Objective: Schema Therapy (ST) places particular emphasis on affective experiences, therapeutic relationship and early life experiences. Ad hoc ST conceptualizations for specific psychological conditions, mainly focusing on personality disorders, have been suggested in the last decade. The aim of this study was to explore schemas, modes and coping styles in outpatients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Method: thirty-four patients with OCD [DSM5 criteria, mean age(SD)=33(8.38) years; 12 females] were recruited. Schemas, modes and coping styles were measured. Indexes of OCD symptoms’, guilt and disgust levels were also collected. Descriptive, correlation and multiple regression analyses were performed.
Results: OCD symptoms’ severity was significantly associated with social isolation, failure, subjugation and punishment schemas, and with the punitive parent mode. A positive relationship was also detected between OCD severity, and avoidance and intra-psychic coping styles and disgust intensity. Regression analyses revealed that the social isolation and punitiveness schemas, the punitive parent mode and behavioral avoidance coping style predicted OCD severity, with behavioral avoidance playing a significant mediation role between dysfunctional schemas and symptoms.
Conclusions: Our data confirm previous findings on Schema model applied to OCD. An important limitation of the study is represented by the lack of an Italian control group.