What is Vulnerability Schema?

People with this scheme spend their lives believing that a disaster is about to happen. People with a weakness scheme also believe that they cannot cope with the catastrophe.

course photo: @blackmoon_rose

The frightening situations in which one expects to be at any moment and makes him feel vulnerable may be one or more of the following:

Medical conditions: Heart attack, AIDS, cancer, cerebral hemorrhage or any other relentless condition.
Mental states: Disruption of the person’s own mental balance, which is expressed as the fear of going mad, losing his mind.
Financial conditions: The person has lost all his money and becomes in need.
Environmental conditions: Elevators, airplanes, earthquakes, cat, dog, spider, being attacked objects or situations that can be encountered in life.

Characteristics of Vulnerability Behavior


If you have a weakness scheme, you often feel anxious in your daily life because of your exaggerated fears.
You are very worried about your health and possible illnesses. To deal with this situation:

  1. You go to unnecessary medical checks.
  2. You’re burdening your family with your constant need for support and
  3. You can’t see the beauties of life, you cannot enjoy life.
  • Having an unrealistic fear of bankruptcy. This fear of unnecessarily stingy about money; it makes you reluctant to make economic and professional changes, although necessary.
  • You endeavor to avoid a legal danger. For example, you avoid going out at night, visiting big cities, avoiding public transportation. So your life is very limited.
  • You avoid daily tasks that are risky, even if they are small. For example, take the elevator, take the subway, or live in a city that could be an earthquake.
  • Your chronic anxiety may make you more susceptible to some psychosomatic illnesses such as eczema, asthma, colitis, ulcers.
  • You limit your social life; because as a result of your fears, you cannot do many things that other people can do.
  • You limit the lives of your spouse and / or family who have to adapt to your fears.
  • You’re experiencing panic attacks due to too much listening to your body and possible anxiety.
  • You may have conveyed your fears to your children.
  • You may have developed a fondness for medication, alcohol, food, etc. to reduce your chronic anxiety.

What might be the reason ?

Like all impaired freedom of movement schemes, there is an overprotective parental attitude in the weakness scheme. This is accompanied by the anxious attitudes of the parents.

You may have obtained this scheme by observing and following your parents who have lived with the same scheme. Your mother / father was phobic or had extreme fears in some areas. (Loss of control, sickness, bankruptcy, etc.)

  • Your parent was overprotective of danger or illness. They were always warning you about the dangers. You felt so fragile and incompetent that you couldn’t even handle daily tasks.
  • Your parent didn’t protect you enough. Your childhood environment was not physically, emotionally and financially safe. (This is often accompanied by the Emotional Deprivation Scheme or the Skepticism Scheme.)
  • When you were a child, you became very sick or had a serious traumatic event, such as a car accident, that would make you feel vulnerable.
  • One of your parents had a traumatic event, maybe even died. You began to perceive the world full of dangers.

Schema Chemistry in Vulnerability

People with this scheme often choose spouses to support them. Indeed, these spouses can hardly confront the person that their fears are unwarranted. They usually try to reassure him and support him. It is important to reduce spousal support during therapy and replace it with healthier confrontational responses.

The choice of spouse can be important according to the feared situations. For a person who is afraid of having a heart attack, a doctor may sound like an ideal partner. Because there is always someone who can intervene first. Or a wealthy wife can be comforting for someone with financial concerns.

Even if your partner tries to help you, sometimes he or she may get bored. However, your relationship is highly negatively affected by the time spent by one side’s fears and efforts to take action.

Therapy Objectives in the Vulnerability Chart


The main goal in the therapy of this scheme is to reduce your unrealistic thoughts about something bad will happen. During the therapy process, you evaluate your fears in a realistic way and realize that they are exaggerated. You can learn to distinguish between realistic fear and unrealistic fear. The ultimate goal in therapy is to reduce your avoidance behavior that helps maintain the scheme; to face many situations you fear. Because this confrontation will make you realize that your fears are unrealistic.

About the Author
Total 143 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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