Schematic Functioning, Interpersonal Dysfunctional Cycles and Cognitive Fusion in the Complementary Paradigmatic Perspective: Analysis of a Clinical Sample

  • Bruno FaustinoEmail author
  • António Branco Vasco
Original Paper


Previous research has shown that transdiagnostic variables, such as dysfunctional schemata, interpersonal cycles, and cognitive fusion, are strongly related to psychological disorders and mental health. In this sense, this study sought to clarify, identify, and differentiate to what extent early maladaptive schemas, interpersonal dysfunctional cycles, and cognitive fusion relate to each other and to determine what are their differential contributions to the regulation of psychological needs, well-being, psychological distress, and symptomatology. For this purpose, we assessed a clinical group (n = 58) and found strong associations between schemas, interpersonal cycles, and cognitive fusion within a composite model. These transdiagnostic variables predicted the regulation of psychological needs. Overall, where there is a high presence of schemas, dysfunctional cycles, and psychological rigidity, the ability to the regulation of psychological needs decreases, which in turn decreases well-being levels and increases psychological distress and symptomatology. These results may be important to case conceptualization and clinical decision making focused on the patient’s characteristics, styles of communication and needs.


Early maladaptive schemas Dysfunctional interpersonal cycles Cognitive fusion Psychological needs Mental health Symptomatology 



Our study did not received any funding.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Our study was approved by Scientific Committee of Faculty of Psychology of University of Lisbon.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculdade de PsicologiaUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Faculdade de Psicologia e Ciências da VidaUniversidade Lusófona de Humanidades e TecnologiasLisboaPortugal

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