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JUNE 24 - 26, 2021 / WORLDWIDE




2.00 - 2.15


Early Maladaptive Schemas, Childhood Adversity, Depression and Suicidal Thoughts 

with Rita Younan, Pam Pilkington and Amy Bishop

In our first review, we aimed to identify which types of abuse and neglect are most strongly related to each of the 18 early maladaptive schemas (published in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy). We included childhood experiences of both traumatisation or victimisation (e.g., sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse) and toxic frustration of needs (e.g., emotional neglect). In our subsequent reviews we investigated which early maladaptive schemas are most predictive of depression (under peer review), suicidal thoughts, and self-harming behaviour (published in Journal of Affective Disorders Reports)

The findings from these three reviews provides support for the theory that trauma and neglect in childhood lead to early maladaptive schemas and psychopathology in adulthood. This body of research also gives important insights into the specific schemas most strongly related to different types of childhood abuse and neglect, and mood disorder outcomes in adulthood. Of the 18 early maladaptive schemas, two specific schemas were particularly salient across all three reviews. From a clinical perspective, understanding which schemas are most strongly correlated with depression and depression-related outcomes has utility in case formulation and risk assessment. Treatment can then be tailored to focus on healing these schemas, and the underlying experiences of childhood trauma, adversity, and unmet emotional needs.

About the Presenters

Rita Younan

Pam Pilkington

Amy Bishop

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Stockholm, Sweden


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Berlin, Germany


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Istanbul, Turkey


Vienna, Austria

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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