Status: Modest Research Support
Schema Focused-Therapy (SFT) is an integrative approach founded on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy and then expanded to include techniques and concepts from other psychotherapies. Schema therapists help patients to change their entrenched, self-defeating life patterns – or schemas – using cognitive, behavioral, and emotion-focused techniques. The treatment focuses on the relationship with the therapist, daily life outside of therapy, and the traumatic childhood experiences that are common in borderline personality disorder. Participants in the first study of SFT for borderline personality disorder received therapy for three years.
Key References (in reverse chronological order)
Giesen-Bloo, J., van Dyck, R., Spinhoven, P., van Tilburg, W., Dirksen, C., van Asselt, T., et al. (2006). Outpatient psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder: Randomized trial of schema-focused therapy vs. transference-focused psychotherapy. Archives of General Psychiatry, 63, 649–658.
Young, J.E., Klosko, J.S., & Weishaar, M.E. (2003). Schema therapy: A practitioner’s guide. Guilford Press.
Information on training and workshops can be found at the Schema Therapy webpage.