Treatment for Chronic Depression Using Schema Therapy


Address correspondence to Fritz Renner, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. E-mail:


Schema therapy (ST) is an integrative treatment approach to chronic lifelong problems with an established effectiveness for treating personality disorders. This article describes the adaptation of ST to chronic depression by reviewing the literature on the underlying risk factors to chronic depression. A model of chronic depression is presented, describing the interplay between empirically supported risk factors to chronic depression (early adversity, cognitive factors, personality pathology, interpersonal factors). We provide a treatment protocol of ST for chronic depression describing techniques that can be used in ST to target these underlying risk factors. Based on the current body of empirical evidence for the underlying risk factors to chronic depression, ST appears to be a promising new treatment approach to chronic depression, as it directly targets these underlying risk factors.