Schema Therapy combines elements of cognitive-behavioural, experiential and interpersonal therapies into one unified model. It understands psychological problems in terms of emotion-laden themes of belief and behaviour, or ‘schemas’, and schema modes.
In schema therapy, clients identify these themes and explore their origins, which typically lie in childhood. These themes point to unmet emotional and relational needs (such as safety or sense of worth). Once identified, the therapist and client work together to have these needs met and the impact of past experiences healed, drawing on the client’s relationship with God where appropriate. This occurs through experiential work within therapy sessions, and through practices in everyday life.
Schema Therapy is effective for a range of problems but was developed particularly to address longstanding, complex problems and has good evidence for its effectiveness with these.
This is a philosophical method that assumes that personal inner conflict arises from an individual’s confrontation with the givens of existence. In this approach, these givens, or ‘ultimate concerns’, are: the inevitability of death; freedom and its attendant responsibility; existential isolation (referring to phenomenology); and meaninglessness. These four givens form the framework for conceptualising clients’ problems.
Existential therapy encourages clients to engage in honest self-reflection to: evaluate their situation, values and beliefs; acknowledge their limitations as well as the possibilities for their lives; find meaning and purpose; and develop more effective ways of communicating. Existential therapy can be highly effective for youth and adults who are struggling to make healthy life choices and accept the consequences of these choices.
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