Schema therapy, developed by Dr. Jeffrey Young, is utilized for the treatment of chronic mental health conditions such as eating disorders, depression, and other personality issues. This therapy blends techniques from various therapeutic methods as a means to permanently alter the behavior patterns of people with these life-long issues. Schema therapy is founded in the belief that schemas, or maladaptive behaviors, are formed in early childhood and relived throughout adulthood.
The core belief that schema therapy is founded on is that of needs fulfillment. If the basic needs of childhood, affection, guidance, love, shelter, and safety are not met, then the clients will enter into adulthood with an emotional deficit in these areas. That is when the schemas form and continue to disrupt the life of the client through unhealthy choices, toxic relationships, diminished social skills, destructive behavior patterns, poor sense of judgment, poor feelings of self-worth, and a general dysfunction on all levels of behavior. Constructing nurturing relationships and discovering one’s own true origins through schema therapy can help a client build feelings of self-worth and adequacy. With these as a foundation, the client can work with the therapist to design and achieve goals that result in a healthier, happier life experience.
Therapists who administer schema therapy do so in a secure, empathetic and nonjudgmental environment in order to identify and explain skewed cognitive perceptions from a client’s past. The therapist offers validation and acceptance to the client and this serves as a mechanism for ensuring continued treatment, as the persistency and success rates are very high with this type of therapy. Schema therapy employs the use of imagery to examine destructive beliefs a client has about himself or others in his life. Video therapy has also been known to be an effective element of this type of therapeutic treatment and can aid in the rapid transformation of a client’s views. This powerful form of therapy is flexible enough to incorporate the use of language response, audio cues, and other external stimuli to engage the client in the recovery process.
Last updated: 05-14-2013