Schema Focused Therapy
Schema therapy integrates elements of cognitive-behavioural therapy, object relations and gestalt therapy into one unified, systematic approach to treatment. Schemas or ‘lifetraps’ are enduring, self-defeating patterns or themes in thinking, feeling and behaving/coping that typically begin early in life/childhood. These patterns consist of negative/dysfunctional thoughts and feelings, that have been repeated and elaborated upon and now pose obstacles for accomplishing one’s goals and getting one’s needs met. The goal is to help the person to break these negative patterns of thinking, feeling and behaviour and to develop healthier alternatives to the maladaptive coping styles. It is typically recommended for individuals who have not benefited from the shorter term, standard CBT approach, those with long-standing difficulties with depression and anxiety or those who have difficulties in relationships with others.