Schema therapy empowers people to change negative life patterns or themes in thinking, and the related emotions and behaviours. In schema therapy, clients work together with a therapist to address and modify these deeper patterns or themes, also known as schemas. The schemas that are targeted in therapy are enduring and self-defeating patterns that typically begin during childhood and adolescence. Schemas develop in response to our needs not being met (needs such as safety, love, emotional connection and attention) and are usually repeated throughout our lives within our relationships as adults. Schemas interfere with us getting our emotional needs met as adults. They can often lead to difficulties interacting and forming connections with other people, as well as a general sense of dissatisfaction with life. If our emotional needs remain unmet within our relationships, it is virtually impossible to develop a sense of well-being or happiness in life.
In schema therapy, clients work together with their therapist to identify and explore the origins of their schemas. After understanding why their schemas have developed, the emphasis is on working towards healing the schemas. The aim of schema therapy is to truly shift the way a person feels about themselves and others, not just to change the way that they think.
Here we are aiming to describe some of the techniques and exercises you might come to expect in and out of therapy sessions. Schema therapy techniques are often blended with one another and used in different ways through the phases of therapy. We plan to expand on this to describe various formats of schema therapy which can include individual therapy (1:1 with a therapist), group therapy, blended therapy (in person sessions combined with online tools) and self-help, along with providing tips on how Secure Nest can be helpful across this spectrum.