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Chapter 9 - Intervention Strategies for Schema Healing 4

Behavioural Pattern-Breaking Techniques

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

Behavioural pattern breaking is arguably the most important phase of schema therapy. Although some degree of behavioural pattern breaking occurs throughout the therapeutic process, the most significant changes mostly occur in the middle and final phases of therapy. Empathic confrontation is used to gently push for changes to take place in the early phases of therapy, in order to address therapy-interfering behaviours and to set limits on behaviours which may lead to danger for clients and/or others. Behavioural change work should be carried out incrementally, and explicitly linked to the client’s needs. Chairwork is used to uncover the unmet needs that have been masked by coping modes, and to challenge modes that block recovery. Useful techniques for bringing about behavioural change include empathic confrontation, limit setting, flashcards, pattern-breaking forms, and future pattern-breaking imagery. While coping modes continue to dominate, schemas will be perpetuated and lasting progress will not be possible. It is therefore crucial that the therapist works to address their own schemas and the client’s schemas that block change, to enable them to overcome presenting issues and to facilitate authentic emotional vulnerability and interpersonal connection.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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References

Young, JE, Rygh, J. Young-Rygh Avoidance Inventory (YRAI). Cognitive Therapy Centre; 2003.Google Scholar
Young, JE. Young Compensatory Inventory (YCI). Cognitive Therapy Centre; 1995.Google Scholar
Rijkeboer, MM, Lobbestael, J, Arntz, A, van Genderen, H. (2010). Schema coping inventory. University of Utrecht Press.Google Scholar
Young, J, Klosko, J, Weishaar, M. Schema therapy: A practitioner’s guide. Guilford Press. 2003.Google Scholar
Van der Winjgaart, R. Imagery rescripting: Theory and practice. Pavilion Publishing & Media; 2021.Google Scholar

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