Association Between Schema Therapy and Good Enough Parenting

Meeting children’s core emotional needs.

Schema therapy was developed by Dr. Jeffrey E. Young [] for use in treatment of personality disorders and chronic DSM Axis I disorders, such as when patients fail to respond or relapse after having been through other therapies (for example, traditional cognitive behavioral therapy). Schema Therapy assumes, based on clinical experiences, that strong negative schemas develop during a child’s formative years when core emotional needs are not adequately met. Conversely, when these needs are adequately met, strong positive schemas develop. These core emotional needs are identified as Connection & Acceptance, Healthy Autonomy & Performance, Reasonable Limits, Realistic Expectations, and Functional Community. [Louis et al. 2020, Young et al. 2003]

While no one’s parenting can ever be perfect, Good Enough Parenting offers a step-by-step guide on how parents can learn to meet these core emotional needs satisfactorily, not perfectly, but “good enough”. This is done by guiding parents on how to not exasperate their children but to nurture them.


Louis, J. P., Davidson, A., Lockwood, G., & Wood, A. (2020). Positive perceptions of parenting and their links to theorized core emotional needs. Journal of Child and Family Studies.

Young, J. E., Klosko, J. S., & Weishaar, M. (2003). ST: A practitioner’s guide. New York: Guilford Publications.

A parent tossing their child in the air.
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