Schema Therapy

Abandonment Schema

The Abandonment Schema

The Abandonment schema is a psychological concept that refers to a set of beliefs and expectations about relationships that can develop in response to early experiences of abandonment or neglect. People with this schema tend to have a strong fear of being abandoned or rejected by others, and may have difficulty trusting and forming close relationships as a result.
There are several key characteristics of the Abandonment schema. These include:

  1. A fear of abandonment: People with this schema may have a strong fear of being abandoned or rejected by others, and may go to great lengths to avoid being left alone or isolated.
  2. Difficulty trusting others: Due to their fear of abandonment, people with this schema may have difficulty trusting others and may feel constantly on guard in relationships.
  3. Difficulty with commitment: The fear of abandonment may also make it difficult for people with this schema to commit to long-term relationships, as they may fear that their partner will eventually leave them.
  4. Emotional reactivity: People with the Abandonment schema may have strong emotional reactions to perceived threats of abandonment, such as becoming excessively anxious or angry.

The Abandonment schema can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to form and maintain healthy, fulfilling relationships. It can also contribute to the development of other psychological issues, such as anxiety and depression.

How does the Abandonment Schema relate to Attachment Theory?

The Abandonment schema can be seen as an example of an insecure attachment style, specifically an anxious attachment style. People with an anxious attachment style tend to have a negative view of themselves and a strong need for reassurance from others. They may also have a fear of abandonment and a tendency to become excessively clingy or demanding in relationships.

The Abandonment schema can be thought of as a specific type of anxious attachment style that is characterized by a strong fear of abandonment and a preoccupation with being rejected or left alone. This schema can influence how people behave in relationships and can affect the quality of their relationships.