Schema Therapy is an integrative approach to treatment that combines the best aspects of Cognitive-behavioural, Experiential, Interpersonal and Psychoanalytic therapies into one unified model. A schema is an extremely stable, enduring negative pattern that develops during childhood or adolescence and is elaborated throughout an individual’s life. We view the world through our schemas.
Schemas are important beliefs and feelings about oneself and the environment which the individual accepts without question. They are self-perpetuating, and are very resistant to change.
For instance, children who develop a schema that they are incompetent rarely challenge this belief, even as adults. The schema usually does not go away without therapy. Overwhelming success in people’s lives is often still not enough to change the schema.
Schema-Focused Therapy has shown remarkable results in helping people to change negative (“multiparty”) patterns which they have lived with for a long time, even when other methods and efforts they have tried before have been largely unsuccessful.