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Research Evidence

A significant body of gold-standard research shows that Schema Therapy can be significantly more effective than traditional treatments for a broad range of mental health problems. It has demonstrated significant impact even in the treatment of personality disorders which were previously dismissed as ‘untreatable’, such as severe personality disorders. Schema Therapy has proven effective in promote recovery, not just symptom reduction.

Below are links to gold-standard research evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of Schema Therapy and Group Schema Therapy for a range of conditions.

Schema Therapy can be particularly helpful for people with the following problems:

  • Recurring anxiety including Social Anxiety, OCD
  • Relationship problems and attachment difficulties
  • Impulse control problems, addictions
  • Emotional instability, self harm and anger issues
  • Recurrent Depression, self criticism and Low Self Esteem
  • Complex Trauma including childhood PTSD
  • Identity problems
  • Eating disorders
  • Problematic personality traits and disorder

Studies of Individual Schema Therapy for Personality Disorder:

Outpatient psychotherapy for Borderline Personality Disorder: a randomized controlled trial of schema-focused therapy versus transference focused psychotherapy. Archives of General Psychiatry (2006) 63, 649-658.

Implementation of outpatient schema therapy for borderline personality disorder with versus without crisis support by the therapist outside office hours: A randomized trial.  Behaviour Research and Therapy (2009), 47, 961–973

Results of a Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial of the Clinical Effectiveness of Schema Therapy for Personality Disorders.  Am J Psychiatry (2014), 171:305–322

Group Schema Therapy may offer an even more potent treatment when combined with the individual therapy:

A schema-focused approach to group psychotherapy for outpatients with borderline personality disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry (2009), 40, 317-328.

Combined Group and Individual Schema Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder: a Pilot Study. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry (2014), 45, 242-251.

Design of an international multi-centre RCT on group schema therapy for borderline personality disorder. BMC Psychiatry (2014), 14:319.

Recent studies have also demonstrated positive effects of Schema Therapies for Chronic Depression, Eating Disorders, Young People and Older Adults:

Treatment of Chronic depression Using Schema Therapy. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice (2013), 20, 166-180

Group schema therapy for eating disorders: a pilot study. Front. Psychol.(2014) 1:182.

Short-term group schema cognitive-behavioral therapy for young adults with personality disorders and personality disorder features: associations with changes in symptomatic distress, schemas, schema modes and coping styles. Behav. Res. Ther (2013). 51, 487–492.

Effects of schema group therapy in older outpatients: a proof of concept study. Int. Psychogeriatr. (2014) 26, 1709–1717.