What is the Schema Therapy

The Psychiatrist Kiosterakis Georgios is a certified Therapist in Schema Therapy, an innovative method of the 3d wave of Cognitive Therapies, holding the Advanced Training Certification of the International Society of Schema Therapy – ISST, as it is described at the webpage of ISST (


The Schema Therapy is a composite therapy model of cognitive behavioral origin, at the contexts of the 3d wave of Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, which has been designed for the treatment of patients with chronic emotional difficulties and patients with Personality Disorders, where the classic Cognitive Behavioral Therapy encountered restrictions regarding its effective application and treatment.


It was developed by Jeffrey Young in the 1990s, having as initial basis the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and incorporating elements from other approaches, such as the Attachment Theory, the Object Relations Theory, the Gestalt Theory and techniques that focus on emotions.

The Schema Therapy occurred as an attempt to deal with the restrictions that the classical cognitive behavioral therapy presented in the therapy of people with chronic characteriologic problems and personality disorders. These patients do not respond well to the traditional cognitive behavioral techniques. Often, they do not abide by the therapy, they are unwilling to follow its agenda, to perform their homework and to develop a relationship of cooperation and alliance with the therapist.


The Schema Therapy incorporates elements of the Attachment Theory and of the Object Relations Theory and understands in depth the difficulties of the patient, connecting the present time with childhood and early adolescence and subsequently with the development of the preservation mechanisms and the generalization of the problems in the various areas of their lives. In parallel, this understanding helps in the creation of an essential therapeutic relationship, which consists a basic working tool in Schema Therapy.


Furthermore, the integration of techniques of the Gestalt therapy and of techniques focused on emotions is particularly helpful in the access of emotional avoidance and overcompensation that consist major mechanisms of preservation and perpetuation of the patient’s problems.


The basic concepts of Schema Therapy are three. They are the concepts of the Schema, the maladaptive coping response strategies (Coping Styles) and of the Modes.