Schema therapy is a time-limited talking therapy that incorporates elements of cognitive behavioural, attachment and psychodynamic theories.  Schema therapy is an approach that can be helpful for people who have experienced difficult early life events or trauma, or who have had longstanding problems forming and maintaining friendships and relationships.  The aim is to better understand how and why people fall into ‘lifetraps’, or patterns of thinking and coping; some of which are unhelpful or destructive, especially over time.

Schema therapy can help you to:

  • better understand how particular thoughts and beliefs (schema) and thinking styles may impact on and be impacted by emotions
  • understand how life events may have contributed to the development of particular coping patterns
  • identify different ways of thinking about, and coping, with difficult situations
  • become more confident in social interactions, friendships and relationships
  • think less self-critically
  • have better self-esteem
  • problem-solve more effectively

What happens in sessions?

The first few sessions would comprise an assessment; an opportunity for you to describe current problems and the ways in which these have impacted on your life recently and in the past, as well as giving some background to these.

We would then develop a shared understanding of your difficulties (a formulation), including identifying factors that may have contributed to ‘lifetraps’, coping patterns and difficulties developing and being maintained in the here and now.  We would also identify goals you would like to work towards.

Schema therapy is a medium- to longer-term approach, but the number of sessions people have can vary.  Some people find 20 – 25 sessions beneficial, whereas others find that therapy lasts for one to two years.  

We would review the benefits of sessions regularly, to make sure that we are addressing the difficulties and goals most important to you.