the ways a child adapts to damaging childhood experiences. For example, some surrender to their schemas; some find ways to block out or escape from pain; while others fight back or overcompensate. Since this is how you learned to deal with pain as a child, it is natural that you continue to use these unhelpful coping styles as an adult.
- Schema Modes are the moment-to-moment emotional states and coping responses that we all experience. Our maladaptive schema modes are triggered by life situations that we are oversensitive to (our “emotional buttons”). Many schema modes lead us to over-react or under-react to situations and, thus, to act in ways that end up hurting us or others.
Goals of Schema Therapy
The goal of schema therapy is to help you get your core emotional needs met. Key steps in accomplishing this involve learning how to:
- Identify early maladaptive schemas that are maintaining your problems and seeing how they played out in everyday situations.
- Change dysfunctional beliefs and building alternative healthier beliefs, which can be used to fight the schemas.
- Break down maladaptive life patterns into manageable steps and changing the coping styles, which maintain the schemas, one step at a time.
- Build skills and experiences that create healthy thinking, behaviors and emotions.
- Validate your emotional needs that were not met, so that you can get your core needs met in everyday life.
How is Schema Therapy Different from Traditional Cognitive Behavior Therapy?
In comparison with cognitive behavior therapy, schema therapy probes more deeply into early life experiences. It utilizes cognitive, behavioral, experiential and interpersonal techniques to promotes higher levels of affect in sessions and is somewhat longer term.
A greater use is placed on the therapy relationship as a means for change with the therapist working directly and collaboratively with the client, in identifying and modifying any schema driven thoughts and feelings that are activated in or outside of the session.
By switching between past events and current problems, using imagery and role play, higher levels of affect are activated. Using imagery and detailed discussion of early life experiences, clients are able to understand where the maladaptive schema originated and how they are maintained.
Cognitive behavior therapy is often combined with schema therapy and focuses on what traditional talk therapies tend to leave out — how to achieve meaningful change in the present, as opposed to mere explanation or “insight.” Both traditional cognitive behavior therapy and schema therapy are structured and systematic, helping you to identify, challenge and change core beliefs and maladaptive coping styles.
While traditional cognitive behavior therapy uses a lot of guided discovery to help you find the answers yourself, schema therapy also employs a technique called empathic confrontation. The schema therapist fully acknowledges and validates distressing feelings and schema-driven beliefs, while pointing out negative behaviors or another more accurate view. This process serves to challenge and modify negative thoughts and behaviors, which are rigidly intact.
What is the Evidence that Schema Therapy Works?
Schema therapy has been studied across many problems and psychological disorders. Click here to see a summary of many of the research studies. A recent study showed that schema therapy is more effective for a wide variety of personality disorders than many other types of therapy. Click here to read about the study.
How to Find Schema Therapy in San Jose/Saratoga and Sacramento/Roseville
The Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center in Silicon Valley (San Jose/Saratoga) and Sacramento Valley (Roseville) specializes in schema therapy. Call us in Saratoga at (408) 384-8404 or in Roseville at (916) 778-0771 or Click to send an email for more information on how we can help you using schema therapy.
Silicon Valley and Sacramento Valley Communities We Serve
Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley offers evidence-based therapy using schema therapy for Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Eating Disorders near the following Silicon Valley/San Jose communities:
San Jose Therapy Counseling • Saratoga Therapy Counseling • Los Gatos Therapy Counseling • Monte Sereno Therapy Counseling • Cupertino Therapy Counseling • Campbell Therapy Counseling • Mountain View Therapy Counseling • Los Altos Therapy Counseling • Sunnyvale Therapy Counseling • Santa Clara Therapy Counseling
Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Sacramento Valley offers evidence-based therapy using schema therapy for Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Eating Disorders near the following Sacramento Valley and Sierra communities:
Sacramento Therapy Counseling • Roseville Therapy Counseling • Rocklin Therapy Counseling • Granite Bay Therapy Counseling • Lincoln Therapy Counseling • Folsom Therapy Counseling • Citrus Heights Therapy Counseling • El Dorado Hills Therapy Counseling • Loomis Therapy Counseling • Grass Valley Therapy Counseling • Auburn Therapy Counseling
Saratoga: (408) 384-8404
Roseville: (916) 778-0771
Click to send an email