Schema Therapy for Children & Adolescents (ST-CA)
Schema Coaching for Parents
In the centre of Schema Coaching for Parents stands the parents‘ schemas. As outlined in „Schema Coaching for Educators“ (see page before), not only schema collusion has to be avoided. If the parent and the child share the same schema/mode and if this is triggered it is even more difficult to deal with it. In order to free oneself from generation-spanning schemas, first it is necessary to recognizie and accept the own schemas that were possibly hidden or covered till the day the therapist investigate them.
The individual steps of Schema Coaching for Parents are ...
· to investigate the own schema landscape in the present (exploration of the parents concerning their own childhood using the YSQ-questionnaire, partner interview, etc.)
· to define which modes exist and how they are triggered through the child‘s behavior (“emotional buttons” of the parents)
· to go back into the own childhood in order to clarify which needs were left unsatisfied in the parent’s childhood (e.g. chair work, imagination techniques)
· to consider what kind of childhood the own parents had (including which schemas they had and still have)
· to sketch a ”schema-genogram“ (over 3 generations)
· to use a family-board - a wooden board with wooden figures that represent family members, and - as a further development - using the schema as a figure in order to get an impression of how the family relationships change after the schema enters and leaves the family (see figure on the right hand side, schema represented by a black figure).
· to use the family-board in a double-layer-structure. The ground floor of the model is the family constellation of a parent (when the father/mother was a child) and the first floor shows the current family constellation (in the present). Do effects of the schema become apparent? Which effects will the “old” schema have on the family of the child?
The goal is to give the parents an insight into what kind of schemas and modes the family has assimilated over generations. This insight provides the basis that can enable parents to “fight“ against old (possibly trans-generational, inherited) maladaptive schemas and modes, thus helping the child to feel and act in a more adequate, appropriate way.
In the case that one of the parents is suffering from a mental disorder, it is inevitable to seek psychotherapy for this parent. A perfect guide accompanying the “schema coaching“ is the book „Reinventing Your Life....“ by J.E. Young & J.S. Klosko.
Young, J.E., & Klosko, J. S., (1994). „Reinventing Your Life....: A Plume Book.