Get Unstuck With Schema Therapy
Sometimes in life we can find ourselves stuck.
We might be stuck in a relationship that isn’t fulfilling or stuck in a job we need but hate.
Some of us get stuck in cycles of self-destructive behavior, drinking too much, over-eating, or failing yet again to stick to a healthy routine that we know will change our lives for the better.
Others of us are stuck in thought loops inside our own heads: struggling with repetitive, anxious or depressive thoughts that keep us from engaging fully in our lives.
For many of us there might not be any obvious reason for feeling stuck, but still we feel it.
In my counselling practice, it’s very common to see clients who, on the outside are doing well ; good career, financial stability, family and friends; yet there is an underlying sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction with life - and they don't know why.
Despite all their success, they remain trapped at the edge of an emotional void - unable to enjoy a life that is ironically the envy of their peers.
If any of the above resonates with you - , and have tried countless things to change -
Identifying and working through your schemas could be THE KEY that unlocks the door to change.
Based on the decades of rigorous scientific research, Schema Therapy can identify specifically why you are stuck – what deeply ingrained patterns are keeping you from bridging the gap between where you are now to where you want to be.
We all get stuck for different reasons but the common factor is what's going on in your brain.
It's all about NEURO-PLASTICITY
Most of you will have heard about neuroplasticity – how the brain changes throughout our lives.
Who we are today, good and bad - is the sum total and combination of every neuro-plastic adaptation our brains have ever made, in response to the world we experience.
So let’s just take a moment and look at what neuroplasticity actually is and how it happens.
It can be helpful to compare it to what happens when we attempt to get in shape.
We know that if we stuff ourselves with junk food, sit on the sofa for hours and never exercise we will very likely become over-weight, unfit, lethargic and have weak, ineffective muscles.
But if we change our habits, eating healthily, exercising, and generally taking care of ourselves our bodies respond accordingly.
It’s the same with the brain. We need to be very aware of what we allow in.
Everything we repeatedly think, feel and do gets wired into the subconscious part of the brain in a kind of pattern loop. The more we repeat the pattern, the deeper it becomes ingrained and the more automatic it becomes.
So, for example, if you repeatedly think that you are useless, a loser, or defective in some way and feel crap because of those thoughts - they will start to become automatic and just churn out endlessly along with the attached feelings. What you usually do when you think and feel this way - say for example -eat, drink, isolate or zone out in front of the TV - this behaviour will also become wired into the automatic firing pattern.
This is what a schema actually is - a deeply embedded automatic pattern that pops up frequently in response to certain triggers and derails us on our path to change.
18 distinct schemas have been identified all with their own specific thought patterns, feelings and behaviours. Once you've identified which ones are getting in the way of your goals, you can specifically target them with techniques that reduce them.
Our schemas got laid down in our brains way back in childhood - some because we grew up in harsh, abusive or neglectful environments, but some develop because we were over-indulged as children and our brains did not get the practice they needed to function as responsible adults.
Schemas can damage all areas of our lives
Some schemas directly sabotage relationships - such as ABANDONMENT schema or the MISTRUST & ABUSE schema. Other schemas are a result of underdeveloped parts of the brain that enable us to delay gratification and follow through on plans - eg the INSUFFICIENT LIMITS & CONTROL schema.
One schema, EMOTIONAL INHIBITION develops from constantly having to suppress feelings in childhood and results in weak connections from the emotional brain to the conscious brain - meaning we don't really feel much of anything at all - a key factor leading to certain forms of depression.
So if you have tried many different ways of getting unstuck, the chances are, you never really got to the root of why you are stuck.
If any of this resonates with you click here to get more detailed information about schemas or why not consider an individual assessment to identify the schemas that are sabotaging your dreams and goals.