Schema Couples Therapy

Schema Couples Therapy is a powerful intervention for focusing on interpersonal problems between two people, usually partners. This form of couples therapy is rarely available in the U.K. Treatment focuses on employing the schema mode model to explain the interpersonal difficulties experienced between partners, working both together and individually as required. This is a unique format of therapy, since both parties in the relationship learn to understand their own and their partner’s modes, and how these may become stuck in unproductive cycles and mode clashes. 

Schema Couples Therapy involves blending couples appointments with individual sessions. The precise format needed may vary significantly, depending on each person’s need for individual work to address their own schema-driven reactions. Couples work may be commenced after one partner has first been in individual therapy, if it would be helpful to focus on a problem dynamic with their partner. Alternatively,  a couple may decide to seek Schema Couples Therapy together, to directly address difficulties in their relationship. The interpersonal focus of Schema Couples Therapy makes it an ideal approach for transforming the dynamic in many different forms of relationship. It may be undertaken with anyone with whom you have a significant relationship, such as with a parent, sibling, family member or an important friend.

Couples work focuses more on the patterns of discord in a relationship than than the content of specific disagreements. By understanding how disagreements are fuelled by each partner’s schemas and modes, attention is directed towards partner’s taking responsibility for their contribution to the problem. Therapy proceeds to help both partners to establish how they can work together to better meet on another’s emotional needs in their relationship.

Couples Therapy progresses through three broad stages of intervention:

  1. Education and awareness of the couple’s mode cycles and clashes
  2. Rebalancing the power dynamics between partners
  3. Reconnection and training – developing and rekindling connection and intimacy

If you would like to consider Schema Couples Work, first discuss this with the person you’d like to join you in therapy. If they are willing to consider this, you would be welcome to book an initial consultation with them jointly. On occasion,  we may not agree to undertake individual work with one party in a relationship, if it is felt to be necessary for their partner to be willing to engage in couples therapy, but they are unwilling to do so. 

If you are interested to discuss beginning Schema Couples Therapy, please Book an Appointment. Please note that  initial assessments of couples for Schema Couples Therapy are charged for. Couples who are new to me – i.e. where I am not already familiar with one partner – are required to pay in advance for initial couples sessions.