In addition to our counselling services, we offer a limited Clinic to treat clients using Schema Therapy. If you think you may be suitable for Schema Therapy as part of our Clinic, please contact us for more information.
What are schemas?
Schemas are deep-rooted and enduring themes that develop during childhood and are maintained throughout our lives. We view the world through our schemas, since they form our basic beliefs about ourselves and others — beliefs that we accept without question. Because they emerged early on in life, schemas feel very familiar to us, yet when life events trigger them, we can experience intense feelings, thoughts, memories and bodily sensations. Operating in subtle ways outside of our awareness, schemas can lead us into problematic patterns and behaviours that are very resistant to change.
What makes schema therapy different from normal counselling?
Schema therapy is designed specifically to help people overcome these deep-rooted difficulties in their lives. Clients will often describe problems that seem entrenched, persistent or even vague and hard for them to define at first, and schema therapy enables them to recognise and overcome the specific maladaptive themes and patterns that run deeper than their outward behaviours. The therapy works towards genuine recovery in clients’ lives, not just reducing symptoms. For this reason, schema therapy has been shown to be extremely effective with a broad range of personality disorders.
Every one of us, regardless of age and life experience, has feelings, needs, thoughts and behaviours. In schema therapy, we pay attention to the feelings we have and whether they are affirmed or not. We look at our interactions with others and how they affect us and them. We consider the kinds of actions and behaviours we express and whether they are healthy or not. We look at our own thoughts about these behaviours and whether these thoughts are helpful or critical.