Schema therapy (ST) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) have both shown to be effective treatment methods especially for borderline personality disorder. Both, ST and DBT, have their roots in cognitive behavioral therapy and aim at helping patient to deal with emotional dysregulation. This article gives an overview of the major therapeutic techniques used in ST and DBT with respect to emotion regulation and systematically puts them in the context of James Gross’ process model of emotion regulation. Similarities and differences of the two methods are highlighted and illustrated with a case example. All DBT-modules (mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness) are intended to improve emotion regulation skills and patients are encouraged to train these skills on a regular basis. In ST problems in emotion regulation are seen as a consequence of adverse early experiences that have led to unprocessed psychological traumas and fear of emotions which result in attempts to avoid emotions and dysfunctional meta-cognitive schemas about the meaning of emotions. ST assumes that when these underlying problems are addressed, emotion regulation improves. Major ST techniques for trauma processing, emotional avoidance and dysregulation are limited reparenting, empathic confrontation and experiential techniques like chair dialogs and imagery rescripting. Keywords: emotion regulation, emotional avoidance, Schema therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, experiential
This course is based on the reading-based online article, Emotion Regulation in Schema Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy created by Eva Fassbinder, MD and Ulrich Schweiger, MD in 2016.
Frontiers in Psychology 2016
Course Material Authors
Course Material Authors authored the material only, and were not involved in creating this CE course. They are identified here for your own evaluation of the relevancy of the material this course is based on.
Eva Fassbinder, MD
Dr. Fassbinder is the Assistance Medical Director at the clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Lubeck, Lubeck, Germany. Her work has been published in multiple peer reviewed journals.
Ulrich Schweiger, MD
Sr. Schweiger is a clinical psychiatrist and the director of Helios Hanseklinikum in Stralsund, Germany. He has published more than 150 articles in peer reviewed journals. His work has covered both assessment and process in psychotherapy.
Elizabeth Mosco, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in Reno, NV. She opened a private practice
after 10 years of conducting home-based assessment and therapy with the VA Sierra Nevada
Health Care System. Dr. Mosco’s clinical interests include maternal mental health, older adults,
and third wave cognitive behavioral therapies.
Counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists and social workers. This course is appropriate for all levels of knowledge.
After taking this course, you should be able to:
Identify the four skills modules in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and the four modes of Schema Therapy (ST).
Describe Gross' modal model of emotion regulation.
List two similarities and two differences between DBT and ST.
Summarize the DBT and ST effectiveness research.
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Course Material Authors
The authors have disclosed any disclosures within the material.
Course Creator: Elizabeth Mosco, Ph.D., PMH-C, CPLC
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