This week we are going to be talking with Bubble’s Clinical Psychologist about schema focussed therapy. I’ve just started reading about this, and am at a very early stage of understanding the theory. From what I’ve discovered so far, though, it seems to be a possible positive way forward.
Schemas can be seen as index cards, filed in the brain, with each one informing the person how to react to incoming information or stimuli. If a child has endured trauma, neglect, abuse or deprivation, then the index cards will contain negative messages.
As they are stored in the brain’s amygdala, which is not amenable to logical analysis, the index cards’ messages are self perpetuating, resistant to change, and do not go away without therapeutic intervention. The child develops maladaptive coping ‘behaviours’ which respond to perceived triggers.
Psychologists have identified 18 early maladaptive schemas arranged into 5 domains. Looking through the descriptions of these, we immediately recognised Bubble in some of them, particularly in the domain of disconnection and rejection. We linked in her history and her way of interpreting her world with the schemas.
Between sessions we have considered triggers, emotions and thoughts, and coping behaviours, and we will use our session this week with the Clinical Psychologist to reflect further on these.
The more I research therapeutic interventions, the more I am convinced that talking therapies, whilst having their place, are simply not enough to assist with changing the established patterns.
Perhaps we are beginning to find a way forward that will help us support Bubble more effectively. Time will tell.