Are these beliefs ruining your life?

You may not even realize you have one of the schemas—in fact, the belief system may feel entirely normal to you.

Schemas are closely held beliefs and feelings about yourself, others and the world. Typically, you accept these beliefs without question, and many people are not aware that they have them.

Medium Brush Stroke

Emotional Deprivation

Nurturance relates to needs for closeness, affection or love. Empathy is our need to feel understood and our need for direction, guidance or advice is protection.


Typically, people with this schema believe that they will soon lose anyone with whom an emotional attachment is formed.


People with this schema expect others to hurt, cheat, demean or abuse them in some way. They may often think in terms of attacking first or getting revenge afterward.

Social Isolation/Alienation

This schema refers to the belief that one is isolated from the world, different from other people and/or not part of any community.


Children who develop this schema grew up in homes in which one or both parents were very critical and perhaps made them feel as though they were unworthy of love.