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The Schema Therapy Bulletin

The Official Publication of the 

International Society of Schema Therapy

In this April issue - Schema Therapy with Marginalized Populations

Marginalized populations are those excluded from mainstream social, economic, cultural, or political life. (Marginalized Populations  by Kay E. Cook In: The SAGE Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods Edited by: Lisa M. Given). More specifically exclusions can apply to educational opportunities, access to health/mental health care, membership in community groups or clubs, employment opportunities, or feelings of comfort, trust, and “fitting in” to the society in which members reside.  This feeling can be described as “Minority Stress”. Groups can experience exclusion and alienation by virtue of their gender, gender identity, race, religion, education level, appearance or social status, and the list goes on.

In this issue of the Schema Therapy Bulletin, contributors will describe the application of the Schema Therapy model with three marginalized populations: Transgender and Gender Diverse Individuals, Latinos living in the United States, and Military Veterans.

After providing an overview of the distinction between anatomy and identity, Cesar Gonzalez outlines the predominate mental health symptoms prevalent in the transgender population, and explores their relationship to unmet core needs and specific schema development. Describing his work with Adam, a young man beginning hormone therapy to continue his transition from female to male, Cesar demonstrates Gender Affirming Schema Therapy in addressing the maladaptive schemas that arose from his gender dysphoria and his parents’ unwillingness to accept his identity as he experienced it.

Megan Fry and Suzy Redston report on the symptoms likely to bring a soldier to a mental health professional, and describe the coping modes associated with military veterans. They note that in some cases individuals with unmet core needs may be drawn to military service. The structure and functioning of the military, the trauma of war, and the struggle to readjust to civilian life after service can all be stimuli for the manifestation and elaboration of unmet core needs, schemas, and maladaptive coping modes. The case of Ryan, a 44 year old army veteran illustrates these struggles.

Carlos Rojas addresses the important balance between understanding and accepting cultural norms and stereotypes, and seeing each member of the culture as a unique person. Specifically he writes about the culture and values of the Latino community; it’s cultural resistance to mental health care, and it’s emphasis on family, respect machismo (a man’s position in the family), and marianismo, the role and function of women in the family). He goes on to propose that Latino culture may be characterized by particular schema profiles. This understanding can help to facilitate treatment.

Our next issue will focus on New Developments in Schema Therapy. If you are interested in submitting an article for this or any future issue, please email us!

Lissa Parsonnet (USA) &

Chris Hayes (Australia)

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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