Schema therapy

Schema-focused therapy is a form of therapy that integrates elements of cognitive behavioral therapy, Gestalt therapy and attachment theory, among others. Schema therapy assumes that symptoms and problems people come to treatment for have their basis in maladjusted schemas that involve obstructive emotional and cognitive patterns that begin early in our development and repeat throughout our lives.

Unadjusted schemas can arise from past traumas or unpleasant experiences from not getting basic needs met in our lives, mainly in childhood. These basic needs include; secure attachment to others, autonomy, expression of needs and emotions, spontaneity, realistic boundaries. Dysfunctional behavior arises as a response to the inappropriate schemas and produces a particular coping behavior or response that may vary from moment to moment; this is called a schema mode.