Schema Therapy

Schema Mode Listing


1.  Vulnerable Child:  feels lonely, isolated, sad, misunderstood, unsupported, defective, deprived, overwhelmed, incompetent, doubts self, needy, helpless, hopeless, frightened, anxious, worried, victimized, worthless, unloved, unlovable, lost, directionless, fragile, weak, defeated, oppressed, powerless, left out, excluded, pessimistic

2.  Angry Child : feels intensely angry, enraged, infuriated, frustrated, impatient because the core emotional (or physical) needs of the vulnerable child are not being met

3.  Impulsive/Undisciplined Child : acts on non-core desires or impulses in a selfish or uncontrolled manner to get his or her own way and often has difficulty delaying short-term gratification; often feels intensely angry, enraged, infuriated, frustrated, impatient when these non-core desires or impulses cannot be met.; may appear “spoiled”

4.  Contented Child : feels loved, contented, connected, satisfied, fulfilled, protected, accepted, praised, worthwhile, nurtured, guided, understood, validated, self-confident, competent, appropriately autonomous or self-reliant, safe, resilient, strong, in control, adaptable, included, optimistic, spontaneous


5.  Compliant Surrenderer : acts in a passive, subservient, submissive, approval-seeking, or self-deprecating way around others out of fear of conflict or rejection; tolerates abuse and/or bad treatment; does not express healthy needs or desires to others; selects people or engages in other behavior that directly maintains the self-defeating schema-driven pattern

6.  Detached Protector : cuts off needs and feelings; detaches emotionally from people and rejects their help; feels withdrawn, spacey, distracted, disconnected, depersonalized, empty or bored; pursues distracting,  self-soothing,  or self-stimulating activities in a compulsive way or to excess; may adopt a cynical, aloof  or pessimistic stance to avoid investing in people or activities

7.  Overcompensator : feels and behaves in an inordinately grandiose, aggressive, dominant, competitive, arrogant, haughty, condescending, devaluing, overcontrolled, controlling, rebellious, manipulative, exploitative, attention-seeking, or status-seeking way.  These feelings or behaviors must originally have developed to compensate for or gratify unmet core needs


8.  Punitive Parent : feels that oneself or others deserves punishment or blame and often acts on these feelings by being blaming, punishing, or abusive towards self (e.g., self-mutilation) or others.  This mode refers to the style with which rules are enforced rather than the nature of the rules.

9. Demanding or Critical Parent :  feels that the “right” way to be is to be perfect or achieve at a very high level, to keep everything in order, to strive for high status, to be humble, to puts others needs before one's own or to be efficient or avoid wasting time; or the person feels that it is wrong to express feelings or to act spontaneously.  This mode refer to the nature of the internalized  high standards and strict rules, rather than the style with which these rules are enforced; these rules are not compensatory in their function.


10.  Healthy Adult : nurtures, validates and affirms the vulnerable child mode; sets limits for the angry and impulsive child modes; promotes and supports the healthy child mode; combats and eventually replaces the maladaptive coping modes; neutralizes or moderates the maladaptive parent modes.  This mode also performs appropriate adult functions such as working, parenting, taking responsibility, and committing; pursues pleasurable adult activities such as sex; intellectual, esthetic, and cultural  interests; health maintenance; and athletic activities.

COPYRIGHT 2003  Jeffrey Young, Ph.D. and Michael First, M.D.  Unauthorized reproduction without written consent of the author is prohibited. For more information, write:  Schema Therapy Institute, 561 10th Ave., Suite 43D, New York, NY  10036