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Schema Therapy (Formerly Schema Focused Therapy)


Schema Therapy has evolved from Cognitive Therapy. Schema Therapy was developed by Jeffrey Young, a psychologist and student of Aaron T. Beck. Young recognised the inadequacies of traditional cognitive therapy in treating conditions such as the Personality Disorders. He felt that effective treatment for these conditions meant that therapy needed to focus more on the core beliefs, or schemata, which underlie the negative thoughts. These schemata are believed to develop as a result of life experiences, particularly negative childhood experiences.


Schema Therapy aims to help people to identify the “early maladaptive schemas” which account for their current psychological difficulties. Then therapy aims to alter these schemata through a range of techniques, including traditional CBT techniques, as well as techniques borrowed from other therapy approaches.


A recent controlled trial found that Schema Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder was significantly superior to a control group, and also significantly superior to Transference Focused Psychotherapy (TFT), another treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder. It was more effective than TFT on measures including suicide risk.


Further information on Borderline Personality Disorder can be found at Borderline Personality Disorder .com.au



Disclaimer: This site is intended for Australian audiences. It is general information and should not be used for treatment or diagnosis of your problems. Consult a GP or mental health professional for advice on your situation. If you require immediate telephone counselling assistance please call Lifeline 24 hour counselling service on 13 11 14, or contact your local mental health service.