Everyone is confronted with setbacks and pain in his life. From our early youth, we develop a strategy to deal with these. In this therapy, different pitfalls (or schemas), that originated from our early childhood, are distinguished. Examples are: separation anxiety, emotional neglect, extremely high demands, distrust/abuse and extreme adaptation. These pitfalls determine how we think, feel, act and how we deal with others. They are very powerful and dictate the way you see yourself and the world. Survival mechanisms, such as flight, fight or freeze, protect us against feelings such as pain, anger and fear. These feelings do not have to be real.
For example, we can fight or withdraw. We are either the ‘sweet child’ or come into opposition, which keeps us standing up. We hold on to the strategy that works, which makes this way of responding become more and more a part of ourselves. However, this can bring you into conflict with others or with yourself. This seems unsolvable because ‘it’s just who you are’. With schema therapy, you get insight into your own reaction patterns and this creates space to change.
There is a site available www.schematherapie.nl
There is, among other things, a section of information available. You will also find written information.
You can also fill in questionnaires to examine both your own schemata and the modes you use.