Comparison of Emotional Schema Therapy and Schema Therapy in Reducing Suicidal Thoughts in Patients with Persistent Depressive Disorder

Document Type : Original Article


1 . Ph.D. candidate in psychology, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Marvdasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Marvdasht, Iran;

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Marvdasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Marvdasht, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Zand Institute of Higher Education, Shiraz, Iran


Persistent depressive disorder is a psychopathological entity with suicidal risk. This study aimed at comparing the effectiveness of emotional schema therapy (EST) and Schema Therapy (ST) on suicidal thoughts in patients with persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia). The present study was a type of quasi-experimental design with pre-test-post-test- multi-group follow-up. The statistical population of the present study consisted of all patients with permanent depression disorder (dysthymia) who were referred to the Shiraz County Psychological Counseling and Psychological Services Centers in 2017-2018. The sample consisted of 60 patients who were selected by a purposive sampling method and randomly assigned to two experimental groups based on emotional schema therapy (n = 20), a schema therapy group (n = 20), and a control group (n = 20). The therapies took eight sessions in 90 minutes, three days a week for three months. Additionally, the control group was provided with treatments as usual and did not receive any interventions. After finishing treatment sessions, the post-test was completed by three groups. In the present study, processing suicidal thoughts, a questionnaire was used. The research data were analyzed using repeated-measures analysis of variance using SPSS.21. The results showed that schema therapy reduced the suicidal thoughts in patients with persistent depressive disorder in the schema therapy group compared with the emotional schema therapy and control groups (p <0.001). Based on the research results, emotional schema therapy and schema therapy can be used as effective methods to reduce suicidal thoughts, but schema therapy was more effective.