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Schema Therapy

Schema therapy is an evidence-based, integrative approach that blends cognitive, behavioural and experiential techniques.  Schema therapy can help us make sense of how we have learned to adapt and cope with different situations through our own personal experiences. It provides space for an individual to take a step back and consider those ways of coping we would like to take forward and those we might leave behind.  It can also enrich how we interact with others in relationships across many aspects of our personal and professional lives. 

The concept of a ‘schema’ is used to describe a blueprint that the individual has developed about themselves, the world and other people and which are often at the core of their emotional difficulties. Schemas are formed during childhood when some or all of our needs are not met. Understanding our needs and the related schemas can help us to make changes to the patterns we find ourselves in. Schemas and modes prevent us from getting our needs met in adulthood.

There is a good evidence-base for schema therapy in a range of conditions including eating disorder, personality disorder, substance misuse, anxiety and depression. But you do not need to have a mental health diagnosis to be able to benefit from schema therapy; this approach provides a really helpful way that we can all use to start to deepen our understanding of ourselves and how we are in relationships.

Schema therapy can be a great next step for you if you relate to any of the following:

  • I keep repeating problematic patterns in relationships and I don’t understand why. 
  • I am interested in learning more about myself, self-development and want to change my relationship with myself and others.
  • I am still impacted by things that have happened to me in my childhood and past and can feel triggered in the here and now
  • I often use ways to cope that are detrimental to my long-term goals, e.g., eating, smoking, drinking, binge-watching TV to detach from stress and my underlying
  • feelings
  • I seem to go through life on autopilot and have difficulties understanding my own feelings or what I really need 
  • I struggle with being in social situations, often feeling different, not good enough or as though I do not belong
  • I have struggled with the loneliness and isolation during lockdown in ways that have surprised me or brought up painful feelings from the past
  • Within the Chelsea Psychology Clinic, Schema therapy can be offered in either individual or a group therapy format. 

Group Schema Therapy – Starting in January 2021

In group schema therapy, the main focus of the therapeutic work is to identify core schemas and how they might have contributed to maladaptive patterns that are present in your life and which are preventing you from having a meaningful life and meaningful relationships. Our schemas are not always in our awareness, when they are “triggered” by events our thoughts and feelings become dominate by the schemas and at this time you are likely to experience extreme emotions. 

Engaging in schema therapy as a group can be an especially powerful experience compared to one-on-one therapy as you can observe that you are not alone and can support each other through personal growth in the group. The Chelsea Psychology Clinic are excited to announce that we will be offering our first therapy group programme starting in January 2021. The programme will run for 20 weeks, alternating between zoom group sessions one week and self-directed learning the next. 

What is included in the group programme? 

20-week programme to include:

  • Completing 2 detailed questionnaires and 30-minute feedback session on this and suitability for the group with 2 psychologists facilitating the group pre-group
  • 10 group sessions on zoom (90 minutes each)
  • 10 sessions of self-directed work on secure nest
  • Individual 30-minute review session with the 2 psychologists facilitating the group post-group towards the end of the program 

The fee for the group is £2000. If you are interested in attending a group session, please contact our assistant psychologists to learn more or to book an initial consultation with our group therapy psychologists ( Dr Alika Goodwin and Ani Zavody). It will take place on Tuesday evenings starting early 2021.