What is a schema?

A schema is an extremely stable, enduring set of beliefs that develop during childhood and adolescence. These schemas influence how we see the world and provide a template for, not only a sense of self, but how we view others. They can therefore influence the way that we interact with others. Our schemas act as an emotional button. When activated we can experience emotions that are painful and distressing. As a consequence of our early schemas, we may engage in coping behaviours that are no longer useful for where we currently are in our lives.

What is Complex Trauma?

Complex trauma is a condition that develops from traumatic experiences in childhood and/or adolescence. These traumatic experiences may be due to physical, sexual or emotional abuse, neglect or experiences of emotional deprivation and attachment injury. As these experiences occur at a time when a person is young and vulnerable, they can have life-long lasting effects including emotional and interpersonal difficulties. These difficulties are often reinforced and maintained by trauma-related schemas arising from early experiences.

Who is the program for? 

The program is a specialised treatment program for patients who have experienced complex trauma resulting in significant emotional and interpersonal difficulties.

How will it help me?

The Schema Therapy for Complex Trauma Program is a 4-week specialist inpatient group program aimed at supporting participants to:

  • Understand the different modes or states that characterise schema activation.
  • Understand how early experiences have contributed to current patterns of thinking, feeling and responding.
  • Develop adaptive affect regulation attitudes and strategies to manage schema activation.
  • Develop adaptive interpersonal attitudes and strategies to manage schema activation.

We progress towards these goals through experiential and reflective group work from Mondays to Fridays. Participants will also have access to weekly individual sessions with facilitators.

Please note that participation in the program at The Victoria Clinic can only be a part of your therapeutic journey toward healing the legacy of complex trauma. We recommend that you continue the work with a schema therapist in the community.

How do I access the program?

Referral to the Schema Program can only be made by a psychiatrist accredited with The Victoria Clinic. 

Your referral can be addressed to ‘Dear Doctor’ or to one of our accredited psychiatrists and faxed to Intake on 03 9526 0254.

Please click HERE for further information on the referral process.

Participants who have an existing relationship with The Victoria Clinic can be directly referred to the inpatient program by their accredited Psychiatrist.

How much does it cost?

All referrals are subject to a health fund check prior to admission or commencing a program.

We have agreements with Private Health Funds, DVA, WorkCover and TAC however, self-funding is also an option.

Our Patient Services Staff will be pleased to answer any questions you may have in relation to cost. Please call us on 03 9526 0258 to discuss your options.

More information?

  • Medical Director of the Schema Therapy Program 
    Dr Gregor Schutz, is Melbourne-based psychiatrist specialising in the assessment, treatment and ongoing management of mental illness. His special interests include chronic depression, anxiety disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder, mood disorders, including bipolar mood disorder, addictions (alcohol, drug, gambling), personality disorders and psychosis. 

    Dr Gregor Schutz
    MB ChB MPsych Univ, of Melb, FRANZCP
    Medical Director of Schema Therapy Program
    306–308 Malvern Road, Prahran IC 3181
    P 03 9270 0314
  • Inpatient Schema Program - Click HERE for brochure
  • Inpatient Programs and Services
    • Emotion Management Inpatient Program – Click HERE
    • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) – Click HERE
    • General Inpatient Program – Click HERE
    • Electroconvulsive Therapy – Click HERE
    • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) – Click HERE
  • Day Programs – Click HERE
  • Outreach Services – Click HERE

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