Modes and Schemas

Since my last post I’ve had another group and an individual therapy session. I find them very tough emotionally, especially the individual one today, which was centered around defeating my self-critical thoughts and just made me want to cry! For reasons I’ll get into another time…

What I wanted to discuss today was the basis of Schema therapy: the modes that we are looking at. Schema modes are defined as the emotional states and coping responses that we experience. Problem modes are triggered by experiences that relate to past issues. They can vary from lonely moods to dissociation and psychotic episodes.

The modes I think that we’re mostly concentrating on because they are common in BPD are:

Vulnerable Child Mode: feeling sad, frightened, unloved and lost. Looking to others to rescue you.

Angry/Impulsive Child Mode: venting anger in inappropriate ways – becoming enraged, contolling or even abusive. Can flip with impulsivity where you act without thought to meet your needs. Self-harm and suicide attempts are common.

Punative Parent Mode: acting to punish or criticize yourself. Seeing yourself as bad, full of self-hatred and with a propensity to self-harm, sucidal fantasies and self-destructive behaviour. Often occurs when a parent has shown anger or abuse in the past.

Detached Protector Mode: cutting off emotional needs and disconnecting from others, behaving submissively to avoid punishment. Feeling numb, empty39421a7cf24e640f295f276f2704f109 and depressed and basing identity on the approval of others.

Healthy Adult Mode: our healthy, competant side that is able to work, take responsibilty and enjoy life.

I’m sure everyone can recognise themselves in part from the above. My main issues seem to be the third and fourth modes but we’ll see as time goes on. I would so love not to feel empty.


3 thoughts on “Modes and Schemas

  1. No therapy is easy, its a means to an end. It can give you understanding, answers, insight to your inner self, acceptance of self, tolerance of self and a chance to be really honest with self and to have real reflection, an opportunity to challenge, learn and do something different to achieve a different outcome for yourself or others. However, emotional pain is within the process of therapy! But as a previous comment states, just by even looking at these issues means you are showing bravery. Each day, dare to be brave.

    Liked by 1 person

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