Schema Therapy


Jeffrey Young described schemas as: "broad, pervasive themes regarding oneself and one's relationship with others; developed during childhood and elaborated throughout one's lifetime. Most schemas are dysfunctional."

"Schemas develop in childhood from an interplay between the child's temperament and his ongoing negative experiences with his parents, siblings peers and the outside world". " Schemas become part of a person's belief system. People distort their experiences and view towards life in order to maintain their schemas." Example: If a woman feels she is unattractive, she will not notice a man looking at her; or of she does see him she may interpret his behavior as him viewing her unattractive physical features. It may not cross her mind that he might find her attractive; because she has a negative view of herself and interprets reality in a way that supports her belief system."

Dr. McGowan works with a person's dysfunctional schema, often using EMDR, to change an individual' s belief system  so the person  can lead a more functional life. If you think of a schema as a bad computer chip; the goal of Schema Therapy is to remove the bad chip and replace it with a new, updated version and more truthful one.
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