Do you find yourself repeating the same defeating patterns in life? Are you always sabotaging your relationships, impulsively quitting jobs, or repeatedly having yet tantrums that hurt others? If so, you may feel hopeless, or worry that there is something wrong with you.
Schema therapy can help.
Schema therapy is designed for people who might not have had success with other forms of psychotherapy, or who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder. It is also effective for anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of themselves or improve their relationships and moods.
This therapy is an evidence-based therapy (proven to work by research) for borderline personality disorder, and is also thought to help most other personality disorders including histrionic personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
Schema therapy can also prove useful if you struggle with the following:
– depression – fear of intimacy – relationship issues – codependency – anger management – low self-esteem
Schema therapy will not label you with a ‘disorder.’ Instead, it will suggest that you are simply caught in a self-defeating way of perceiving yourself and others. This is referred to as a ‘schema’ or ‘life trap’: something that you developed growing up, but that can be identified and changed.
You might, for example, discover you have an ‘abandonment schema’. This could manifest as feelings of paranoia when your partner talks to other people, or maybe you sabotage good relationships because you would rather leave first than wait to be rejected. Another example is the ‘subjugation schema’, where you feel you have to give in to others’ wants and needs so you don’t upset them, even if it leaves you feeling trapped.
Your schema therapist can help you recognise just what ‘life trap’ you are living out, how your childhood led you to choose this dysfunctional way of being, and useful perspectives you might try instead.
The benefits of Schema Therapy are:
– finally understanding why you act the way you do – letting go of repressed emotions that have been holding you back – break longstanding behaviours that have made you unhappy – becoming less reactive in the face of challenges – improving your relationships with others – understanding your personal needs – developing more compassion for yourself and others – trusting others and yourself more – developing more confidence in who you are
The Approach: A warm and honest relationship will be encouraged to develop between you and your schema therapist. Called ‘limited reparenting’, this supportive connection allows you to experience the attachment and trust with another person you needed, but you did not receive as a child. Schema therapy can mean a more dependent client-therapist relationship than that of other talk therapies, but this will always be kept within professional boundaries. Your therapist will never push you to do something you don’t feel comfortable with.