Jeffery Young first introduced Schema Therapy in the 1990s, initially targeting clients grappling with borderline personality disorder. However, extensive research over the last three decades has revealed its potential efficacy in addressing various personality disorders and mental health issues. Deciding to employ Schema Therapy beyond borderline personality disorder should hinge on the preferences and treatment experiences of both the clinician and the client. Keep reading to learn 50 Schema Therapy questions to ask in therapy sessions.
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Preparing for Your First Schema Therapy Session with a New Client
Regardless of the clinical setting you work in, your primary focus when meeting with a new client will be conducting your assessment, and developing psychological awareness of their presenting concern. Your assessment will focus on identifying dysfunctional patterns in your client’s life and their experiences with EMS. Additionally, time spent should also explore triggers and unmet childhood needs that coincide with their schemas.
An additional focus will be exploring and identifying your client’s coping skills. Once your client has an understanding of their schemas and coping skills, they can then begin working to take control over their responses. Attention should be drawn to developing a conscious awareness of their automatic thoughts and working to exhaust the memories, emotions, thoughts, and bodily sensations tied to their schemas.
An additional step that should be incorporated into our clinical work is to take time to check in with ourselves and our own mental health needs. Compassion fatigue can have a significant impact on our work, and more importantly, our wellness. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed at work, losing interest in your interests, or taking a step back on your self-care, we encourage you to take time for yourself and utilize skills that help you in challenging moments.
Schema Therapy Question Examples to Ask Clients
Schema therapy questions are used throughout the counseling to explore our client’s experience and work towards their counseling goals. The duration of treatment will be dependent on your client’s unique needs and concerns. Continue reading for examples of questions in schema therapy that you can use!
Final Thoughts On Asking the Right Schema Therapy Questions
Thank you for reading our example questions to ask your clients in schema therapy! As mental health professionals, we have the privilege of witnessing our clients experience vulnerability during some of the challenging moments in their lives. When we work with clients who have the same mental health diagnosis, there will be commonalities regarding their symptoms and other related experiences. With that being said, every individual that we meet has a history and background that has gotten them to where they are today.
Individual differences can have an impact on which treatment modality clients are receptive to, and which ones they are not. Schema Therapy provides mental health professionals with an additional approach that can effectively be used with clients who have not made progress with other treatment approaches, so that they can work towards improving their overall sense of wellness.
If you have found your interest in Schema Therapy peaked, we encourage you to look into continuing education and other training opportunities. The International Society of Schema Therapy can help you locate accredited training program providers, supervisors, current schema therapists, and provide you with other helpful information.
TherapyPatron.com helps mental health professionals better serve their clients. Our (editable, fillable, printable PDF) therapy worksheets can help you streamline your practice, effectively deliver different types of therapy, and support your clients be the best version of themselves.
View all of our Schema Therapy Worksheets
- Taylor, C., Bee, P., & Haddock, G. (2017). Does schema therapy change schemas and symptoms? A systematic review across mental health disorders. Psychology and psychotherapy, 90(3), 456–479. https://doi.org/10.1111/papt.12112
- Young, Jeffrey E., Klosko, Janet S., and Weishaar, Marjorie E. (2003). Schema Therapy: A Practitioner’s Guide. Retrieved from https://www.guilford.com/excerpts/young.pdf