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The 18 Schemas of Jeffrey Young’s Schema Therapy contextualized with Attachment Theory

Schemas are emotional beliefs/memories/predictions about self and world. In this article, we offer our definitions to the 18 early maladaptive schemas and our hypotheses on how they relate to the attachment styles. Most schemas will be categorized in terms of the dismissing/preoccupied dichotomy. Note that disorganized attachment implies both dismissing and preoccupied components. For that reason, all of the schemas can be found in disorganized attachment. However, the Mistrust/Abuse schema stands out as a defining schema of the disorganized attachment style. Insecure Attachment Emotional Deprivation: Deprivation of nurturance, attunement and…

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Tips on Creating a Safe Space for Imaginal Work

These tips on creating a safe space for practice were originally shared by a long-term Attachment Repair student in our Slack community.   I wanted to share my process and tips for building an imaginal safe space. I use this space as a foundation for all my attachment/schema work. Basically, that's where I prepare for the ‘main' work, and it's a container and location for imagery. I also use it to hunker down when I feel anxious or overwhelmed, and sometimes to help me fall asleep. The ‘safe space' work…

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The Schema Modes as They Relate to Attachment Styles

Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions. In this, I am drawing from Jeffrey Young’s work on schema therapy, and attachment theory more generally. I believe that the attachment styles can be viewed as clusters of schemas and modes; schemas  being beliefs about self and world, and the necessary behaviors (modes) that result from those beliefs. The modes represent the coherent behavioral manifestations of the schemas. Insecure attachment is associated with impaired emotional self-regulation. The coping modes are those emotional regulation strategies that avoid “an even greater suffering”, as Bruce Ecker…

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Schemas as they relate to Attachment Styles

This list is based on my perspective as to how Jeffrey Young’s ‘Early Maladaptive Schemas’ relate to insecure attachment. More info on the 18 schemas here:   General Insecurity 11 - Insufficient Self-Control / Self-Discipline   Dismissing 3 - Emotional Deprivation (central) 4 - Defectiveness / Shame (central) 5 - Social Isolation / Alienation 10 - Entitlement / Grandiosity 17 - Unrelenting Standards / Hypercriticalness 18 - Punitiveness   Preoccupied 1 - Abandonment / Instability (central) 3 - Emotional Deprivation 6 - Dependence / Incompetence 7 - Vulnerability to…

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Can you change your attachment style and if so how?

Yes, you can. But, there are many important considerations to keep in mind. Attachment conditioning dictates much of how we behave in relationships, view ourselves, how well we explore our world, and how good we are at emotional self regulation (Brown et al., 2016). This conditioning is largely determined very early on between the ages of six and twenty-four months (and to a lesser degree up to three years). The conditioning that takes place at this time occurs at the procedural or implicit level, which is pre-verbal. The implications are…

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Biology, Evolution, and Love

I watched “My Octopus Teacher” last night. It was so moving. John Bowlby theorized that Humans like other primates and mammals seek out proximity to the mother for evolutionary reasons, namely to seek safety. This makes perfect sense. You can build a theory of love, connection, and affection solely on the basis of the evolutionary benefits of proximity explained by attachment theory. In the film, Craig Foster the main protagonist, states that the highlighted kind of octopus has no relationship with mother or father. They are solitary creatures. The only…

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Some notes on the three insecure attachment styles

Another quick note about how attachment theory “blames the mom” for everything. Yes, that’s true on one level. Mom is usually the primary caregiver. And our attachment conditioning comes mostly from the interactions with the primary caregiver. But, as we discover with meditation there is no self that is apart from others and apart from our conditioning. You parents did the best they could. They only had their conditioning to inform them. They are ultimately blameless. You are no different in any way. This is how compassion is wise and…

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