Individual Counseling &Therapy in NYC: The Life at Your Best Plan

Schema Therapy | Interpersonal Neurobiology | Emotionally Focused Therapy

Short-term cognitive therapy helps overcome symptoms of depression and anxiety for the majority of patients. However, if you experience lifelong patterns of negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, a therapeutic approach combining cognitive therapy with schema therapy can be more effective. Based on cognitive and behavioral techniques, schema therapy applies useful principles from constructivist, psychodynamic, object relations, and gestalt therapies. Compared with standard cognitive-behavioral therapy, schema therapy places greater value on your emotions, emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between you and your therapist as a vehicle for change, and places a greater importance on the childhood origins of your current difficulties. Typically longer-term than cognitive therapy, schema therapy helps you modify your behaviors and the ways people feel and relate to you.

Schema therapy is especially helpful in treating chronic depression and anxiety, eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating), difficult couples problems, long-standing difficulties maintaining satisfying intimate relationships, and helping prevent relapse among substance abusers. Schema therapy addresses patients who feel hopeless about changing, when their self-destructive patterns seem to be a part of their identity. The negative patterns may have become so entrenched that they become rigid and resist standard cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Schema therapy was developed by Jeffrey E. Young, Ph.D. of the Cognitive Therapy Center of New York. The negative beliefs can lead to low self-esteem, lack of connection to others, problems expressing feelings and emotions, and excessive worrying about basic safety issues. The beliefs can also create strong attractions to inappropriate partners and lead to dissatisfying careers. Through a series of assessments you will learn to recognize what schemas affect you, understand the schema's origins, and learn how to make lasting changes in your life. Many patients who begin schema therapy have spent years in other types of therapies, gaining valuable insight but frustrated by their lack of progress. Schema therapy provides a straightforward, direct approach that goes beyond getting "in-touch" with your feelings. You work through structured assignments outside sessions that help you continually confront your negative beliefs. In each session, you work with your therapist to identify when your unhealthy patterns are repeating, and “empathically confront” them with the reasons for change. Your therapist supplies you with a partial antidote to meet your needs that may not have been met in your childhood.

  • A member of the International Society for Schema Therapy
  • Advanced training in Daniel Siegel's Mindsight Institute
  • A member of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy
  • A certified Gottman method couples therapist