Schema Therapy is a therapeutic approach designed to address longstanding patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that have their roots in early life experiences.
What is Schema Therapy?
Schema Therapy, which was initially developed by Dr. Jeffrey E. Young, stems from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and explores the way a person has developed a sense of self. When the normal, healthy, developmental needs of childhood are not met, maladaptive schemas and coping modes develop. They then echo into adulthood and beyond.
Schemas are largely defined as persistent life patterns which influence an individual’s thoughts, emotions, behaviours, memories and bodily sensations.
Maladaptive coping modes fall into three categories:
- Overcompensation – fight: An individual thinks and behaves in the opposite way to the schema
- Avoidance – flight: An individual tries to avoid activating the schema
- Surrender – freeze: An individual gives in or accepts the schema
Unfortunately, the coping modes tend to maintain and reinforce schemas because they prevent an individual from getting their core emotional needs met. Schema Therapy recognises that the coping modes were helpful in childhood as it enabled the child to survive. But as an adult, using the same coping mode from childhood ends up creating difficulties.
How Does Schema Therapy Work?
In Schema Therapy, there is a large emphasis on the therapist-client relationship; the therapist actively meets the client’s emotional needs (within the limits of the therapeutic relationship) via “limited reparenting” in order to foster change. In addition to this, a combination of cognitive, behavioural, and experiential techniques are also used to help individuals develop their Healthy Adult. This is the part of them that meets their emotional needs and sets limits on their coping modes so that they can begin to break free from their maladaptive schemas.
Schema Therapist in Hertford
Dr. Maria Tucknott, a skilled clinical psychologist, offers Schema Therapy in Hertford for those grappling with longstanding patterns of emotional difficulties. Whether you're dealing with chronic anxiety, depression, or interpersonal challenges rooted in early experiences, Schema Therapy can help.
Please do not hesitate to reach out and contact me today to arrange your free initial consultation.