sad isolated young woman looking away through fence with hope

What are traps anyway?

I first learned the term “life trap” when discovering Schema Therapy (Jeffrey Young) which was a user friendly term to describe Schema’s. A schema is a pattern of thought and behaviour (typically learned early in life) that organises information and generally makes processing that information a lot quicker, and often more efficient. The trouble with schema’s is that they can become outdated and maladaptive causing us problems later in life.

Currently, I have broadened my understanding of life traps to include several inward and outward behaviours/processes which inadvertently lead to increased suffering. Some of these behaviours and processes include:

  • Cognitive distortions.
  • Safety behaviours.
  • Schemas.
  • Cognitive fusion.
  • Avoidance.
  • Overcompensation.
  • Modes of being.

I learned about all of these different types of traps from several theories and therapeutic modalities which have a strong evidence base and have been adopted in large numbers in psychology and related fields including:

  • Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Aaron T. Beck.
  • Schema Therapy, Jeffrey Young.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Steven C. Hayes.
  • Compassion Focussed Therapy, Paul Gilbert.

If you are interested in learning more about the traps that might apply to you and how to manage them, you can make an appointment at one of the locations listed on my website:

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