Schema theory and practice: exploration and review of its use within female forensic mental health services

Dawes, Sarah L. (2014). Schema theory and practice: exploration and review of its use within female forensic mental health services. University of Birmingham. Foren.Psy.D.

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Within the field of psychology there has been growing interest in Schema Focused Therapy and the theoretical underpinning on which it is based. The overall aim of this thesis was to explore the current application of this model and consider how appropriate and effective it is, with a particular emphasis being drawn to the female forensic population. In order to investigate this three key aspects were explored. Firstly, the Young Schema Questionnaire (Young & Brown, 1990) was reviewed. Good psychometric properties were indicated, however, it is suggested the latest version would benefit from further examination. In the following chapter details of a systematic review are provided. This demonstrated the expanding use of Schema Focused Therapy across general psychiatric inpatients and outpatients with a range of difficulties, and initial use within forensic services. Information on the effectiveness is provided. From the literature reviewed however, there appears to be no substantial evidence base to date for female secure mental health patients. Owing to this an exploratory qualitative analysis was conducted on how the schema model applies to female forensic patients, whereby a template was developed in relation to their experiences of early maladaptive schemas. This enabled links with risk to be made and identified a potential new schema mode. The final chapter summarises the evidence gained throughout the thesis, discusses the implications of the findings and makes recommendations for future research.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine


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