What is Dependence/ Incompetence Schema ?

course photo: @bearinmind.psychology

People with this schema are childish and vulnerable. They can’t make decisions without someone else’s help, don’t know right from wrong, can’t manage their money. As a result they feel desperate. They are in need of someone who can help them.

There are two basics of this schema : incompetence and dependence.

If you have dependence schema your expectation might not be reducing the negative effects of the schema but a search for a magical pill. As a result, you are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and physical symptoms; or the fear of losing the person you depend on. Your goal is to eliminate the these problems rather than change your core feelings like dependency and inability often.

Characteristic of Dependence/Incompetence Schema

  • .Driving alone can be difficult for you. Because you worry about getting lost, dealing with car breakdowns.
  • Reducing your achievements and increase your shortcomings.
  • You live according to your parents / spouse. You treat your parents more dependent than your peers.
  • Can’t make your own decisions.
  • You may have fears or phobias that you don’t face.
  • You’re unaware of practical functions and daily life skills.
  • You may not have lived on your own in any period of your life.
  • You can avoid making important decisions and making breakthroughs about your life. In this way, you will not be dependent on others; but you can’t do what you need to do.
  • The above symptoms can behave in the opposite direction. Even if you feel inadequate from bottom to bottom you claim that you can do anything on your own. You don’t trust anyone for anything. You can be very brave in decision-making and entering new jobs; but inside you always have a strong feeling that you will not succeed this time.
If you have Dependence/Incompetence schema your family roots may have :

Overprotective Parenting

  • Your family may be overprotective and treat you as if you were younger than you really are, and your parent may have made the decisions you need to make.
  • Your parent may have taken care of all the details in your life. So you may not have learned to take care of yourself.
  • You may have been given little or no liability; your parent may have done your homework.
  • You may or may not have been separated from your family at all. You may not have felt that you have a separate identity from your family.
  • Your parent has over-criticized your skills and ideas in everyday work; you may be confused by giving too much advice and instructions when you start a new business.
  • Your parent has provided you with such a secure environment that you may not have experienced serious rejection and failure until you leave home.
  • Your parent may have many fears and may have warned you of the dangers too much.

Parental vulnerability

  • You may not have received enough guidance and guidance from your parent.
  • For one reason or another, you may have to make your decisions alone (even if it exceeds you).
  • You may have to behave like an adult in the family, even though you feel deep inside.
  • You may be expected to do and know things older than your age.

Schema Chemistry in Dependency Schema

The dependency / inadequacy scheme is one of the schemes in which the chemistry of the scheme is most important. Because they often choose strong, protective and dominant people who can look after them as spouses or friends. Because they don’t have to decide and do business, they can never be aware of their capacity.

These people tend to choose more resourceful partners. They want their spouses to be with them in every environment. This situation may cause anger after a while.

If you have an dependent scheme, your spouse / partner may be like a parent who looks strong and protective. They enjoy looking after you and acting as if you’re a child. And may be critical of your ideas, tastes, and achievements.

  • Your partner may never be scared, insecure and vulnerable about him/herself.
  • You trust your spouse’s ideas more than yours. He/she makes the most decisions.
  • You’re losing your own self with your partner.
  • Your partner pays everything.
  • When you start a new job, even if he/she not have a knowledge and experience about it, you always ask your partner’s opinion.

Therapy Objectives in Addiction Scheme


The main purpose in the treatment of dependence/ incompetence scheme is to increase one’s sense of competence and to reduce dependence on others.

If you have this scheme, you can start trusting yourself, making important decisions, and taking risks as a result of therapy. You can make your relationships with others more functional then dependent.

About the Author
Total 156 posts
Sefa Ozer
Sefa Ozer
Currently studying psychology and researching cognitive behavioral therapy. Also have studied comprative literature,interested in gender studies,. Loves helping people playing video games, music and dancing.
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