The Schema Therapy Institute was set up in 2009, by Agnes Sullivan who was trained by Dr Jeffrey Young, the founder of Schema therapy. It is now an ISST certified training centre based in the UK. It also provides Schema Therapy to clients in both an individual and group setting.
Although Agnes worked as a therapist for many years as a psychodynamic, integrative practitioner, she was frustrated by the limitations of these models in helping some clients to get the change they wanted. She saw how Schema therapy provided a straightforward, direct approach that goes beyond getting in touch with feelings and gaining awareness, and offered the key to helping clients who needed more specialised help. Studies on Schema therapy verses Psychodynamic therapy showed that Schema therapy had a more successful outcome*.
All human beings have strivings towards connection, understanding and growth. We are shaped by a deep desire to be known, seen and recognised as we strive to come into contact with parts of ourselves that are frozen, stuck or suffering. The more our strivings are thwarted by deprivation, neglect, trauma or loss, the more profound and painful our longings can become. We all have a fundamental need to grow, to heal and become our best “selves”. The result can be a sense of vitality and renewed energy.
Schema Therapy recognises all aspects of neurophysiology in its approach. Neuroscience teaches us that we each have an inbuilt capacity for growth and healing (Siegel, Daniel J., 2011. “Mindsight: Transform Your Brain with the New Science of Kindness”). A positive, responsive and safe relationship produces chemicals and hormones, which enhance the regulation of emotions, stress and neural firing. The ability of the brain to change itself, coupled with the power of a safe therapeutic relationship, promises fulfillment. They change feelings of depression, anxiety, loneliness or general unhappiness and link us to a path towards greater peace.
Many clients who begin schema therapy have sometimes spent years in other types of therapies, gaining valuable insight, but often frustrated by their lack of progress. Schema therapy is especially helpful in treating chronic depression and anxiety and relationship difficulties. It helps to prevent relapse among substance abusers. Schema therapy enables changes in clients who feel hopeless about their self-destructive patterns, because these problematic behaviours may seem so entrenched that they appear to be part of their very identity.
…the combination of experiential work and ability of both trainers helped to elicit a level of feeling that both heals and helps us to become better therapists.
… The workshop atmosphere was wonderful
…thoroughly enjoyed the fun of the play exercises but most of all just being able to soak up the trainers wealth of experience through her words, humour, depth, warmth, kindness and overall wonderful presence.
…excellent combination of teaching, practice and experience.
…thoroughly enjoyable few days with so many profound throw away comments. Loved the emphasis of the importance of the happy child. Seeing how everything happening in the moment is an opportunity for learning.
…the live process orientated sessions brought the learning points to sharp focus.
…the training enabled me to reflect on my own experience, that of my clients, and my fellow trainees on the course.
…the stand out moment was how to incorporate imagery and the sheer power of group work. I really loved this experience. I feel privileged.
…the facilitators make a great training pair. They have immense collaboration and therefore model how to faciliate groups. Their warmth and understanding is comforting and makes it easy to learn.
Incredibly helpful and useful, and a very helpful and accommodating team.