Schema Therapy


Schema Therapy is an approach to the treatment of psychological problems that do not usually respond to brief therapy. Jeffrey Young has been developing schema therapy for over 25 years in the USA where it is widely used.  It is an integrative therapy that draws on cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT), psychodynamic and relational therapies, and experiential and expressive therapies. Schema therapy is also widely used internationally, with a growing presence in Europe, particularly in Holland, Germany, the UK and the Scandinavian countries.  There are also several training centres in Australia and a growing number in South America and Russia.….

Jeffrey Young’s website  offers a lot of online resources


International Society of Schema Therapy

Read An interview with Jeffrey Young with Eckhard Roediger, former ISST President

The use of schema therapy in Holland was promoted by research on the treatment of borderline personality disorder, a condition that has been found to be very difficult to treat. Two research trials demonstrated that schema therapy is an effective treatment borderline personality disorder (Giesen-Bloo et al., 2006) and research is ongoing in extending the schema therapy model to a wide range of psychological problems. A 2014 study has shown Schema Therapy to be significantly more effective than two major alternative approaches to the treatment of a broad range of personality disorders. Schema Therapy resulted in a higher rate of recovery, greater declines in depression, greater increases in general and social functioning and had a lower drop out rate (Bamelis, Evers, Spinhoven & Arntz, 2014). See the article abstract ….


Schema Therapy Centres


The Schema Therapy Institute Midwest in Kalamazoo run by George Lockwood has a wealth of useful information.

Former ISST President, Wendy Behary, author of Disarming the narcissist provides useful resources on schema therapy in working or dealing with narcissistic individuals.

United Kingdom

London (Covent Garden)

London (North)     London (West)

Surrey        Cardiff            Scotland



Upcoming International Events

Conference in Rome October 19-21 2018.  Get the flyer or go to the conference website.


The Dutch clinicians and researchers have also contributed to our understanding of the process of rescripting childhood memories (Arntz & Weertman, 1999; Weertman & Arntz, 2007), how to work with schema modes (Lobbestael et al., 2007 & 2008), and how to extend schema therapy to offenders in forensic settings (Bernstein, Arntz and de Vos, 2007).….

In the USA, an eight month group therapy program based on schema therapy has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of borderline personality disorder (Farrell, Shaw & Webber, 2009) and this research has led to the development of comprehensive treatment programs that integrate individual and group schema therapy.

Group schema therapy

Inpatient-vs-Outpatient-Addiction-TreatmentRead about Joan Farrell and Ida Shaw’s innovative group schema therapy approach for borderline personality disorder and how it is being integrated with individual therapy to provide comprehensive treatment for many problems.  This treatment integrates psychoeducation about BPD, emotional awareness work, distress management and interpersonal skills with the Schema therapy model of  Jeffrey Young, Ph.D.

 What are early maladaptive schemas?

Each slide below shows three of the 18 EMSs that we are concerned with in schema therapy.  Might this play a role in your life or the life of your clients?


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adolescent-therapySchema therapy for children and adolescents

Christof Loose based in Cologne has extensive materials and training opportunities on his website  (in English)


Online videos and podcasts

See interviews with David Edwards by Travis Atkinson

  • A summary of his Presentation at the ISST conference in Vienna in June 2016 on YouTube
  • A discussion of his workshop at the ISST summer school in Barcelona in June 2017 on YouTube

See  a March 2017 interview with Jeffrey Young the founder of schema therapy “From Cognitive Therapy to Schema Therapy and Beyond” on YouTube

Travis Atkinson interviews Eckhard Roediger, former ISST President about his workshop at the 2017 Barcelona Summer School on the use of metacognitive and interpersonal perspectives and techniques in schema therapy on YouTube.

Travis Atkinson has also done 14 other interviews on YouTube with presenters at the 2016 ISST conference in Vienna. These provide a great way to connect with what schema therapists are thinking and talking about currently.

