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Conference Day 1: Friday Morning Selections 10:45 - 12:15

"testing a schema mode model of pathological worry and GENERALIZED anxiety disorder" 

 hot topic by Robert BROCKman


Research Aims/Questions: Schema Therapy (ST) mode formulations have recently been extended to explain and treat a range of chronic treatment resistant psychological disorders including eating disorders and depression. This study aimed to consider the applicability of the mode model to Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Pathological worry, the central feature of GAD, can be postulated as a maladaptive ‘coping mode’ within the schema mode model, serving to distance sufferers from the experience of more intense emotional states. We aimed to test this hypothesis by testing a mediation model in which the relationships between both vulnerable and angry child modes, and pathological worry were mediated by avoidance.

Methodology: 109 adults with self-reported anxiety disorder completed an online survey consisting of the Schema Mode Inventory (SMI), the Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ), and the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-2 (AAQ-2).

Results: Correlation and multiple regression analyses supported all hypothesised relationships. Experiential avoidance fully mediated the relationships between the vulnerable and angry child modes and pathological worry.

These findings are consistent with a model in which pathological worry behaviour functions as a maladaptive coping mode within the Schema Mode Model, which we propose can be called an ‘Analysing-Worrier’ mode. On this account GAD may be amenable to ST treatment techniques, which warrant further exploration in this population.

Additional speakers: M. Haire and T.Meade

Robert Brockman Bio:
Robert is a Lecturer and Psychology Clinic Supervisor on the Clinical Psychology Masters program at the University of Technology - Sydney (UTS). He has taught on clinical psychology Masters programs in Sydney since 2010. Robert has extensive clinical experience in both the public and private sector and has a major clinical and research interest in formulation and intervention with complex presentations that prove difficult to treat via standard evidence-based protocols. He has supervised several clinical Masters research projects investigating schema mode processes, and is currently co-investigator of a trial investigating the efficacy of Schema Therapy for eating disorders in Australia. Robert has also more recently been delivering ST trainings in Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore along with Chris Hayes and Susan Simpson.

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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