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Conference Day 2: Early Afternoon Selections 2:30 - 4:00

"schema mode group therapy works for burnout and depression" 

 hot topic by kirsi räisänen & MinnA Toikka 

Objectives: To develop and pilot a schema mode group therapy for stress symptoms and depression in occupational health care settings.

Background: Work stress, burnout and related depression is a growing problem around the world with increased demands on occupational and mental health services. As excellent results have been achieved with schema group therapy for mental disorders it is pertinent to assume that these methods could be effective for less severe but even more costly and widespread mental disorders among the working population.

Methods: A Schema mode group therapy model, which met up ten sessions, was developed based on the program originally developed for borderline patients (Farrell, Reese and Shaw, 2014). This model was tested among 7 occupational health care patients suffering from symptoms of occupational stress and depression. Two experienced cognitive therapists, (trained e.g. in ISST-workshops by Farrell and Shaw) executed the pilot. Indicators were: YSQ-2S (schema questionnaire), SMI (schema mode questionnaire), BDI (Beck Depression Inventory), BBI-15 (Bergen Burnout Indicator) and occupational health care controls.

Results: In the beginning of the group intervention the average depression symptom magnitude of the group was 21p BDI-points, by the end of the group intervention it was 12p and after a 3-month follow-up period, it was 10p. Respectively in the beginning the average BBI-15 was 74p, at the end of the group therapy it was 37p and after the follow-up period of three months, it was 34p. The whole groups BBI-15 points went down 50% on average and after the follow-up period, 54,1%.

Conclusions: Schema mode group therapy has an outstanding potential for the treatment of work stress symptoms and depression. We inspire further RCT studies.

Kirsi Räisänen Bio:

Kirsi Räisänen, PhD, M.D., is a Senior consultant in occupational health and cognitive psychotherapist. Currently she works as Head of OHS City Center Helsinki Unit in Dextra corporation, which provides Occupational Health services for over 55 000 employees in the whole country.After her thesis on Interpersonal conflicts at work, (previous Appelberg K., People and Work, 1996) she started her studies in cognitive psychotherapy (1997-2003) and has since that worked as a cognitive psychotherapist with special interests in Schema therapy.  

As a member of the Finnish Cognitive Psychotherapy Association Kirsi has developed CBT- and Schema therapy applications for OHS in Finland and trained OHS doctors to use them with PhD, psychotherapist Irma Karila. Besides articles,  she has published three cognitive and schema therapy based common sense self-help books for employees and OHS: Good enough employee, Difficult personalities at work and Stress Inoculation (in Finnish).

Participation in Group Schema Therapy workshop by Farrell and Shaw in 2015 inspired her and her colleagues to develop a Schema mode group  therapy application for burn out and depression symptoms for OHS patients. The results of the pilot group therapy which met up ten session was successful with marked reduction of both burn out and depression symptoms. In her presentation Kirsi Räisänen will describe this new method and its piloted results. She inspires others to further studies and encourages the use of schema therapy for stress symptoms and depression also in occupational health settings. 

Br. Kirsi Räisänen, PhD, Head of OHS, Dextra, Kamppi, Helsinki 

Minna Toikka Bio:

I am a Clinical Psychologist and a Cognitive Psychotherapist working in private practice and in occupational health in Finland. My clinical focus has for years been on schema therapy, lately especially the modework. I completed my 4 year cognitive psychotherapy training in 2009 and a 2 year training in supervision in 2016. The pilot group therapy application for burnout and depression symptoms for OHS –patients was developed as part of the last training together with Phd, M.D. Kirsi Räisänen.

Why Schema Therapy?

Schema therapy has been extensively researched to effectively treat a wide variety of typically treatment resistant conditions, including Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Read our summary of the latest research comparing the dramatic results of schema therapy compared to other standard models of psychotherapy.

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