Schema Therapy And Mental Health Treatment

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Personality disorders like avoidant personality, dependent personality, obsessive compulsive, histrionic, narcissistic, and paranoid personality disorders are all challenging to treat with traditional therapy. It is widely understood that mental health disorders of many kinds can arise out of experiences in childhood. For personality disorders this is most often true. Treating the core of personality disorders means needing to treat the childhood from which they stem. Traditional psychotherapeutic methods don’t always go back to the core issues and rectify them. Of course, there is no going back in time and changing the past. Through schema therapy, however, there is a way to meet the part of the past that is still alive in an adult, and heal that living part. The more that the inner child, or Vulnerable Child can be healed, the less need for maladaptive coping behaviors.

The American Journal of Psychiatry released a large control trial in 2014 which suggested Schema Therapy had a greater success in the treatment of personality disorders than popular forms of therapy treatments commonly used. Schema Therapy saw higher rates of recovery as well as a great reduction in depression and other symptoms. In addition, patients who regularly received Schema Therapy were less likely to drop out of their therapy. Statistically, 80% of the patients in Schema Therapy were considered “recovered” while the numbers for other kinds of therapy didn’t reach beyond 60%.

Through therapy and treatment, patients become aware of their different forms of self, or the different narratives in their head, for example, the critical parent. It is most challenging to get into the mode of the vulnerable child because that is where the core existence of hurt and pain, and often trauma, exist. Maladaptive behaviors and beliefs form around protecting or even ignoring the vulnerable child because confronting or living in those vulnerable feelings threatens the protections which have been set up. However, as Science Daily reported, “Direct access to the Vulnerable Child is the key to the therapist being able to meet these needs and is the cornerstone of treatment.”

Treating personality disorders includes a combination of adulthood skills for coping as well as inner child work to heal the wounds of the past. Without treatment and therapy, personality disorders can worsen overtime and complicate adult relationships. To cope with childhood pain and the pain of living with an unmanaged personality disorder, many turn to substance abuse.


Avalon By The Sea is one of California’s few trusted primary mental health treatment facilities. Our dual diagnosis programs for primary mental health disorders, like personality disorders, and co-occurring substance use disorders are trusted for providing trusted results. For a confidential assessment and more information, call us today: 888-958-7511


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