Schema Therapy Techniques: Schema Therapy Diaries

Schema Therapy Diary
The Mode Diary in Secure Nest allows the client and therapist to work together

This series of posts in the Secure Nest Journal will focus on how schema therapy techniques can be enhanced using our platform. George Lockwood describes Schema Therapy Diaries on the International Society of Schema Therapy’s website.

A schema therapy diary is a form used in-between sessions that provides a guide for the client to organise their experiences when schemas or modes are triggered. Unfortunately, if only the paper copy of the form is filled out a client will not be able to receive feedback and support from their therapist before the next session and may experience difficulty sorting out schema driven reactions in terms of thoughts, feelings, behaviours, underlying schemas, healthy perspectives and realistic concerns, overreactions, and healthy behaviour.

The Mode Diary in Secure Nest allows the client and therapist to work together to fill-out the form in an interactive environment. Therapists can gather additional information about their clients’ experiences in-between sessions and provide comments and feedback. The Mode Diary is in the Workshop area of Secure Nest.

Secure Nest also includes a text box at the top of the Mode Diary form which can be used to write individualised notes about the clients’ schemas and modes, feelings and triggers to provide the client with support to identify messages, related childhood memories, schemas and modes.

As George Lockwood mentions, “for some patients and therapists the Schema Diary becomes an important tool to further the internalization of healthy adult processes.” The use of the online Mode Diary in Secure Nest can enhance Healthy Adult functions by making the link between the present and the past – trying to make sense of current reactions, interpersonal patterns, ways of thinking and coping – in the context of what happened to clients and what was learned during childhood. By helping clients to develop awareness of their schemas and modes and remain connected to their therapist in-between sessions, clients may not be distressed for as long.

A client describes using the Secure Nest Mode Diary with their therapist (example below from our qualitative pilot study):

“I can read her Healthy Adult responses and think oh, okay, that’s a good way of looking at it … I’m not as distressed for as long because it’s before I see her for the next therapy session, It’s definitely…a great thing, yeah definitely.”

You can try the Secure Nest Mode Diary with a free trial account (here are the signup pages for individuals or therapists).

The Secure Nest Team


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Secure Nest provides personalised online therapy tools designed specifically for schema therapy. Read more here or register for your free trial.