3 mins

Schema Therapy: Your Questions Answered

Considering schema therapy or simply wondering if it could help you? This type of therapy has been effective in treating a whole range of issues. If you are thinking about visiting a private London psychologist at The Chelsea Psychology Clinic, or looking for options for a loved one, schema therapy could provide the help you need.

What is Schema therapy?

We all have mental images of ourselves. These have built up over the years as we learn and grow and are confronted with challenges. For some people, these impressions of themselves and/or their coping mechanisms in response to them have become a problem. Schema therapy looks at each individual’s specific concerns and how they see themselves. Working together, you and the therapist address patterns of thinking that may date back many years, and find ways to build more positive patterns. This can enable the you to better cope with stress and address problems like relationship issues, depression and anxiety.

What Types of Issues Does Schema Therapy Treat?

Schema therapy can address a whole range of issues from eating disorders to depression. It is most commonly used for long-standing problems. The engrained nature of long-term issues can make it necessary to understand what early experiences and patterns of thinking helped these problems to appear. By delving deeper, schema therapy can address issues that someone has been confronting alone while building a better framework to prevent further issues from developing in the future.

What’s the Difference Between CBT and Schema Therapy?

Schema therapy is actually a form of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). The more common forms of CBT aim to change negative patterns of thinking that lead to negative consequences without spending much time focusing on early life experiences. For many people, this type of CBT is highly effective in making possible changes and resolving a range of issues. For some people, the more intensive schema therapy form of CBT is a better option. This combines the emphasis on building positive patterns of thinking and behaviour with an understanding of how past experiences have contributed to building the existing patterns over years.

How Long Does Schema Therapy Take?

Many factors will impact the duration of each individual’s schema therapy but, generally, it will take between six months and two years. The amount of time required will depend on how frequent therapy sessions are scheduled, the number and types of problems being addressed, and each person’s range of applicable early lifetime experiences.

You will complete questionnaires to help the therapist understand the types of experiences that contributed to developing maladaptive thought processes. Then, together with your therapist, you work to define the goals of the treatment and build a strategy for meeting those goals.

How Do I Know What Type of Therapy Is Best for Me?

Fortunately, you don’t need to know about the different types of therapy to benefit from them. A psychologist will meet with you to discuss your concerns and problems as well as what you hope to achieve during therapy. Based on your goals and the areas that need resolution, your therapist will work with you to develop the best plan of treatment.

Dr Elena Touroni

Dr Elena Touroni

25 March 2018

"Dr. Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced Consultant Psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector."

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Dr Stacie Tay

Dr Stacie Tay attained her BSc (Hons) Psychology at the University of Nottingham and worked as a psychologist at the Institute of Mental Health, Singapore, before returning to the UK to complete her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University College London.   

Dr Tay has worked in a variety of settings within the NHS for more than eight years, including primary and secondary care, specialist psychological services and forensic inpatient settings. She currently works as a Clinical Psychologist at the North East London Foundation Trust.  

She has extensive experience working with individuals and groups, providing evidence-based psychological therapies including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Mindfulness-based approaches as well as Schema-informed therapy.   

Dr Tay’s clinical experience involves working with people who present with a range of mild to severe mental health difficulties. This includes depression, anxiety (OCD, social anxiety, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, health anxiety, phobia-related disorders, PTSD), stress related issues, low self-esteem, complex trauma, interpersonal difficulties, grief and bereavement, and long-term health conditions.