Schema Therapy for Children & Adolescents (ST-CA)

Early Maladaptive Schemas (EMS)

The most influential concept in Schema Therapy deals with the concept of Early Maladaptive Schemas. According to the definition of Young et al. (2006) schemas are “broad, pervasive themes regarding oneself and one's relationship with others, developed during childhood and elaborated throughout one's lifetime, and dysfunctional to a significant degree."

Four types of early life experiences can be differentiated that can lead to the development of a schema:

· Continuing/ toxic frustration of emotional needs (too little of a good thing)

· Traumatization or victimization (the child is harmed or victimized)

· Overprotection (too much of a good thing)

· ”Overload“ of adult themes (e.g. parentification after divorce)

Rechteck: abgerundete Ecken: Domain 2: Impaired Autonomy and Performance 
Rechteck: abgerundete Ecken: Dependence/Incompetence 
Rechteck: abgerundete Ecken: Vulnerability 
Rechteck: abgerundete Ecken: Enmeshment/ Undeveloped Self 
Rechteck: abgerundete Ecken: Failure


Young, J.E., Klosko, J. S., Weishaar, M. E. (2006). „Schema Therapy: A Practitioner's Guide.  New York/London: Guilford Press

In the course of a lifetime, several schemas can develop and exist next to each other. As not every schema leads to a specific and distinct type of behavior or experience, the approach is to work on modes of schemas.

Textfeld: Schemas are life issues that could be viewed as icebergs, seemingly swimming harmlessly in our oceans. However, you can see only the tip of the iceberg, while the larger part is below the surface. This part can cause significant harm and play an important role in our lives.
Textfeld: Homepage created by: C. Loose ©; last update 12.06.2019; Homepage seit 3/2011