Schema Focused Cognitive Therapy | Honest Self Exploration!

Seattle Schema Focused Cognitive Therapy:
Functional Self Exploration!

Patrick J. Hart Psy.D.
Seattle Bellevue Area Private Practice

Referral to counselors, psychologists, and other mental health professionals for psychotherapy and treatment for depression and anxiety. Therapy options and therapist referral.

The cruelest lies are often
told in silence.
–Robert Lewis Stevenson

“Know Thyself”


Adult problems in self-esteem, self-acceptance, relationship to others, and emotional “splitting” defenses can often be understood as the logical consequences of childhood maltreatment or the outgrowth of “faulty learning” (conditioning) during our very first years of life.

Much (if not most) of what we think of as adult “psychopathology” actually reflects long-term maladaptive (reflexive) reactions to childhood mistreatment or confusing (ambiguous and chaotic) early learning. In general, a “schema” is a framework of beliefs or concepts that helps us organize and interpret information. The schemas referred to in this article are those frameworks we construct as young children to help us make sense of the world and of family relationships. Some of the beliefs we absorb as young children work for us throughout our lives, but others work only in a particular context, or cease to function at all. Malfunctioning frameworks of belief are then sometimes called “maladaptive schemas.”

Early Maladaptive Self-Image:
The Self as an Interlocking System of Beliefs

 swimming in a sea of questions

Schema Domains in Cognitive Therapy

The four main concepts in this model are:

The 18 Early Maladaptive Schemas. These are self-defeating core themes or patterns that we keep repeating throughout our lives.

The Five Domains. The Domains relate to the basic emotional needs of a child. When these needs are not met in childhood, ways of coping develop that lead to unhealthy life patterns. The 18 schemas are grouped into five broad domains, on the basis of which core needs the schema is related to.

Coping Styles. These are the ways the child adapts to its belief constructs and to damaging childhood experiences. For example, some children surrender to their constructs; some find ways to block out or escape from pain; while other children fight back or overcompensate.

Schema Modes. Schema modes are the moment-to-moment feeling states and coping responses that we all experience. Often they are triggered by life situations that we are oversensitive to (our “emotional buttons”). Many of these modes lead us to overreact to situations, or to act in a manner that end up hurting us.

The goals of treatment are: to help patients to stop using faulty and ineffective coping styles and thus get back in touch with their core feelings; to become “skillfully aware” of their early belief constructs; to learn how to flip out of self-defeating modes as quickly as possible; and eventually to get their emotional needs met in everyday life.

Take the Schema Questionnaire:
Download This: Print & Bring to Your Session with Dr. Hart

Questionnaire: Short Form

The above is quoted from: Cognitive Schema Theory
It’s a Great Page for This Type of Treatment!

Dr. Patrick J. Hart
Seattle Bellevue Area Private Practice
Explore Your Way Out of The Faulty Learning of Your Past!

Treatment for Lifelong Patterns

Borderline Personality Treatment

Schema-Focused Cognitive Therapy