Schema therapy is an innovative, truly integrated therapeutic approach which draws from cognitive-behavioural therapy, psychodynamic concepts, attachment theory, emotion-focused therapies and relational psychotherapy. A schema can be defined as a set of specific biological, behavioural, emotional and cognitive responses to stimulus in the present which are related to a much earlier stimulus that elicited the same group of responses. These schemas are judged to be maladaptive when they occur now in your adult life.
There are considered to be 18 schemas in general and everyone of us will have a combination of different types of schemas. Some examples of schemas are Abandonment/Instability, Emotional Deprivation, Defectiveness/Shame. Schema therapy helps you to identify what your schemas are and to develop resources through many different techniques such as imagery re-scripting. The idea is to identify and reduce the amount of time you spend in an activated schema. This facilitates change in the amount of time you stay in a healthy adult mode of being.