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Chapter 11 - Bypassing Maladaptive Coping Modes to Support Change

from Part II - The Model of Schema Therapy in Practice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 July 2023

Robert N. Brockman
Affiliation:
Australian Catholic University
Susan Simpson
Affiliation:
NHS Forth Valley and University of South Australia
Christopher Hayes
Affiliation:
Schema Therapy Institute Australia
Remco van der Wijngaart
Affiliation:
International Society of Schema Therapy
Matthew Smout
Affiliation:
University of South Australia
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Summary

Although coping modes were needed as survival mechanisms earlier in the client’s life, in the present they block the capacity to emotionally connect with others and to achieve fulfilment of their needs. In schema therapy, experiential techniques are emphasised because information processing is enhanced in the presence of affect. All the methods and techniques described herein rely on the schema therapist empathically bypassing any coping modes that block the client from experiencing their Vulnerable Child mode. A range of techniques are described, including labelling, interviewing coping modes, chairwork to bypass coping modes, implicit assumption technique, and empathic confrontation. Variations in chairwork include Contamination of the Chair to access Vulnerable Child, and Therapist Plays the Vulnerable Child. Schema therapy relies on the client inhabiting Vulnerable Child mode to receive limited reparenting and corrective emotional experiences and messages that counteract outdated schema-driven messages. As this process unfolds, there is potential for the client to open up to new and unexpected ways of developing a revitalised capacity to connect with others in their own lives.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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References

Farrell, J, Shaw, I. Experiencing schema therapy from the inside out: A self-practice/self-reflection workbook for therapists. Guilford Press; 2018.Google Scholar
Ardito, R, Rabellino, D. Therapeutic alliance and outcome of psychotherapy: Historical excursus, measurements, and prospects for research. Frontiers in Psychology. 2011;2:270.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Behary, W. The art of empathic confrontation and limit-setting. In Heath, G, Startup, H, eds. Creative methods in schema therapy: Advances and innovation in clinical practice. Routledge; 2020. pp. 227–36.Google Scholar

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