Sunteți pe pagina 1din 3

Young, J. E., Klosko, J. S., & Weishaar, M. E. (2003). Schema therapy: a practitioner’s guide.

New York: The Guilford Press.

Bowlby’s (1973) notion of internal working models overlaps with our notion of Early Maladaptive
Schemas. Like schemas, an individual’s internal working model is largely based on patterns of
interaction between the infant and the mother (or other main attachment figure). If the mother
acknowledges the infant’s need for protection, while simultaneously respecting the infant’s need for
independence, the child is likely to develop an internal working model of the self as worthy and
competent. If the mother frequently spurns the infant’s attempts to elicit protection or
independence, then the child will construct an internal working model of the self as unworthy or
incompetent Utilizing their working models, children predict the behaviors of attachment figures
and prepare their own responses. The kinds of working models they construct are thus very
significant. In this light, Early Maladaptive Schemas are dysfunctional internal working models, and
children’s characteristic responses to attachment figures are their coping styles. Like schemas,
working models direct attention and information

processing. Defensive distortions of working models occur when the individual blocks information
from awareness, impeding modification in response to change. In a process similar to schema
perpetuation, internal working models tend to become more rigid over time. Patterns of interacting
become habitual and automatic. In time, working models become less available to consciousness
and more resistant to change as a result of reciprocal expectancies. Bowlby (1988) addressed the
application of attachment theory to psychotherapy. He noted that a large number of psychotherapy
patients display patterns of insecure or disorganized attachment. One primary goal of psychotherapy
is the reappraisal of inadequate, obsolete internal working models of relationships with attachment
figures. Patients are likely to impose rigid working models of attachment relationships onto
interactions with the therapist. The therapist and patient focus first on understanding the origin of
the patient’s dysfunctional internal working models; then the therapist serves as a secure base from
which the patient explores the world and reworks internal working models. Schema therapists
incorporate this same principle into their work with many patients.

Simard, V., Moss, E., & Pascuzzo, K. (2011). Early maladaptive schemas and child and adult

attachment: A 15-year longitudinal study: Early maladaptive schemas and attachment.

Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 84(4), 349–366.

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8341.2010.02009.x

EMS,as definedinST,aresimilartoIWMsofinsecurelyattachedindividualsasdefined by Bowlby


(1969/1982). Both are mental, affect-laden structures that develop from
dysfunctionalearlyinteractionswiththeprimarycaregiver,andserveastemplatesforthe
processing of experiences involving the self and others throughout the lifespan (Young et
al., 2003; Young & Lindemann, 1992). However, they are not the same. EMS may be the
cognitive expression of affect based on a working model of interactions with others more
broadly and heavily influenced by, but not limited to the specific affectional bonds to which
attachment refers. In this sense, EMS may be specific components of IWMs that explain
individual differences in attachment relationships and thus can be targeted for change in
therapeutic settings (Platts, Tyson, & Mason, 2002). Empirical studies are needed to further
our understanding of the similarities and distinctions between these two concepts.
Accordingly, in addition to assessing longitudinal associations between child attachment and
EMS, we will examine associations between adult romantic attachment and EMS.
EMS may be the cognitive expression of affect based on a working model of interactions
with others more broadly and heavily influenced by, but not limited to the specific
affectional bonds to which attachment refers. In this sense, EMS may be specific
components of IWMs that explain individual differences in attachment relationships and
thus can be targeted for change in therapeutic settings (Platts, Tyson, & Mason, 2002).
Empirical studies are needed to further our understanding of the similarities and distinctions
between these two concepts. Accordingly, in addition to assessing longitudinal associations
between child attachment and EMS, we will examine associations between adult romantic
attachment and EMS.

Simard, V., Moss, E., & Pascuzzo, K. (2011). Early maladaptive schemas and child and adult

attachment: A 15-year longitudinal study: Early maladaptive schemas and attachment.

Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 84(4), 349–366.

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8341.2010.02009.x

To our knowledge, only three studies have directly examined the link between EMS and
attachment but none measured attachment during childhood. Instead, they used adult self-
reports of attachment relationships with parents (Blissett et al., 2006) and romantic partners
(Cecero, Nelson, & Gillie, 2004; Platts, Mason, & Tyson, 2005). Blissett et al. (2006)
reported that parental attachment representations of undergraduate women were concurrently
associated with six of 15 EMS. However, the questionnaire used to assess attachment in this
study did not allow for a distinction between insecure and secure attachment patterns. Two
studies (Cecero et al., 2004; Platts et al., 2005) used questionnaires that classify participants
into four attachment categories (secure, insecure preoccupied,insecure dismissing,and
insecure fearful),based on Bartholomew and Horowitz’s(1991)model of adult romantic
attachment relationships.In both studies, researchers reported that attachment groups could be
distinguished on the basis of EMS scores on the Young Schema Questionnaire (YSQ; Young
& Brown, 1990), and that 77% of participants from an out-patient clinic were correctly
classified on the basis of their YSQ scores (Platts et al., 2005). However, results of these
studies did not indicate consistent associations between particular EMS and attachment
classification
352 Val´erie Simard et al.
groups. For example, although fearful adults reported being emotionally inhibited in both
studies, they were also characterized by social isolation and defectiveness/shame in one study
(Platts et al., 2005), but not the other (Cecero et al., 2004) in which they rated themselves
high on mistrust/abuse and vulnerability to harm and illness. The fact that these studies relied
exclusively on self-reported measures of attachment may have introduced cognitive biases
that may not be equally distributed in different populations, such as clinical (Platts et al.,
2005) and non-clinical (Blissett et al., 2006; Cecero et al., 2004). In addition, exclusive
reliance on adult rather than childhood attachment measures does not allow testing of the idea
that EMS are rooted in childhood experiences. Measurement of attachment during childhood
is required to directly assess the hypothesis that EMS are related to early attachment to
parents.