Schema Therapy for Children & Adolescents (ST-CA)

Coping Styles

How a given schema manifests itself, basically depends on the coping style of a person.

Textfeld: Sometimes you might feel like you are taking the wrong track, still hoping that the way prepared is the right one. However, it could be beneficial to choose a different way, off the beaten track, in order to accomplish your personal goals. 
Ellipse: Avoidance
Ellipse: Over-compensation
Ellipse: Surrender
Ellipse: Coping Styles
Textfeld: Avoidance: finding ways to escape or block out schemas as a protection. Children using this strategy appear distant, it is hard to get a feeling for them, and they appear as if they were sitting behind a glass wall.
Surrender: giving in to schemas and repeating them over and over. Your perception of the world can be biased by your negative expectations. This strategy leads to a reduction of inner tension based on the notion: „that‘s me“ (ego-syntonic). Nevertheless, the degree of internal suffering usually remains high.
Overcompensation: doing the opposite of what the schemas make you feel. Again, the perception is often biased to enhance one’s self-esteem (self-serving bias; („I knew it before“). Children may appear self-confident and autonomous, while being fragile and easily confused. Usually, the caregivers indicate a higher degree of suffering than the children.

The dominant coping style of children depends on their temper, learning experience and significant role models (e.g. father, mother, sibling, peers, etc.).


Rafaeli E., Bernstein, D.P. , Young, J.E. (2011). Schema Therapy. The CBT Distinctive Features  Series. New York: Routledge.

Textfeld: Homepage created by: C. Loose ©; last update 12.06.2019; Homepage seit 3/2011