What is Schema Therapy & is it the right choice for you?

What is Schema Therapy & is it the right choice for you?

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What is Schema Therapy & is it the right choice for you?
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Have you heard of Schema Therapy, but not quite sure what it is? Maybe a doctor, friend, or family member has mentioned it to you? And you want to learn a little more about it and if this sort of treatment is suitable for you? If you’re suffering from mental health issues, you’ll find this article helpful. If you’ve tried other treatments with undesirable outcomes, you’ll want to read on… In this article, we’ll define Schema Therapy, discuss what types of issues it treats, look at how it could benefit you, and uncover whether it’s the best choice for you right now

So, what is Schema Therapy?

The way you see yourself, others, and the world is built up of a mix of what you’ve learned throughout your life. Every experience you faced during childhood shaped your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Some negative experiences may have forced you to create coping methods to avoid the pain it caused. In other words, running away from the hurt instead of addressing it. Schema Therapy is a relatively new type of psychotherapy that helps address negative thought patterns, behaviours, and emotions. It’s used to treat many different mental health issues, such as personality disorders and depression. Schema Therapy is a process-based therapy that combines many existing therapeutic approaches, including Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and psychoanalysis. It isn’t usually the first type of therapy recommended for mental health issues. Most patients have undergone months or years of other types of therapy before they take Schema Therapy. Other therapeutic approaches they’ve tried have provided less than desirable results. During Schema Therapy sessions, you’ll work with your therapist to understand your Schemas.

“What are Schemas?” we hear you ask…
Schemas are best defined as negative beliefs, problem behaviours, and distressing emotions that interfere with your daily life and cause a significant disturbance. Your schemas make up part of who you are, and they’re present in your thoughts and behaviours.

Schemas can lead to:

  • low self-esteem
  • problems building relationships
  • trouble connecting with people
  • difficulty expressing your feelings and emotions
  • worry and anxiety

Schemas are most often developed during childhood when emotional needs aren’t met. They cause negative patterns in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. And if not managed correctly (through therapy), it can lead to unhealthy coping methods.

The different types of Schemas

You can develop more than one schema during your life. There are 18 different schemas that fall into five separate categories:

Category 1 – Disconnection and/or Rejection

  1. Abandonment
  2. Mistrust
  3. Emotional Deprivation
  4. Shame
  5. Social Isolation or Alienation

These schemas make it difficult to build healthy and long-lasting relationships with others.

Category 2 – Impaired Autonomy and/or Performance

  1. Dependence or Incompetence
  2. Vulnerability to Harm or Illness
  3. Undeveloped Self
  4. Failure

These schemas create problems developing a sense of self. And they can lead to difficulties navigating the world as an adult.

Category 3 – Impaired Limits

  1. Entitlement or Grandiosity
  2. Insufficient Self-Control or Self-Discipline

These schemas affect the ability to respect boundaries and limits. Individuals with these schemas also struggle with self-control.

Category 4 – Other Directedness

  1. Subjugation
  2. Self-Sacrifice
  3. Approval-Seeking

Individuals with these schemas often focus on the needs of others above their own.

Category 5 – Overvigilence and Inhibition

  1. Negativity or Pessimism
  2. Emotional Inhibition
  3. Hypercriticalness
  4. Punitiveness

Individuals with these schemas will prioritize avoiding failure over their own desires and emotions.

But what does this mean? 
When any one of these schemas is developed, you create coping methods to deal with the pain the schema(s) cause you. As a child, these coping mechanisms are generally harmless. But in adults, they can lead to unhealthy thought patterns and behaviours that affect your life.

Schema therapy focuses on both underlying schemas and reactive coping mechanisms. Transforming your negative coping mechanisms into positive thoughts, behaviours, and beliefs. So you can stop feeling the emotional pain your schemas are causing you.

Are Schemas affecting your life? Find out if they are in this short article (COMING SOON)…

What can Schema Therapy treat?

Schema Therapy is used to treat many mental health issues, including personality disorders, eating disorders, anxiety, and depression. It’s particularly useful in treating relationship difficulties and Chronic Depression. It’s also proved effective for substance abuse patients that relapse after other therapy types.

It has been helpful for individuals suffering from mental health issues who feel hopeless. They know they think and behave in ways that aren’t helpful to their progress but don’t know how they can change these negative patterns.

Schema therapists help to transform your negative beliefs, behaviours, and emotions into positive ones. So you can begin to understand yourself and your schemas. By doing this, you’re equipped to make easier progress in your treatment.

How Schema Therapy works… 

Schema Therapy employs 4 therapy techniques to help you overcome your Schemas:

  1. Emotional
  2. Interpersonal
  3. Cognitive
  4. Behavioural

Your therapist will first work with you to identify your Schemas together. Then one or more of these techniques can be used to change your negative beliefs, problem behaviours, and distressing emotions.

Learn more about a Schema Therapy Session by reading this informative article (COMING SOON)…

Is Schema Therapy right for you?

Have you tried other therapies such as standard CBT and other talking therapies? But noticed they aren’t effective?

Schema Therapy is helpful for people that have tried other therapies with undesirable results. It can be a perfect fit for people that have identified and worked on their negative behaviours and beliefs already. But only a doctor can really determine if Schema therapy is the right choice for you.


  • Schema Therapy is a mental health treatment proven to be successful in treating many mental health issues.
  • Schemas are developed during childhood due to emotional needs not being met.
  • Schemas cause negative thoughts, behaviours, and emotions that make living your life more difficult.
  • Schema Therapy is a particularly useful treatment for personality disorders, eating disorders, chronic depression, and substance abuse patients that tend to relapse.

How to try Schema Therapy in Barcelona?

Finding a Schema Therapist can be tough. There are a limited number of fully-qualified Schema Therapists across the world. And there’s only one Schema Therapy expert in the whole of Barcelona! Who? Dr. Steven Joseph of the English Doctor Barcelona.

So if you’re interested in learning more about how Schema Therapy will benefit you, book a consultation with Dr. Steven Joseph today. We can also let you know if your insurance will cover the treatment and/or how much it will cost.

Book your appointment or chat with us today by calling or messaging us on +34 662 291 191.

Or you can email us at [email protected], and we’ll get back to you right away.

We look forward to helping you progress on your journey.

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