Schema therapy: overcoming legacies from childhood

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Schema therapy: overcoming legacies from childhood

Like many other psychological problems, a personality disorder is based on profound experiences or events. If the experience is not properly processed, unfavorable behavioral patterns develop. Low self-esteem, inner vulnerability and aggression are the consequences of emotional crises that have not been overcome. The aim of schema therapy is to change maladaptive behavior and develop new, positive thought patterns. This therapy method, developed in the 1990s, is about developing coping strategies to heal the wounded soul.

Introduction: What is schema therapy?

Schema therapy is a Innovative psychotherapy method. This modern method of psychological treatment emerged in the 1990s. The innovative concept was developed by the American psychologist and psychotherapist Jeffrey Young. The psycho-scientist wanted to use it to help people for whom measures such as cognitive behavioral therapy did not bring any improvement. Schema therapy is based on 18 maladaptive schemas (behavioral patterns) and a clear mode concept.

This form of psychotherapy is based on the presence of certain learned basic patterns. A person's behavior follows a certain pattern, the aim of which is to satisfy basic emotional needs. Bad experiences in childhood can severely disrupt these behavioral patterns and lead to negative thinking and misbehavior.

Behavioral disorders impair personality development and limit the ability to bond and the quality of life. By developing coping strategies, schema therapy helps those affected to develop new patterns of thought and behavior.

These mental disorders are treated with schema therapy:

  • General personality disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

In addition to these psychological behavioral disorders, schema therapy can be used to support many other mental illnesses.

what is schematherapy

How does schema therapy work?

The principles and methods of schema therapy follow a clear structure. It is based on the assumption that a rigid pattern of thought and/or behavior develops as a result of a mental disorder. Emotional deprivation is compensated for by inappropriate behavior. Aggressiveness, mistrust and communication difficulties are part of a supposed survival strategy. The schema developed by those affected is expressed as an automatic "mode" in their thinking and behavior.

And this is exactly where schema therapy comes in. The psychological method was developed to help patients who do not respond to proven behavioral therapy. The concept of schema therapy is largely based on cognitive behavioral therapy. In addition, experiential and action-oriented approaches are used.

What exactly is schema therapy? The focus of this psychotherapy is the schema. This refers to a structure, a typical pattern of thoughts and feelings. Feelings control our behavior. This affective state can be compared with a schema and a mode. All modes together form a bundle of emotions and physical sensations.

Behavioral patterns are learned in childhood. When the basic needs for DearIf the needs for trust and security are not met, unfavorable schemas arise. Schema therapy identifies negative ways of thinking and behaving. With the help of questionnaires and in conversation with the therapist, strategies are developed to change unfavorable schemas. Those affected learn to perceive their basic needs and to cope with emotional crises in an adult way.

5 advantages of schema therapy

Coping with psychological problems can become a challenge. This is the case when the behavioral patterns learned in childhood are not suitable for overcoming difficulties. By identifying and restructuring deeply rooted patterns, schema therapy offers a promising solution.

The five most important advantages of schema therapy are

  1. Better handling of inner blockages and Fears
  2. Development of a positive self-image
  3. Learning new solutions
  4. Self-acceptance
  5. Motivation for change

Criticism of schema therapy: what you should know

Although this method has long been successful there are also critical comments. Criticism of schema therapy largely relates to the techniques used in the therapy sessions. Some patients find the activation of emotions stressful. This is presumably due to the fact that dealing with their own feelings also triggers negative memories.

Another point of criticism of schema therapy is the relatively short period of experience compared to other therapy methods. Most known and proven psychological treatment methods have been around for more than 60 years. The concept of schema therapy, on the other hand, was only developed in the 1990s.

Scientific results proving the effectiveness of the therapy are only available to a limited extent. However, this possible shortcoming can be compensated for by choosing an experienced therapist.

Schema therapy in Frankfurt, Berlin and Hamburg: Where can you find help?

In Germany, schema therapy is offered in psychological and psychiatric therapy centers. Specialists in schema therapy can be found mainly in large cities such as Frankfurt, Berlin and Hamburg.

You can obtain a list of specialists who practice schema therapy from your health insurance provider. If necessary, this psychological treatment is covered by health insurance.

Just like schema therapy in Frankfurt, schema therapy in Berlin or schema therapy in Hamburg is usually prescribed by a GP. In principle, it is always possible to ask general practitioners for a referral if support is needed in dealing with mental health problems.

How can coaching support schema therapy?

In conjunction with schema therapy, coaching can help you to find yourself. Targeted Coaching boosts self-confidence and supports you in overcoming negative behavioral patterns.

While schema therapy aims to release deeply rooted inner blockages, schema Coaching suitable for strengthening your personality. Take part in our free Personality Test to better understand your behavior. A deep understanding of yourself helps you to recognize your basic needs.

Supported by your schema therapist, you will then develop suitable strategies for coping with emotional crises.

Schema therapy and personality development

The aim of schema therapy is to break through negative patterns of thought and behavior. Some character traits are genetically determined. However, most personality traits can be changed.

In this respect, therapy fulfills an important task in the Personality Development.

People with a strong personality are less susceptible to crises. A strong character helps you to take things into your own hands.

Schema therapy motivates to changesthat lead to personal growth. This includes Leave comfort zone and to take on more personal responsibility. If the personality development is positive, the Self-confidence and problem-solving skills.

8 steps to successful schema therapy

How likely is schema therapy to be successful? Does this treatment concept produce the desired result? What can you expect during a therapy session? Use our step-by-step guide to prepare:

  1. Create a list of questions
  2. Address unresolved problems
  3. Explain what you expect from schema therapy
  4. Arrange a trial appointment
  5. Do you feel comfortable in the practice and with the therapist?
  6. Give yourself Timeto feel the first treatment successes
  7. Practice the new behaviors learned in therapy
  8. Focus on your successes and not on defeats

Good therapy takes some time. A single session is hardly enough time to discuss problems and work out coping strategies. Create a list of questions before you go to your first appointment.

Describe your feelingsthoughts and your mood. Why are you seeking therapeutic support? Explain what you expect from schema therapy. Arrange a trial appointment first.

Psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists usually offer a non-binding consultation. The first meeting is about building trust. This is an essential prerequisite for successful therapy.

Don't put yourself under pressure. Initial treatment successes often take longer to achieve. Practice the new ways of thinking and behaving that you have learned and you will find it easier to cope with your mental crisis.

Testimonials: How has schema therapy changed my life?

Personal stories and testimonials suggest that the therapy is an effective method. One example of this is a patient who was unable to cope with her everyday life due to traumatic experiences. It was only through schema therapy that the causes of her unfavourable thought and behavior patterns were identified and successfully corrected. The woman is now able to do her job again and enjoy her life.

A man who suffered from severe depression reported similar experiences. Medication and a Behavioral therapy showed no effect. When he finally decided to undergo schema therapy, he felt much better after just a few weeks. The reason: the underlying modes of his depression were recognized and suitable coping strategies were developed.

Conclusion: Your path to healing with schema therapy

Schema therapy is an innovative form of psychotherapy. It is based on the schema and mode concept. The findings of this variant enable the development of effective coping strategies.

This concept for overcoming psychological blockages has been tried and tested since the 1990s. Use schema therapy as a way to promote your personal development!

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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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