How are your schemas doing today?
The word, “schema” (plural form is schemata or schemas) describes a configuration of behavior or thought that creates structured information or units of knowledge. This clinical definition may sound far removed from the average person; but is it?
Stop for a moment and consider how you think? Yes, let’s take a look at how we structure our thoughts. For example, take a topic like cooking. Jot down your automatic thoughts that pertain to the act of cooking.
When I thought of cooking, the schema that I built looked like this:
My Mom never taught me to cook.
Only my sister was allowed to cook; I guess her food was deemed the best.
Did my Mom love my sister more than me?
I’ll just eat salads, become a vegan, and not worry about ever cooking soul food EVER…
Were your thoughts as interesting as mine? Those were real thoughts that could take me on tangents that I should not travel on because of the damage that could follow. The schema that I created began with a simple topic or idea, that then transitioned to an ideology that may or may not be factual. So now the question becomes, how do we protect our schemas and automatic thoughts?
Schemas are inevitable and not all are problematic, but the responsibility of their i