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Schema Therapy (SFT)

Support and counseling for Gosford and other Central Coast residents

Schema Therapy (also known as Schema-Focused Therapy or Schema-Focused Cognitive Therapy) looks at a person’s history to better understand their present problem. Schema Therapy is designed to help break negative patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, and develop healthier alternatives

What does Schema Therapy look like in practice?

Schemas are beliefs and feelings about yourself and the environment, which get in the way of reaching your goals. Unhelpful schemas are self -perpetuating, long standing and resistant to change. For instance, a child who develops the schema “I’m not good at doing new things” will almost never challenge this belief, even as an adult. Instead, the child adapts their behaviour to accommodate the schema, and the schema is perpetuated largely because the child avoids activities that might challenge the schema. Subconsciously accepting your schemas, repeatedly blocking or escaping painful thoughts and fighting back by overcompensating for painful beliefs all serve to perpetuate maladaptive schemas.

Schema Therapy consists of three stages:

  • An assessment phase in in which some general schemas are explored to identify the schemas you operate under.

  • An emotional awareness and experiential phase in which you explore your schemas and learn how to spot them when they affect your thoughts, feelings and behaviour

  • A behavioral change stage which involves proactively replacing negative, habitual thoughts and behaviours with new, healthy thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

Schema Therapy is not a short-term therapy. Changing the way you think and act takes considerable effort and practice.

What issues is Schema Therapy best at addressing?

Schema Therapy is typically used for lifelong patterns, or when there is no improvement after trying after therapy techniques. It can also be used to treat chronic depression, personality disorders and other psychological issues.

Read more about Schema Therapy here.