Service Offering Overview
Schema therapy is a highly effective approach that is based on cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), but has been enriched and expanded to make it one of the most transformative styles of therapy currently available. Schema therapy can often help even the most stubborn, hard-to-treat, longstanding problems that other approaches cannot shift. It is a warm, compassionate, creative approach that can heal deep hurts and trauma for whatever may have been experienced throughout a person’s life.
We offer individual treatment sessions at our practice in Paddington, Brisbane.
Lars is an experienced clinical therapist and Advance Accredited Schema Therapist and Supervisor. He treats the full range of clinical presentations, and has particular skill working with people who experience long-term problems relating to others. Lars uses Schema Therapy as his main therapeutic approach, with a strong background in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). He also provides supervision and training for mental-health professionals through Schema Therapy Skills – teaching counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists how to incorporate schema-therapy theory and techniques into their practice.
Shay is a warm and caring therapist with advanced training in Schema Therapy. She treats a range of clinical presentations, including depression, anxiety, stress, relationship problems, anger and trauma. She strives to promote healthy life decisions and likes to develop resilience, a capacity for self-reflection, the ability to self-analyse emotions and behaviour and the regulation of disruptive behaviours in her clients. She communicates in a compassionate and non-judgemental way to assist patients feel safe to explore their issues and work collaboratively to achieve improvements. Shay uses Schema Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
What is Schema Therapy?
Schema Therapy is highly effective in the treatment of a range of different issues, particularly those of a long-standing nature.
Schema Therapy is a comprehensive therapeutic approach that combines several approaches and is designed to help people change long-standing patterns of thinking and acting.
A schema is a cognitive framework that helps you organise and interpret information. Schemas can be useful because they allow us to take shortcuts in interpreting the vast amount of information that is available in our environment.
However, these mental frameworks also cause us to exclude important information, so instead, we might only focus on things that confirm our pre-existing beliefs and ideas.
Schema therapy works by changing those defeating core themes which you keep repeating throughout your life. These deep-rooted patterns are associated not only with thoughts but also feelings and even physical sensations, e.g. “I’m unlovable,” “People don’t care about me,” “Something bad is going to happen,” or “I will never be good enough.”
Because they tend to begin early in life, they are schema which become comfortable and familiar, but they are not healthy.
Is Schema Therapy the right treatment approach for me?
You may find Schema therapy helpful if any of the following apply to you:
- You find yourself over-reacting to certain situations (which may lead to impulsive behaviours that you later regret).
- You are drawn to the same type of partner over and over, even your emotional needs are not met in these relationships.
- You feel stuck in habitual patterns or addictive behaviours that you can’t seem to change.
- You struggle to say no, or with the thought of others disliking you.
- You have low self- esteem or confidence, which holds you back from fulfilling your potential.
Many clients who come for schema therapy have spent years in other types of therapies, such as psychoanalysis or traditional CBT, and were frustrated with the lack of progress. Schema therapy is a very collaborative and empowering process that truly aims to help you turn insights into real changes. Schema therapy has also recently been blended with mindfulness meditation and elements of neuroscience for clients who can further benefit from them.
Why might Schema Therapy be the wrong therapy for me?
You may want to consider the following in deciding if Schema therapy is right for you:
- If your problems are not of a long-standing nature, CBT may be better for you. Schema Therapy works well with more ingrained problems which may have been around a very long time. Schema Therapy works at a more intensive level and emphasises the building of positive patterns of thinking and behaviour. It can take time to understand how these problems have evolved, so Schema Therapy is best for people whose problems may be more deep-seated.
- Schema Therapy is not appropriate for people with severe drug or alcohol misuse problems.
- Schema Therapy is not appropriate for people who are currently experiencing psychotic episodes.
You will need to be prepared to undertake a variety of experiential techniques. These may include therapeutic exercises that use imagery and role-plays. Your therapist may also ask you to write letters to caregivers (that you will not be expected to send).
What should I expect from Schema Therapy?
- 1. Firstly, you will work with us to identify some of your enduring and self-defeating patterns that typically begin early in life.
- 2. Questionnaires may be used as well to get a clear picture of the various patterns involved.
- 3. Next, we will work together to use a combination of talking and experiential exercises to raise your emotional awareness; during this phase, you may get in touch with some of the early experiences and learn how to spot them when they are being triggered in your daily life.
- 4. Your focus will turn to behavioural change. Structured assignments may be given so you can continue to work outside of sessions. You can actively practise these to replace some of the negative, habitual schemas with a fresh perspective.
Schema & Forensic Schema Therapy
Schema therapy is a highly effective approach based on cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), but enriched and expanded to make it one of the most transformative styles of therapy currently available.
Lars is an experienced clinical therapist and Advanced Accredited Schema Therapist and Supervisor with a strong background in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Lars provides supervision and training for mental-health professionals through Schema Therapy Skills.
As a counsellor, psychotherapist or psychologist, he can teach you how to incorporate schema-therapy theory and techniques into your clinical or forensic practice.
If you are interested in becoming certified as a schema therapist, please see the certification requirements factsheet on our training page.