Cognitive Behavior Therapy Skills To Help Yourself In Six Weeks

Dr Kerry Beckley discusses Schema Therapy: a relatively new integrative therapeutic approach aimed at treating personality disorders, in particular borderline personality disorder. In the beginning of the therapy, experiential techniques such as imagery and chairwork (Kellogg, 2004) are used more frequently in order to access the person’s core emotional experiences, whilst in the later phases of therapy, there is a greater inclusion of cognitive and onlinepsychology behavioural strategies.

The therapist’s role is either to interpret the material revealed to the patient (psychoanalysis) by allowing the patient to transfer past experience and superimpose it on the therapist – or to actively engage in providing a safe emotional and holding environment conducive to changes in the patient.

Unfortunately, if only the paper copy of the form is filled out a client will not be able to receive feedback and support from their therapist before the next session and may experience difficulty sorting out schema driven reactions in terms of thoughts, feelings, behaviours, underlying schemas, healthy perspectives and realistic concerns, overreactions, and healthy behaviour.

Elliott and Greenberg (1997) spoke about a model of multivocality in their emotion-focused therapy, and, as has been seen, the mode model is based on multiplicity (Stiles, 1999). Schema modes (see Table 2) are defined as ‘self states’ that temporarily come to the fore and dominate a person’s presentation, and are made up of clusters of schemas and coping strategies.

For example, a 2014 controlled trial concluded that schema therapy may be more effective for treating personality disorders. Afterwards, it was fluidly integrated within the ST model as one of its major emotion-focused experiential techniques. Although DSM-IV criteria were utilized when interviewing and diagnosing psychiatric disorders, a formal diagnostic interview such as the SCID-I and II would have been a more robust means of assessment at pre-treatment.

On the other hand, in a study that explored patients’ perspectives of imagery used in the initial phases of ST, patients with cluster C personality traits indicated unpleasant feelings of anxiety, fear and annoyance 31 The disparity could be due to the duration of time patients underwent ST before being interviewed and therefore the differing nature of imagery used; first three months into therapy with the use of diagnostic imagery and safe place imagery 31 versus over 12 months of therapy with the additional use of imagery rescripting in the present study.

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