The effectiveness of schema therapy in offenders with intellectual disabilities: a case series design

Anke de Klerk, Marije Keulen-de Vos*, Jill Lobbestael

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background In forensic settings, patients with intellectual disabilities are overrepresented. A relative novel treatment approach for this population is schema therapy. The goals of schema therapy for offenders with intellectual disabilities are to reduce maladaptive emotional states and to reinforce healthy emotional states and enhancing the patient's ability to ask for help. No studies are examining the effectiveness of this approach. Method We examined the effectiveness of Schema Therapy for offenders with intellectual disabilities (ST-ID) in terms of emotional states, psychological complaints, and violence risk in six participants. Results Reliable change analyses showed significant improvements in emotional states and certain psychological complaints. Conclusions While many questions remain about the effectiveness of ST-ID, our study shows that offenders with ID can benefit from this psychological treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-226
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability
Issue number3
Early online date23 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2022


  • Schema therapy
  • offenders
  • intellectual disability
  • effectiveness
  • case series
  • MILD

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