Cognitive schemas among mental health professionals: Adaptive or maladaptive?

Sahoo Saddichha, Ajay Kumar, Nirmala Pradhan


  • Objectives: Maladaptive cognitive schemas can lead to biases during clinical assessment or psychotherapeutic interventions. This study aimed to explore the cognitive schemas among mental health professionals.
  • Materials and Methods: 100 mental health professionals, of both genders, equally divided between psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and psychiatric nurses, were approached and administered the Young Schema Questionnaire - Short Form after written informed consent.
  • Results: Males had higher maladaptive schemas than female respondents across all schema domains, viz., disconnection/rejection, impaired autonomy, impaired limits, other-directedness, and overvigilance (P ≤ 0.05). Psychiatrists had higher maladaptive schemas than psychologists (P ≤ 0.05). Age was weakly but positively corelated with the schemas of self-sacrifice (P = 0.038) and unrelenting standards (P = 0.002).
  • Conclusions: Mental health professionals also may have maladaptive schemas, which needs to be addressed through schema therapy.
  • Key words: Cognitive schemas, core beliefs, mental health professionals

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