Schema therapy is an innovative psychotherapy developed for personality disorders, chronic depression, and other chronic individual and couples problems. Schema therapy integrates elements of cognitive therapy, behaviour therapy, psychoanalytic object relations theory, attachment theory and gestalt therapy into one unified, systematic approach to treatment. Schema therapy is particularly useful when clients fail to respond or relapse after having been through other therapies (for example, traditional cognitive behavioral therapy).
If a person’s basic emotional needs are not met in childhood, then schemas, coping styles, and modes can develop. Some basic needs that have been identified are: secure attachments to others (includes safety, stability, nurturance, acceptance), development of autonomy, competence and sense of identity, freedom to express valid needs and emotions, spontaneity and play and realistic limits and self control. Jeffrey Young’s self help book ‘Reinventing Your Life’ provides some more information that can help learn more about yourself and how this therapy aims for change.