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Life Traps: Filter or Schema Therapy

"Jeffrey E. Young, PhD, a cognitive psychologist and clinical researcher at Columbia University Medical Center, began to spot a number of distinct, recurring patterns in his patients' psychological profiles—patterns laid down in early childhood that continued to shape their adult thoughts, actions, relationships, careers, and life choices. He called these habits "schemas," borrowing the ancient Greek word for "form," and he nicknamed them "lifetraps" to make it easier for his clients to understand both the concept and the risk of letting their schemas define them." source

"The authors, both cognitive psychotherapists, identify 11 common "lifetraps," which they define as repetitive, destructive behavior patterns associated with a negative self-image. Using illustrations from case studies, the authors describe each lifetrap, discuss its origins in childhood experience, and provide a questionnaire for self-assesment. They then offer a program for change using techniques ranging from experiential (getting in touch with your inner child) to cognitive (writing a "case" against your lifetrap) and behavioral (identifying specific behaviors to be changed). Recommended for popular psychology collections.
- Lucille Boone, San Jose P.L., Cal."

Reinventing Your Life: The Breakthough Program to End Negative Behavior...and Feel Great Again, by Jeffrey Young

Schema Therapy

schemas and domains

Filters Questionnaire (PDF)

Take Filters Questionnaire (this will send you a PDF, example)

Create Filters Flashcard  (this will send you a PDF)

Filters/Schema Therapy:


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