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Cognitive Schemas and Core Beliefs in Psychological Problems: A Scientist–Practitioner Guide Edited by Lawrence P. Riso, Pieter L. du Toit, Dan J. Ste

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Cognitive approaches to psychopathology have evolved from a primary focus on superficial cognition and automatic thoughts to an increased interest in more deeply rooted aspects of cognition, namely, cognitive schemas and core beliefs. Rather than simply focusing on the remediation of acute clinical states, the latest cognitive models are examining premorbid and post-episodic functioning. Findings suggest that cognitive schemas play a principal role in the development and maintenance of psychological disorders, as well as in the recurrence and relapse of future episodes.

Cognitive Schemas and Core Beliefs in Psychological Problems provides up-to-date information on the evaluation and utility of the schema concept and core beliefs as they apply to the research and treatment of a variety of clinical problems, including both major and chronic depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, obsessive–compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and dissatisfaction in intimate relationships.

The chapters in this volume cover basic research and core belief and schema-focused approaches for clinical intervention, with the inclusion of case formulation sheets, therapy worksheets, and case studies. The emphasis on cognitive schemas reflects several trends in cognitive–behavioral therapy including an increased emphasis on personality and personality disorders, a greater focus on chronic forms of psychopathology, increased focus on developmental antecedents of psychopathology, and the recent move to integrate cognitive–behavioral therapy with self-psychology and psychodynamic theory.




  1. Introduction: A Return to a Focus on Cognitive Schemas
    —Lawrence P. Riso and Carolina McBride
  2. Major Depressive Disorder and Cognitive Schemas
    —Carolina McBride, Peter Farvolden and Stephen R. Swallow
  3. Early Maladaptive Schemas in Chronic Depression
    —Lawrence P. Riso, Rachel E. Maddux and Noelle Turini Santorelli
  4. Schema Constructs and Cognitive Models of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    —Matt J. Gray, Shira Maguen and Brett T. Litz
  5. Specialized Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Resistant Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder: Elaboration of a Schema-Based Model
    —Debbie Sookman and Gilbert Pinard
  6. Cognitive–Behavioral and Schema-Based Models for the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders
    —Samuel A. Ball
  7. Schema-Focused Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders
    —Glenn Waller, Helen Kennerley and Vartouhi Ohanian
  8. Case Formulation and Cognitive Schemas in Cognitive Therapy for Psychosis
    —Anthony P. Morrison
  9. Maladaptive Schemas and Core Beliefs in Treatment and Research with Couples
    —Mark A. Whisman and Lisa A. Uebelacker

—Lawrence P. Riso


About the Editors


Lawrence P. Riso, PhD, is associate professor of psychology at the American School of Professional Psychology, Argosy University/Washington, DC. He completed his PhD in clinical psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook; his clinical internship at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island; and his research fellowship at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. He is author or coauthor of more than 40 articles and book chapters on mood disorders, personality disorders, and cognitive therapy. Dr. Riso served as principal investigator for a National Institute of Mental Health study of early maladaptive schemas in chronic depression. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals Cognitive Therapy and Research, the Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, and Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice. Dr. Riso is a certified cognitive therapist through the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and has been a practicing psychologist for more than 10 years.

Pieter L. du Toit, MA, has worked as a clinical psychologist in private practice, research settings, and in the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. Most of his published work focuses on anxiety disorders. He currently studies emotion regulation in posttraumatic stress disorder under the supervision of Tim Dalgleish at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at the University of Cambridge. His clinical expertise is the application of schema-focused cognitive behavior therapy to personality disorders, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders (particularly obsessive–compulsive spectrum disorders).

Dan J. Stein, MD, PhD, is professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and director of the Medical Research Council Unit on Anxiety Disorders. Dr. Stein is also on the faculty at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his postgraduate training in psychiatry and psychiatric research at Columbia University, New York, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

Jeffrey E. Young, PhD, is founder and director of the Cognitive Therapy Centers of New York, and the Schema Therapy Institute, New York. He is also on the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. Dr. Young is the founder of "schema therapy," an integrative approach for personality disorders and treatment-resistant patients. He has published widely in the fields of both cognitive and schema therapies, including two major books: Schema Therapy: A Practitioner's Guide, written for mental health professionals; and Reinventing Your Life, a popular self-help book based on schema therapy.



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