Schema Therapy

Schema therapy looks at patterns of beliefs and behaviours (called schemas or, more informally lifetraps) that usually develop early in life from repeated experiences that have interfered with healthy psychological development. For example, a child who is very overprotected and not allowed to develop independence appropriate to their age may arrive at adulthood with the belief and feeling that they can't make it on their own. The person may not recognize this belief but shows it by becoming quite distressed when expected to make independent decisions or take on more responsibility. Therapy involves helping a person recognize these patterns and confronting them with both cognitive and behavioural methods.