chapter  3
11 Pages

The Schema Model

ByJoseph W. Slap, Laura Slap-Shelton

This chapter discusses the schema model as it is applied in psychodynamic practice. The unitary schema is that part of the mind that consists of many schemas, loosely linked and integrated with one another and relatively accessible to consciousness. The pathogenic schema is roughly equivalent to the dynamic unconscious. Adaptive cognition requires a process of both assimilation—the incorporation of the new experience as if it were a familiar experience—and accommodation—modification of schemas to adapt to what is novel about the experience. The schema model accounts for the repetition compulsion in terms of the resistance of repressed schemas to change. With egocentric logic, children create schemas of personal, often idiosyncratic relationships between themselves and external reality and the symbols that represent them. In the schema model, there are two distinct types of conflictual interface. One is the interface between the ego and the pathogenic schema. The other conflictual interface lies within conflictual material of the pathogenic schema.