How to Cope with Schemas
Coping with schemas can be considered as behaviors that people perform as a child to combat negative experiences. So cping styles are the basic element of schema therapy. This situation can also be clarified by answering the question What am I doing? against negative, unwanted situations. However people can deal with triggering schema experiences in a very different way. All these experiences can be useful to some extent; however, they may affect our lives negatively over time. We can group these different coping styles under 3 categories in the most general sense.
- Surrender: Express the attitudes that will strengthen the schemes. For example, a person with a scheme of abandonment would eventually choose a person (married, libertine, etc.) to abandon him.
- Avoidance: The person uses these methods to escape the schema and also the disturbing emotions. For example, one who believes that he is ugly (a flaw scheme) cannot be considered in this group if he does not look in the mirror or participate in weddings in order not to face this feeling. Young avoids these avoidance responses under the following headings:
- Ignoring adversity
- Ignoring sadness
- Social withdrawal
- Suppressing memories
- Consoling yourself
- Idealizing childhood
- Suppressing anger
- Substance use
3. Overcompensation Acting the opposite of the scheme. For example, someone who believes that they don’t recieve love from other people (the scheme of emotional deprivation) can demand excessive love from people; but this may push people away from themselves. The overcompensating mechanisms are listed are:
- Indulgence of approval
To summarize: Surrendering makes you choose cold parner and not being able to emotionally express yourself. Avoidance, avoiding close relationships while overcompensation makes us behave persistent, frustratingly demanding.