Welcome to test your lifetraps

(lifetrap test - test life traps / schema therapy test / schema therapy questionnaire)

Lifetrap is a negative life pattern which begins when we’re children or adolescents. It repeats itself throughout our lives and is difficult to change. For more information about life traps (called early maladaptive schemas (EMS) in schema therapy), see schematherapy.com.

Kimmo Takanen is a Finnish schema therapist and is the author of the best selling self-help book in Finland ("Tunne lukkosi - vapaudu tunteiden vallasta"). This web page is the English version of the originally Finnish web page of the book.

You can test your lifetraps here.

You can read the lifetrap descriptions here or by clicking the links in the following list:

Abandonment Abuse
Approval seeking Defectiveness
Dependence Emotional depriviation
Emotional inhibation Enmeshment
Entitlement Failure
Insufficient self-control Pessimism
Punitiveness Self-sacrifice
Social isolation Subjugation
Unrelenting standards Vulnerability

Lifetraps have been learned in the childhood and in the adolescence as the way to react, feel, think and behave. When a lifetrap is activated today, we tune in to the feelings of childhood and operate unconsciously according to the coping styles learned in the childhood. Our emotions are not the actual problem, but the way they “lock us” in the harmful behavior. Lifetraps make us avoid or escape, surrender or attack in our life situations. These methods are harmful in adulthood and they work against us.

Everyone has lifetraps. Our lifetraps make us sacrifice in close relationships to avoid feeling guilt, they make us submit to demands of others with the fear of unpleasant consequences or they make us adapt ourselves in group situations not to become outsiders. They cause us to demand from ourselves unreasonably good performance or dodge the challenges in the fear of a failure. They make us strive for new goals over and over again so that we will never achieve peace of mind. Because of our lifetraps, we feel guilty and worry about past mistakes. They make us feel bad, stupid or selfish and they make us feel shame and unworthiness, even though there is no need for that.

Our lifetraps make us take a life of pessimism; they bring worries and fears to our lives which are not based on real life risks. They make us jealous, possessive and suspicious in our closest relationships. Because of them we think we need to control ourselves and our environment, so that nothing bad would happen. They make us hide our true feelings and problems both at home with the spouse as well as at the workplace with the supervisor and the colleagues. Because of them, we underestimate ourselves and our achievements and make us compare ourselves constantly with others. Our lifetraps make us treat other people badly, behave in demanding and critical way with others; blame, manipulate or belittle them. Because of them we slip into dependencies and suffer the consequences of harmful lifestyles.