Group Schema Therapy for Eating Disorders

What is Schema Therapy?

Schema Therapy is a treatment modality that goes beyond simply symptom management, exploring how individuals can improve their overall quality of life, develop stronger and healthier relationships, and find a sense of autonomy and competence in their lives.  It is typically a longer-term therapy modality that focuses treating psychological challenges through, cognitive, behaviour, and emotional corrective experiences. To date Schema Therapy has strong evidence with complex psychological problems that have had little response to other forms of treatment.

Why do Group Schema Therapy for Eating Disorders?

Research has found that while Cognitive behaviour Therapy is the most commonly utilised treatment for eating disorders, there are high relapse rates. Further, those who have eating disorders often experience other comorbid mental health conditions as well as complex personality traits. Group therapy has proven to be an effective treatment for a number of psychological problems and disorders. There are many benefits of group therapy that cannot be achieved in individual therapy.  Individuals who have had a history of developmental trauma, sometimes encounter problems in relationships which may include a lack of trust, increased conflict, and feelings of not belonging or a sense of isolation in their mental health difficulties.  Group therapy addresses these areas in a way that individual therapy cannot.  Many people who have completed group therapy, namely Group Schema Therapy, reflect on how they felt a sense of belonging, normalisation and trust in communicating their emotional needs and opinions with others that had previously been very difficult.

What does the program actually entail?

The Group Schema Therapy for Eating Disorders program at the Schema Therapy Institute Australia, is an adaptation of Group Schema Therapy for Eating Disorders, that was developed by Susan Simpson.  The group treatment program integrates psychoeducation on the development of Schemas & Modes and how they relate to psychological problems and symptoms, emotional awareness training, distress management/coping skills and improved relationships.

The current group program involves 20 group sessions that are 90 minutes in duration and held during business hours at our Essendon Location. Individual sessions with one of the group facilitators (weekly/fortnightly) is an option for individuals who do not have an individual therapist and in need of additional support. However, it is highly recommended that whilst you are engaged in the program you continue to engage with your individual therapist.

How much does it cost?

The cost per session for group is $120. Participants who are in financial hardship can discuss a reduced fee during intake. Participants will be provided with a workbook and relevant handouts on a session by session basis. There is no initial assessment for the program, however it is expected that participants complete a detailed acceptance package that includes a life history questionnaire and an attachment questionnaire. Medicare rebates can apply to group for up to 10 sessions per calendar year. Participants may also be asked to attend a feedback session.

Is there a Pre-requisite?

Our Group DBT Skills Training is designed to be a one-off group, however, it is also an essential pre-requisite group for all individuals who wish to complete Group Schema Therapy at Schema Therapy Institute Australia. We recommend this as a pre-requisite as based on information from previous Group Schema Therapy participants, we have found that it is essential to learn effective and adaptive coping skills prior to completing the course.

What will be asked of me?

You will be required to complete an assessment package that will be sent to you upon acceptance to the group to ensure the program is a right fit for your individual needs.  Participants are expected to attend all 80% sessions across the 20 weeks.  Participants are also expected to do all in between session tasks that are set week to week.

When does it start?

The next Group Schema Therapy for Eating Disorders program will begin on September 6th 2022 and will be running on a Tuesday at 2.30pm.

How do I register?

Please register your interest by emailing:; Ms Jessica Alabakis is responsible for group intake and co-ordination and will handle your inquiry. 

Who runs the Group Program?

The program is run by registered psychologists, the team of Group Schema Therapists include Ms Jessica Alabakis and Dr Suzy Redston. 

Group Booking Form

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