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mental health mindfulness

Schema Therapy part II

Wow, it was back in November that I last wrote about starting Schema Therapy. The whole pandemic situation really put a spanner in the works with that. This blog post is a reflection of my most recent session. I’m not a psychologist, if anything here concerns you please seek professional advice.

So two months ago I started a new bout of therapy with a new psychologist that was a bit closer to home. The last one was close to the office so when I stopped going into the office I stopped going. Since I’ve moved to Sydney I’ve had a tendency to only go to 2-3 sessions with a psychologist before I come up with some reason to stop attending (usually it’s just expensive and I postpone/cancel because I’ve felt like I haven’t done the homework correctly). So it’s nice to be 4-5 sessions in with a new therapist and I’m actually sticking to it.

My two main Schema’s

My two main influencing schema’s are Social Isolation and Unrelenting Standards. These have a mild influence on my personality, some people can have a strong influence and they might have a schema that is a strong 80-90% influence. There’s 18 Schema’s and I they can be a little overlapping.

Under the Social Isolation schema I feel:

  • I feel like I don’t fit in
  • People think I’m weird and strange
  • I am a bit different to other people

Under the Unrelenting Standard I feel:

  • I rarely switch off and relax
  • I need everything to be done to very high standards
  • There always seems like there is more to be done

I also have an unhealthy dose of a very harsh internal self critic. This self critic likes to remind me of how much of a failure and odd ball that I feel sometimes. These two schema’s help drive my harsh internal self critique.

Personifying that harsh critic

In my earlier sessions, my therapist asked me to personify that harsh internal self critic. Put a name/person/character to it. I thought a muppet from sesame street would be a good caricature.

And then the next question, what muppet would it be best? I thought a blue one is not right, blue is too calming of a colour. Orange is an angry, attention grabbing type of colour. And then I thought of the interrupting Manana Muppet:

So now, when I find myself thinking, “you are such a failure, you are nickempoop and a stupid fat good for nothing …” I can now respond with, “Ah, muppet, it’s good to see you again. Glad you could join us. That’s not helpful right now, would you like to sit back down and stop distracting the driver?”.

What would inner critic look like if you personified it? I’d love to know.

3 replies on “Schema Therapy part II”

I hope your schemas aren’t causing you too much suffering but it sounds like you are learning to address them. Good luck with that 🙂

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