What’s the deal with schema modes?

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Firstly, schema is a mental structure that an individual uses to organize knowledge and this in turn, guides cognitive processes and behavior (e.g. schema for a dog). A schema is formed since young and problems may occur when we develop early maladaptive schemas such as the following:

1. Abandonment
2. Mistrust & abuse
3. Emotional deprivation
4. Defectiveness
5. Social isolation
6. Dependence
7. Vulnerability
8. Enmeshment
9. Failure
10. Entitlement
11. Insufficient self-control
12. Approval seeking
13. Subjugation
14. Self-sacrifice
15. Unrelenting standards
16. Negativity/pessimism
17. Emotional inhibition
18. Punitiveness

The schema mode model is used to help an individual with complex presentation of more than 6 maladaptive schemas.
This model comprises of the following:

Child modes:
Vulnerable
Angry and impulsive
Happy


Critic/Parent modes:
Punitive
Demanding
Guilt inducing

Coping modes:
Compliant surrenderer
Detached protector/self-soother
Overcompensator (worksholism)
Aggrandizer (narcissism)
Bully & attack/predator (forensic)
Perfectionistic overcontroller (OCD, eating disorders)

Healthy adult (client subsequently assumes this role from the therapist)
Compassionate, assertive, limit setting

The aim of this therapy is to:

Develop AWARENESS of schema modes

BYPASS maladaptive coping modes

DISTANCE from critic modes

STRENGTHEN the healthy adult

Such therapy may be used with individuals as young as adolescents and if you are working with children, you may also consider dealing with your own schemas and modes! This helps you improve on your reactions when working with individuals and hopefully they will respond better too.