Schema focused therapy or schema therapy aims to meet core emotional needs. This approach is very helpful for addressing problems which originate from childhood. Schema therapy is about enabling people to understand life long patterns that feel harmful in order to bring about change. Schema therapy identifies the repetitions of behavioural and emotional experiences as lifetraps or ‘schemas’ which serve to reinfoce beliefs about ourselves from early life. Some of the schemas that might be addressed in therapy could be patterns which are self defeating such as being unloveable or that ‘people I love will leave me’ or ‘it is impossible to get my needs met’ to describe but a few. This therapy aims to look at ways that schema are maintained by the coping strategies that people use with a view to finding healthier ways of expressing emotional needs and challenge negative thought patterns.
The Schema focused approach combines aspects of cognitive-behavioral, experiential, interpersonal and psychoanalytic therapies.The assessment process for schema focused therapy involves an in-depth assessment and open ended treatment which can be adapted according to the individual needs of the client.