An earlier ISST Youtube library has over 20 clips and interviews on topics such as: The unique features of schema therapy (George Lockwood), working the avoidant patients (Arnoud Arntz), reparenting a psychopath (David Bernstein), Schema therapy for couples (Travis Atkinson, Eckhard Roediger, and Wendy Behary), group schema therapy (Joan Farrell and Ida Shaw), schemas in bipolar disorder (Lisa Hawke) and how to make training in schema therapy more effective (Arnoud Arntz).

Round table discussion between Jeff Young (Schema therapy), Allan Fruzzetti (DBT) and Frank Yeomans (Transference focused therapy), showing the differences in theory and central concepts relevant to the treatment of borderline personality disorder.

Hear podcasts and see videos on Wendy Behary’s website

Books on schema therapy


Music and songs

musicThe song, little child, by Gila Antara beautifully captures the spirit of work with the inner child which is such an important aspect of schema therapy. I often play it at my workshops. It is included on Gila’s album No rush  and is available at Amazon as an mp3 download.

Downloadable documents

Using schemas and schema modes as a basis for formulation and treatment planning in schema therapy by David Edwards

List of early maladaptive schemas

List of schema modes

List of research publications on schema therapy

Logbook for schema triggering and mode analysis – pdf version or Word version


Schema therapy for couples (ST-C)

Schema therapy is regularly used with couples and the ISST also offers specialised training and certification in Schema Therapy for couples. The book Schema therapy for couples: A practitioner’s guide to healing relationships was published in July 2015.

This book, Breaking Negative Relationship  Patterns, is a self-help guide based on schema therapy principles.

See also:

The website of Travis Atkinson who has been using the schema therapy approach for couples therapy in New York for many years.

Article on Schema therapy for couples to download from Wisconsin Family Growth & Reconciliation Center.

Article on schema therapy for couples in Oprah Magazine

Featured books

Schema therapy for therapists

Joan Farrell and Ida Shaw have long been leaders in the development and dissemination of schema therapy. Although strongly associated with their pioneering work on group schema therapy,  they have contributed broadly to schema therapy in many other areas from working with complex cases to methods of training.

This book, published in January 2018 will be a wonderful resource for schema therapists.  Like most forms of psychotherapy, schema therapy is not just a set of techniques applied to patients by therapists in a mechanical way. Therapy depends on building a personal relationship with clients and that calls for the schema therapists to develop their own self-awareness, openness to experience, and capacity to identify and work with their own psychological issues. This workbook provides a useful practical guide to this. There’s a clear account of the schema therapy model and how to work with modes. Therapists who use this book will learn more about themselves in a way that they can directly apply to their work with clients.

Or see it at Amazon UK or or Loot (South Africa)


John and Karen Louis’ wonderful summary of current attachment theory-informed parent training framed good-parentingwithin the schema therapy approach.  For parents who want to understand how to effectively parent their children.  For clients who were misparented to help them understand what went wrong and what they still need.  And for schema therapists to remind us what is involved in offering reparenting to clients.

See it at Amazon UK
or Takealot (South Africa)



Just published in June 2018

Roediger, E., Stevens, B. A., & Brockman, R. (2018). Contextual schema therapy: An integrative approach to personality disorders, emotional dysregulation, and interpersonal functioning. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Therapists today may find themselves asking how they can fit together the plethora of psychological concepts that bombard them from many directions? Schema therapists may ask whether schema therapy by itself is enough or whether they need other therapy approaches too. The authors of Contextual Schema Therapy show how important concepts that are well articulated within other approaches – such as mentalization, mindfulness, acceptance, metacognition and human values – can be integrated into the basic schema therapy model. Indeed, many of them are already implicit in it. In addition to showing the integrative power of the schema therapy model, this book offers a fresh and readable account of its central ideas and rich clinical examples of their application, all well-grounded in the current academic and clinical literature.

See it at: Amazon UK   or


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