I am getting my information from “Schema Therapy a Practitioners Guide” by Jeffrey E. Young, Janet S. Klosko, and Marjorie E. Weishaar. Today we will be looking at a new domain called the Impaired Autonomy and performance. There are four schemas in this domain: Dependence/Incompetence, Vulnerability to harm or illness, Enmeshment/Undeveloped self, and Failure.
Dependence/Incompetence schema is when a person is childlike and helpless. They are unable to take care of themselves on their own; life is overwhelming and the feel like they are inadequate. They can’t make decisions or face change on their own. These people find others to take care of them, other people to substitute for their parents. Behaviors: they ask others for help, constantly asking questions while doing something, advice seeking, giving up easily, and refusing additional responsibilities. To help these people they need to have their sense of competence increased. Building of confidence and skills is important.
Vulnerability to harm or illness is when a person believes a catastrophe is about to strike at any moment. They feel that something beyond their control is going to happen. Something bad is going to happen and they can’t prevent it. These type of people avoid things, they become phobic and rely on magical thinking. To help these people it is important to lower their estimation of the likelihood of a catastrophe happening. It is important to help them stop avoiding and compensating for the irrational thoughts and fears.
The movie Failure to Launch is the first show that comes to mind that shows the Dependence/Incompetence schema. It is surprising to me how many different movies there are that show and build their story around these schemas.
How do you think parenting affects the dependence schema? (Remember just because a person ends up with certain problems or mental health issues it is not necessarily due to the parenting that person received. There are so many things that go into mental health.)