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Benefits of Schema therapy


A number of studies support the effectiveness of Schema Therapy in treating a variety of disorders including personality disorders. Major outcome studies have shown that many patients with Borderline Personality Disorder can achieve full recovery across the complete range of symptoms.

In one of those studies Schema Therapy was shown to be more than twice as effective in bringing about full recovery as a widely-practiced traditional treatment. Schema Therapy was also superior in the following:

  • Reduction in Borderline Personality Disorder manifestations
  • General psychopathologic dysfunction
  • Fewer dropouts
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • The therapeutic alliance was rated higher by both patients and therapists

Schema therapy has been adopted to address a number of psychiatric problems and the existence of different modes has been investigated. Although evidence for their effectiveness is only available for Borderline Personality Disorder, the conceptualization in modes is described by patients as one of the most useful concepts.

Schema therapy has evolved to treat children and adolescents, couples and groups. Although research is still scarce, initial evidence indicates its effectiveness in treating groups of patients with Borderline Personality Disorder. Group Schema therapy led to even stronger outcomes with a 0% drop out rate and a recovery rate of 94% over an 8 month period.

Schema therapy seems to be very popular among therapists who view it as a truly integrative model and very helpful with their patients. Feedback from our workshops shows that therapists from different orientations (CBT, Gestalt, Psychoanalysis, Body Psychotherapy, Psychodrama and Transactional Analysis) found Schema Therapy integrative, useful and applicable to their own approaches and practice.

Schema Therapy is also, associated with higher levels of patient satisfaction thus benefiting both clients and therapists.


Major studies

Dickhaut V. & Arntz A. (2014). Combined group and individual schema therapy for borderline personality disorder: a pilot study. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 45(2):242-251.

Farrell, J.M., Shaw, I.A. & Webber, M.A. (2009). A schema-focused approach to group psychotherapy for outpatients with borderline personality disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 40 (2), 317-328.

Giesen-Bloo, J., van Dyck, R., Spinhoven, P., van Tilburg, W., Dirksen, C., van Asselt, T., Kremers, I., Nadort, M., & Arntz, A. (2006). Outpatient psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder: Randomized trial of Schema-focused Therapy vs Transference-focused Psychotherapy. Archives of General Psychiatry, 63(6), 649–658.

Nadort, M., Arntz, A., Smit, J., Giesen-Bloo, J., Eikelenbooma, M., Spinhoven,P., vanAsselt, T., Wensing, M. & vanDyck, R. (2009). Implementation of outpatient schema therapy for borderline personality disorder with versus without crisis support by the therapist outside office hours: A randomized trial. Behavior Research and Therapy, 47, 11, 961-973

Spinhoven, P., van Dyck, R., Giesen-Bloo, J., Kooiman, K. & Arntz, A. (2007). The therapeutic alliance in schema-focused therapy and transferance-focused psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75, 104-115.