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19th March 2024 Newsletter

Psychology Tools
19 March 2024

This week we’re releasing two resources from our new Schema series: Abandonment and Approval-/Admiration-Seeking. Our research roundup highlights a systematic review and meta-analysis looking at prolonged grief symptoms. We also highlight another review exploring sexual stigma in sexual minorities.

Psychology Tools Schema Series

Launched earlier this year, our schema series breaks down the foundational ideas of schema therapy in an approachable and straightforward way. It also addresses the most common early maladaptive schemas (EMS) with a range of problem-specific handouts.

With illustrations, client-friendly explanations and schema-specific examples, the handouts offer accessible guidance for those working with schema therapy in-session. It’s also a great learning tool for anyone wanting to become more familiar with this approach.

abandonment schema handout image


Abandonment is characterized by an intense fear that important relationships will end abruptly and irreconcilably. Individuals with this EMS experience chronic anxiety about potential losses and are hypervigilant for signs of impending abandonment. “This handout explains how you might recognize this schema, difficulties associated with it, and different ways people cope with it.

Abandonment ᐅ
approval-admiration-seeking information handout image


Approval-/Admiration-Seeking is characterized by a persistent need for approval, attention, and adulation from others, usually at the expense of a person’s own desires and development. The handout explores what it feels like to experience this EMS, and how you might feel, think, and behave. It also covers the difficulties associated with this schema and any coping styles that may have been developed.

Approval-/Admiration-Seeking ᐅ
Clinical Psychology Review front cover

Risk factors for prolonged grief symptoms

This comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis of 120 studies explored risk factors for the development of prolonged grief symptoms (PGS). Several significant predictors were identified, with pre-loss grief symptoms and depression emerging as the strongest risks. Loss of a partner or child, unexpected or violent death, low socioeconomic status, and anxious attachment style were also highlighted as relevant factors. The findings offer valuable insights for health professionals in identifying and supporting bereaved individuals at risk of PGS. Recommendations include incorporating screenings for PGS and related complications, considering pre-loss symptoms, and the importance of timely interventions.

“It is recommended that clinicians use our results for “watchful waiting” – that is pay attention to the most significant risk factors for PGS both in pre- and post-loss care and perform multiple screenings for Prolonged Grief Disorder and other types of post-loss complications based on these indications. If symptoms are still present six months or more post loss, evidence-based treatment for PGD should be considered”.

Buur, C., Zachariae, R., Komischke-Konnerup, K. B., Marello, M. M., Schierff, L. H., & O’Connor, M. (2023). Risk factors for prolonged grief symptoms A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 102375.

Risk factors for prolonged grief symptoms ᐅ
Clinical Psychology Review front cover

Internalized sexual stigma in sexual minority individuals

Internalized sexual stigma negatively impacts the mental health of sexual minority individuals but lacks a comprehensive synthesis regarding its development over time. This systematic review examined 31 studies and identified several distal minority stressors (e.g., discrimination), proximal stressors (e.g., outness, concealment), and psychological factors (e.g., depression, anxiety) that influence subsequent internalized sexual stigma. However, only three out of eight psychological interventions lead to a significant reduction in this experience. The authors present a theory-driven model of internalized stigma that is helpful to clinicians and highlight the need for interventions that address both individual-level factors and key structural factors.

Nguyen, J., Anderson, J., & Pepping, C. A. (2023). A systematic review and research agenda of internalized sexual stigma in sexual minority individuals: Evidence from longitudinal and intervention studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 102376.

Internalized sexual stigma in sexual minority individuals [Full Article] ᐅ