What is a Schema (or ‘Lifetrap’)?
A Schema is a pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving that starts in childhood and usually continues on throughout life. Not all schemas are unhelpful, but some of them are. An unhelpful or maladaptive Schema is sometimes called a “Lifetrap”. Lifetraps begin when our families, other children or other significant people in our lives have done something or hurt us in some way. For example, criticised, overprotected, excluded or deprived us in some way.
What do we all need to thrive?
We all have certain core needs for basic safety, connection to others, autonomy, self-esteem, self-expression and realistic limits. It is when there are serious shortfalls in meeting these core needs in childhood that problems may develop. These shortfalls are what we refer to as lifetraps.
What is involved in Schema Therapy?
In Schema Therapy your psychologist will work with you to recognise your unhelpful Schemas, understand their origins and how to change them.
What are the steps involved in changing our Schemas?
- Label and identify your Lifetraps
- Understand the childhood origins of your Lifetraps
- Build a case against your Lifetrap and disprove its validity
- Write letters to the person who helped cause the Lifetrap
- Examine the Lifetrap pattern in careful detail
- Keep trying!
- Forgiving (yourself and others)
If you are interested in learning more about Schema Therapy, please contact us to discuss your support needs and arrange a consultation.