Comparison of the Effectiveness of Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy and Schema Therapy on Depression, Anxiety in Mothers with Autistic Children

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. Student in Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology, Roodehen Branch, Islamic Azad University, Roodehen, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Roodehen Branch, Islamic Azad University, Roodehen, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Roodehen Branch, Islamic Azad University, Roodehen, Iran.


Aim: This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) and Schema Therapy on depression and anxiety in mothers with autistic children.
Method: The research design was quasi-experimental with a pre-test-post-test design, including a control group and a follow-up period of three months. The statistical population comprised all mothers of autistic children in educational and rehabilitation centers in Tehran in 2020. Forty-five participants were purposively selected and randomly assigned to two experimental groups (ISTDP and Schema Therapy) and one control group (15 participants in each group). Both therapy approaches were conducted in 12 individual sessions lasting 60 minutes each, once a week. Participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory (1996) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (1998) during pre-test, post-test, and follow-up stages. Data analysis was performed using repeated measures analysis of variance.
Results: The results indicated that both ISTDP and Schema Therapy were effective in reducing depression and anxiety compared to the control group, and these effects remained stable during the follow-up period (P < 0.01). However, ISTDP was more effective in reducing depression compared to Schema Therapy. Conversely, the impact of the two treatments on anxiety did not show a significant difference (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: In conclusion, ISTDP was found to be a more effective method for reducing depression in mothers with autistic children compared to Schema Therapy.


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