Experiential techniques and therapeutic relationship in schema therapy
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Uniwersytet Łódzki, Instytut Psychologii
Submission date: 2020-08-12
Final revision date: 2020-12-13
Acceptance date: 2021-03-09
Publication date: 2021-06-15
Corresponding author
Maria Finogenow   

Uniwersytet Łódzki, Instytut Psychologii
Psychoter 2021;196(1):49-63
Schema therapy has been elaborated by Jeffrey Young and his co-workers. It is derived from cognitive-behavioural therapy, yet it combines some elements of other concepts as well. Although it draws on a variety of classical cognitive and behavioural techniques, it strongly underlines the role of experiential techniques that are focused on emotions and the therapeutic relationship. The techniques focused on emotions which are used in schema therapy are based on activating schema together with the linked cognitive functions, emotions, physical experiences, and recollections. The most important techniques in this group include Guided Imagery and Chair Work. Guided Imagery is used both in the assessment phase (to diagnose the schemas, their sources, style of coping, and modes) and in the treatment phase. The technique most often used in the latter phase is Imagery Rescripting, which is aimed at direct healing of a patient’s schema. Chair Work is most frequently utilized to work with maladaptive coping modes. In schema therapy, the therapeutic relationship plays a significant role both as a healing factor in the therapeutic process and also as an important background for the emotional interventions that are used. Two crucial characteristics of the therapeutic relationship are pointed out in this approach, namely Limited Reparenting and Empathic Confrontation.
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