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

F. Renner*, M. van Goor, M. Huibers, A. Arntz, B Butz, D. Bernstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The aim of this pilot study was to document the effects of a group schema cognitive-behavioral therapy intervention (SCBT-g; van Vreeswijk & Broersen, 2006) on global symptomatic distress in young adults with personality disorders or personality disorder features. We also sought to determine the stability of maladaptive schemas, schema modes, and coping responses throughout treatment as well as relations among these variables with improvement in symptomatic distress during treatment. Twenty-six young adults (mean age 22.5 years; range: 18-29 years) with a primary diagnosis of a DSM-IV Cluster-B or Cluster-C personality disorder or with personality disorder features participated in the 20-session SCBT-g protocol. Global symptomatic distress decreased substantially from pre-treatment to post-treatment (d = 0.81). Maladaptive schemas, schema modes and dysfunctional coping responses decreased with medium to large effect sizes (d's = 0.56 and 0.98, respectively), however decrease in maladaptive schemas was not significant after controlling for symptomatic distress. Adaptive schema modes increased slightly (d = 0.40) throughout treatment. Baseline levels of maladaptive schemas predicted symptomatic distress concurrently and at mid-treatment but not at post-treatment. Our findings provide preliminary evidence that SCBT-g might be an effective treatment for young adults with personality disorders or personality disorder features in terms of improvements in global symptomatic distress and underlying vulnerability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-492
Number of pages6
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number8
Early online date31 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • Early Maladaptive Schemas
  • Group schema therapy
  • LONG
  • Personality disorders
  • Schema modes

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