Deakin University

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Identifying the research priorities for schema therapy: A Delphi consensus study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-16, 01:41 authored by PD Pilkington, R Younan, Gery KarantzasGery Karantzas
Despite the popularity of schema therapy, there exist several important gaps in research on the schema therapy model and its effectiveness. The number of gaps makes it difficult to determine the research areas of the highest strategic priority to advance schema therapy. The objective of this study was to establish consensus among schema therapy clinicians and researchers on the priority areas for future schema therapy research. A panel of experts in schema therapy (43 clinicians and 13 researchers) participated in a Delphi consensus study. The research areas rated were developed by interviewing the founder of schema therapy, Jeffrey Young, conducting a focus group with the executive board of the International Society for Schema Therapy and screening recent reviews on schema therapy for recommendations for future research. The panel rated 81 research areas in terms of priority across three rounds. Nineteen research areas were rated by 75% of the panel as ‘Very high priority’ or ‘High priority’. These priorities reflected four broad themes: (1) schema therapy constructs and measures, (2) the theoretical assumptions underlying schema therapy, (3) schema therapy and theory in relation to different contexts and outcomes and (4) schema therapy effectiveness and mechanisms of change. The findings are important for establishing a clear research agenda for the future of schema therapy.



Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy









Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal