By Dave Temme
Psychotherapist, Create Balance Psychotherapy and Counselling
I discovered Schema Therapy wanting to understand a recurring life pattern that was getting in the way of me reaching my goals. Schema Therapy is a personal journey and an intimate therapy, rather than one where you get short-term solutions.
Schema Therapy is a powerful and integrative therapy that draws from a range of approaches, including attachment, psychoanalysis, cognitive and emotion-focused.
A core element of Schema Therapy is building a healthy attachment and focusing on the therapy relationship. This is achieved through imagery rescripting, where childhood memories are rescripted or reprocessed by the therapist meeting the client's core emotional needs.
Since schemas and coping styles were developed early on, the coping strategy that was effective in childhood has now become maladaptive in adulthood. This maladaptive form of coping in response to schema activation often brings people to therapy.
Schema Therapy is built on the idea that we have core emotional needs in childhood that often go unmet. The more that we have these needs go unmet, the more likely it is we will develop schemas (an entrenched emotional belief) associated with that need. In response, we develop coping styles to stop the schema from becoming activated or triggered.
Schemas and their coping styles will often show up in relationships and interpersonal issues, around core themes of abandonment, subjugation, perfectionism and emotional connection.
Schema Therapy is an evidence-based treatment that is effective for personality difficulties, chronic depression, trauma-related difficulties, relationship issues, anxiety, and more.
The goal of schema therapy treatment is to strengthen the healthy adult mode and to rely less on maladaptive coping in response to schema activation and to get core emotional needs met.
I am passionate about using Schema Therapy with my clients at Create Balance as a way to create true change.