Schema therapy??

mami5

mami5

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#1
Is/has anyone ever had schema therapy? Psychologist wants to start me on it, but I have no idea what it means or what's involved. If anyone has any knowledge/experience they'd like to share, I'd be very grateful. Thank you xxxx
 
Kerome

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#2
A friend of mine gets it. You go through kind of imaginary scenarios and talk about them, which is supposed to teach you some new ways to think about your problems. Not sure if she is benefitting though, still seems to be as ornery as ever.
 
mami5

mami5

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#3
Thank you Kerome. I am currently doing DBT so don't know if he'll be joining both therapies together in some way? He was originally planning on doing the schema afterwards, but he gave me a questionnaire of 200+ questions to fill in last week, by next Thursday, that should identify all my existing maladaptive schemas. Just not sure what I can expect ahead of me.
 
mami5

mami5

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#4
Saw psychologist again today. He's planning on doing both therapies from now on. Sessions will start with DBT, by going through weekly diary etc. Then he'll do schema. I asked him more about it today, and he confirmed it is to do with imaginary scenarios and finding right solutions to them instead of all the maladaptive ones I've developed over the years. There will also be role playing and "telling" those concerned in my life what I want, or where they went wrong. He will be "parenting" me throughout this process. Sounds really hard and painful, but hopefully will be worth it in the end.
 
mami5

mami5

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#5
Had my first proper schema session last Friday (17/6). It was hard. So hard, I've not been able to really write about it until now. Basically I talked about some childhood memories, painful and difficult ones. Psychologist would then stop me at certain point, and ask my permission to "come in". Although I did not respond to his requests, he entered my memory and replace negative occurrences and feelings with positive ones. Found this very, very painful, as he made me realise how I'd felt at the time and how hurt and disappointed I was. I burst into tears at this point and told him that I didn't want him there, I wanted my Dad, why couldn't my Dad be there for me? It was so, so hard. I loved my Dad so much, and was desperate for him to show me he loved me too by being with me.

Psychologist then told me that people tend to grieve more and for longer for those who were not so giving/loving all the time compared to those who are. This explains a lot!!

After first session, my first impression on schema therapy is - it's bloody hard and painful. Dreading next session. Have struggled so much over weekend.
 
mami5

mami5

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#6
Had another session last Friday (8/7). We went through the notes he'd given me on schema focus therapy and discussed how I 'm affected by it all. As always these days, during the session I had regressed again to a 5yo. At one point, he told me to close my eyes and remember a certain scenario in my childhood. During this, he entered my memory, and took me to a certain beach, we played there with my dog, and he bought me ice cream. It was all really, really nice, and I felt so special and happy. It gave me a good, positive memory to take home with me. After doing it, he asked how I felt about it and whether I felt safe. Said it was important I felt safe. I was safe, he'd made sure of it. He then gave me another questionnaire to fill in regarding identifying schema modes.

Only problem was though, I left in a regressed state, and remained that way for most of the weekend.

Phoned psychologist today and informed him that my regression had affected my children over the weekend and I wasn't happy with that, as that is one line I'm not willing to cross again. As result of this, next session, this Friday, will be about preventing this happening again. Apparently he hasn't come across anyone experiencing this before, so this is his first too. We therefore, will be problem solving this together.
 
mami5

mami5

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#7
I'm still struggling through SFT. It is the hardest therapy I've EVER done, and I've been with CMHT off and on for past 30 odd years!!! It is my worst nightmares all rolled into one. It is hell!! I'm also discovering that this is by no means a quick fix.....it's going to take AGES!! It is also affecting me so badly that we have to take a break, step back, and discuss the effects and how to overcome them. These breaks from therapy take up entire sessions! It has now reached a stage though that I'm finding triggers everywhere, which doesn't help my PTSD. Emotionally I'm a wreck and tend to cry on a daily basis, my anxiety is so high I'm often throwing up, I'm suicidal, desperate to hurt myself as punishment, and the pain of it all is just unbearable!! For someone who has shut down and been numb for so long this is really hard to handle.

I really hope it will all be worth it at the end. That is, if I last that long. :cry2:
 
O

OCDguy

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#8
You are very courageous, and to do all this out in the open is aww-inspiring. It is my opinion that the benefits from it will be well worth the process, though you are almost certainly unable to see that right now. Stick with it :)
 
Kerome

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#9
Generally if it's difficult, I think that is a good sign though. It means work is getting done, it has effect on you at the deeper levels. I feel sorry it's so hard on you and is causing so much trouble, maybe it would be a good idea to try some ways to get some more equanimity. But it sounds like it is worth persevering with it.

