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Schema-Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (SF-CBT)

The Schema-Focused model was developed by Dr. Jeffrey Young, who initially worked closely with Dr. Aaron Beck, the founder of Cognitive Therapy. SF-CBT uses evidence-based cognitive-behaviour therapy strategies, with an emphasis on targeting an individual’s deeper level negative beliefs (schemas) and life patterns to make broader and more sustainable positive life changes. The schemas that are targeted in treatment are enduring and self-defeating patterns that typically begin early in life. These patterns consist of negative/dysfunctional thoughts and feelings, have been repeated and elaborated upon, and pose obstacles for accomplishing one’s goals and getting one’s needs met.

SF-CBT was designed to treat a variety of long-standing emotional difficulties, with individuals & couples. The goal in this form of therapy is to help patients get their core needs met in an adaptive manner by changing maladaptive schemas (or core beliefs) and coping responses. This therapy combines the best elements of cognitive-behavioural, experiential, interpersonal and psychoanalytic therapies into one comprehensive model. Schema-Focused Therapy has shown remarkable results in helping people to change negative (“maladaptive”) patterns which they have lived with for a long time, even when other methods and efforts they have tried before have been largely unsuccessful.