Arts therapies and Schema Focused therapy: A pilot study

E. van den Broek*, M. Keulen-de Vos, D.P. Bernstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional


Arts therapies and Schema Focused therapy (SFT), use experiential techniques to help patients access and reprocess emotions. We conducted a randomized controlled pilot study to determine the effectiveness of these therapies at evoking emotional states ("schema modes") in forensic patients, a group that is considered difficult to reach emotionally. Ten male forensic patients with Cluster B personality disorders who were enrolled in a randomized clinical trial of SFT versus usual forensic treatment ("treatment as usual," TAU) participated in the study. We investigated the effect of Arts therapies versus verbal psychotherapy, and SET versus TAU on modes. As hypothesized, patients showed significantly more healthier emotional states in their Arts therapy sessions than in their verbal psychotherapy sessions SFT evoked more childmodes than TAU, at a trend level of significance. Patients in the SF-T and TAU conditions showed no differences in schema modes early in therapy, and were equivalent on all baseline characteristics. These findings, though requiring replication in a larger sample, suggest that Arts therapies and SET have potential for evoking emotional states in difficult to reach patients. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-332
Number of pages8
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • Arts therapies
  • Forensic
  • Schema Focused therapy
  • Schema modes

Cite this