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Chapter 18 - Schema Therapy for the Schema Therapist

Improving Therapist Well-Being and Enhancing Client Outcomes Through the Awareness and Healing of Therapist Schemas

from Part IV - Application of Schema Therapy in Different Populations and in Different Settings

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

Schema therapy is built on the assumption that we all have schemas. Just as our clients are caught in self-perpetuating lifetraps that prevent them from getting their emotional needs met, so are we as schema therapists. Within the context of our therapeutic work, our schemas can function as blindspots, potentially leading to reduced empathy and misattunement in our therapy sessions, as well as putting ourselves at risk for suffering from emotional difficulties, including burnout. Over the past twenty years, as the ST model has expanded so have opportunities for us to explore and work on our own schemas and access both professional and emotional nourishment. In this chapter, opportunities for building therapist well-being are explored through four main areas: (1) professional nourishment through participation in continuing professional development and schema therapy committees and special interest groups; (2) self-therapy, including personal therapy and self-practice/self-reflection; (3) individual and peer supervision with a focus on therapists’ own schemas and modes; (4) self-care based on core needs, including mindfulness, self-compassion practices, connection with nature, breathwork and movement, as well as connection with peers and colleagues.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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