Hope your next session goes better. :)
 
mami5

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#10
Thank you for your replies and support - really means a lot.

I realise that me being able to "feel" is a huge step forward for me, we just need to find a way to control them so I don't feel so much at once. This is also very hard to do. DBT skills are helping somewhat, but not enough. Think the only thing that's keeping me going is the fact that I really feel this is going to get me better, it has to, as there will be nothing else on offer if it fails! I just wish it didn't hurt so much. :cry2:
 
mami5

mami5

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#11
Through my own research etc. I've learnt quite a bit regarding schemas, of which I'd never heard of before! So, everyone has a subconscious which we tend to tap into at times, underneath the subconscious are core beliefs. These beliefs are deep, show themselves at times, and lead us on our paths. We are only sometimes become aware of them. Now underneath the core beliefs are schemas. We are not really aware of these, yet they rule and control our lives! Goes to say that the deeper you go ....the harder it is to change, and schemas are very deeply ingrained in us. To change any maladaptive schemas, therefore, takes a lot of hard work, and the longer they are there the stronger your coping mechanisms against them are too. These coping mechanisms make it very hard to reach the schemas which then need to be replaced with healthy ones. Now since schemas develop during childhood (or earlier), and considering all the traumas and abuse I've encountered throughout my life, my coping mechanisms are rock solid, which makes this therapy extra hard for me.
 
mami5

mami5

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#12
Did more schema work this afternoon. Psychologist drew a mode map for me, it made sense. He's given me worksheets to do for homework. I am to do another mode map too. Not sure how or what to put in it. He wants to work with my 'angry child' next time. He's either very brave or very stupid if he's going to bring her out. It was the turn of 'vulnerable child' a bit today. We have loads of work ahead of us. This is not going to be resolved overnight or any time soon!!!
 
mami5

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#14
Shit!! I've killed my inner child! How do I explain this one to psychologist then??? He wasn't too pleased with me yesterday as it was.
 
Kerome

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#15
I'm sure the inner child will be back if there is a place and a need for her... it's not so easy to kill off inner constructs. And when they do pass on it's usually because they have been weakened in some way and it was time for them to disappear, to hand on their role to the adult you.

Kudo's to you for sticking with the schema therapy though, it looks like it hasn't been easy.
 
M

Mathero

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#16
Hey Mami, im new on here. Joined because I'm doing schema therapy and wanted to see how other people are getting on with it. I've been doing it for over a year now, and it's just starting to get pretty tough. Glad I found your thread :)
 
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mami5

mami5

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#17
Hi Mathero and :welcome: among us. It is so good to know someone else doing SFT. I've been doing it for about 6 months or so. How do you find it? It's not the easiest therapy is it? I'm struggling a lot lately between everything.

Think my vulnerable inner child has returned. I hadn't killed her after all. I am sitting here hugging, rocking, numb and totally detached.
 
M

Mathero

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#18
Hi Mami, and thank you :)
I'm finding it extremely difficult at the moment tbh - for the last few years I had no experienced the wild mood swings I used to, but now they are back, with avengence!
I kinda wax and wane with my belief in whether it will work, but I think I'm verging more to the thought of a positive outcome. Getting put on mood stabilizers this week, so hopefully they help with the swings :)

How long did it take your vulnerable child side to come out? Ive still not went through angry child stage, but I can feel a build up, if that makes sense? It feels like its taking forever
 
mami5

mami5

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#19
Think it took about 3 months for my vulnerable child to show herself. I have been seeing psychologist for a total of 18 months now, did about a year of DBT first, so he knows me pretty well anyway. Haven't done angry child yet. Was going to couple of weeks ago but didn't in the end. I have now bought myself a self help book, on schema therapy, which he recommended. It is a slow process isn't it. Do you have weekly sessions? I used to have weekly but he's changed them to fortnightly now because it was all too much for me.

I hope the mood stabilizers help you. Do you have BPD too?
 
M

Mathero

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#20
It's good you knew the psychologist beforehand, I knew mine too and I think that has helped. I have that book, I was advised to buy it before I started, its pretty informative dont you think?
Are you in the Uk?
Yeh, I have weekly - actually started off at fortnightly but it was making it to easy to slip back into avoidance.

Thanks. I hope they do too. Do you take any meds?
Yeh, sure do.