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Relationship Between
Schema Domains and
Core Emotional Needs

Schema Domain

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Disconnection and rejection
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Impaired autonomy and achievement
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Impaired Limits
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Other-directedness
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Hypervigilance and inhibition

Core Emotional Needs

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Safe attachment, acceptance, care
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Autonomy, competence, sense of identity
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Realistic limits, self-control
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Free expressions of needs and emotions
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Spontaneity, playfulness

Schema Mode Categories:

Dysfunctional child modes

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Dependent child modes:
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Lonely
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Abandoned/abused
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Undisciplined child modes:
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Angry
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Obstinate
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Enraged
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Impulsive

Dysfunctional parent modes

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Punitive parent mode
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Demanding parent mode

Dysfunctional coping modes

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Surrender
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Avoidance
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Overcompensation

Functional healthy modes

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Happy child mode
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Healthy adult mode

Schemas, Needs, and Modes Reference Sheet

The following three concepts are central to the Schema Therapy model (Young, Klosko & Weishaar, 2007):

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Schemas – Schemas are “self-defeating emotional cognitive patterns that begin early in our development and repeat throughout life” (Young et al., 2007). They (positively or negatively) influence our perception, thinking, and behavior in adulthood.

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Needs – Our core emotional needs-and whether they are satisfied or not-shapes who we are in later life.

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Schema Modes – While some schemas may currently be inactive, those that are, we call our schema mode.

Psychoeducation is a crucial aspect of Schema Therapy. It provides psychological awareness and teaches the client that their needs and emotions are normal and understandable (Arntz & Jacob, 2013).

Use the following three tables to explore the key concepts of Schema Therapy with the client (modified from Young et al., 2007; Arntz & Jacob, 2013):

Five Schema Domains and 18 Schemas:

Schema Domain

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Disconnection and rejection
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Impaired autonomy and achievement
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Impaired Limits
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Other-directedness
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Hypervigilance and inhibition

Early Maladaptive Schemas

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Abandonment/instability
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Mistrust/abuse
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Emotional deprivation
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Defectiveness/shame
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Social isolation/alienation
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Dependency/incompetency
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Vulnerability to harm and illness
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Enmeshment/underdeveloped self
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Failure
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Entitlement/grandiosity
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Lack of self-control/self-discipline
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Subjugation
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Self-sacrifice
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Approval-seeking
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Negativity / Pessimism
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Emotional inhibition
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Unrelenting standards
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Punitiveness