In schema therapy, there are 18 specific early maladaptive schemas that are grouped into five broad categories called schema domains. These schema domains represent important components of a child’s core needs. These schemas are patterns of thought and behavior that develop in childhood when basic needs are not met. 

  1. Disconnection and Rejection:
  • Abandonment/Instability
  • Mistrust/Abuse
  • Emotional Deprivation
  • Defectiveness/Shame
  • Social Isolation/Alienation
  1. Impaired Autonomy and Performance:
  • Dependence/Incompetence
  • Vulnerability to Harm or Illness
  • Enmeshment/Undeveloped Self
  • Failure
  1. Impaired Limits:
  • Entitlement/Grandiosity
  • Insufficient Self-Control/Self-Discipline
  1. Other-Directedness:
  • Subjugation
  • Self-Sacrifice
  • Approval-Seeking/Recognition-Seeking
  1. Over-Vigilance and Inhibition:
  • Negativity/Pessimism
  • Emotional Inhibition
  • Unrelenting Standards/Hypercriticalness
  • Punitiveness

Read more about the definitions of each schema