Volume 29, Issue 2 (Spring 2021)                   Avicenna J Nurs Midwifery Care 2021, 29(2): 137-145 | Back to browse issues page

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Saeidi Asl S, Robati F S. The Effectiveness of Yoga Therapy on Early Maladaptive Schemas and Emotional Distress of Depressed Women: A Semi Experimental Study. Avicenna J Nurs Midwifery Care 2021; 29 (2) :137-145
URL: http://nmj.umsha.ac.ir/article-1-2221-en.html
1- M.A. of General Psychology, Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Rafsanjan Branch, Rafsanjan, Iran
2- Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Rafsanjan Branch, Rafsanjan, Iran , robati.fa@yahoo.com
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✅ Thus, yoga therapy is an effective treatment for maladaptive schemas, emotional distress, and of depressed women.

Extended Abstract:   (737 Views)

Using yoga movements helps depressed women to become aware of and control their minds and emotions. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of yoga therapy on early maladaptive schemas and emotional distress of depressed women in Tehran.


Materials and Methods

This study was a quasi-experimental study with a pre- and post-test design with a control group. The statistical population of the study included all depressed women referring to Omid and Rah-e-Farda counseling centers in the first half of 2019 in Tehran, Iran. The sampling method was available sampling. The sample size was at least 10 based on the type of research that was considered in the experimental research for each group. The sample was 30 subjects who were randomly divided into two groups of experimental (15 people) and control (15 people). The research tools included the Yang Inconsistent Schema Questionnaires (2005) and Toronto's Emotional Disappointment (2005). To analyze the data, mean, standard deviation and covariance analysis were used using SPSS 23. P-value less than 0.05 was considered significant.



In the cut-off and exclusion variables in the pre-test of the intervention group, the mean and standard deviation were 2.85±21.03, in the control group 3.50±16.46, in the cut-off and exclusion variables in the post-test of the intervention group, the mean and standard deviation was 4.28±15.28, in the control group 3.28±15.28, in the variable of disturbed restrictions in the pre-test of the intervention group, the mean and standard deviation were 3.72±12.63, in the control group 30±17.80 3. In the disturbed constraint variable in the post-test of the intervention group, the mean and standard deviation were 4.43±17.76, in the control group was 3.76±17.90, and in the emotional malaise variable in the pre-test of the intervention group, the mean and standard deviation of 49.80.±37.67, in the control group 52.86±36.51, in the variable of disturbed constraints in the post-test of the intervention group, the mean and standard deviation of 13.06.±23.73, in the control group 33.37±76.3, was obtained. The results showed that there was a significant difference between the scores of incompatible schemas, emotional inadequacy and psychological health of the experimental and control group in the post-test stage (P <0.01). 


The results of testing the research hypotheses showed that yoga therapy was effective on the initial maladaptive schemas of depressed women in Tehran. This finding was consistent with the research of Ghanbari Hashem Abadi and Saadat (2010); they showed that the rhythmic movements of yoga affect women's social interactions [18]. Sistig (2015) also considers receiving yoga as an adjunct therapy can help patients with problems and unpleasant past experiences [19]. Also, Balasubramaniam et al. (2013) showed that yoga techniques are effective in changing attitudes and thinking and maladaptive schemas [12].
In this explanation, it can be said that yoga exercises are effective in improving the mood of people in two ways, one of which is the release of endorphins (causing pleasant feelings) and the other is lowering the level of cortisol (hormone secreted in the blood by nerve pressure). As we all know, endorphins are a natural pain reliever, and physical exercise can cause pleasant feelings by increasing endorphin levels. Since one of the factors affecting happiness is physical health, the ability to fight disease and establish hormonal balance and control stress affects happiness. For this reason, people who exercise can be happier. Exercise stimulates the production of proteins called antibodies that fight disease; therefore, people who are more physically active are better able to fight illness and stress, and this makes them happier. As one of the suggested exercises to reduce depression is yoga [20], yoga exercises can act as a strong stimulant for the hypothalamic, pituitary, adrenal and noradrenergic systems and reduce depression by lowering cortisol and increasing BDNF. Therefore, it can be said that yoga exercises, due to the changes they make in physiological function, chemical interactions, brain cells and the immune system, can more and more quickly change cognitive and emotional processes, such as improving positive mood and the level of early maladaptive schemas.
Another finding of this study showed that yoga therapy was effective on emotional distress in depressed women in Tehran. This finding is consistent with the research of Streeter et al. (2010); they showed that teaching yoga techniques reduces anxiety and emotional regulation [22]. Also, Ensari et al. (2019) found that yoga therapy has an effect on regulating and controlling emotions, including depression and anxiety [23]. Harvey et al. (2020) showed in their research that yoga therapy can reduce stress in depressed and anxious people [8]. Stephens (2017) in his study confirmed the effectiveness of yoga training in reducing emotional dysphoria and emotionlessness in this group of patients [24]. Verma and Kumar (2016) showed in their study that yoga training and concentration in individuals can affect the regulation of emotions [11]. Also, Balasubramaniam et al. (2013) in their research confirmed the effectiveness of yoga therapy on the mind and emotions in people with psychiatric disorders [12]. In addition, Mallahi et al. (2019) showed that therapeutic interventions and yoga training play an important role in reducing the damage caused by depression [13].
Explaining the results of the present study, it can be said that yoga includes physical postures and breathing and meditation techniques that connect the body, thoughts and feelings to the awareness of the present moment. Relaxation exercises and posture seem to teach yoga to women who practice various stages together, causing women to cooperate during a regular program of activity, and in the course of this activity, women are trained to position their body muscles in a certain rhythm leading to relaxation and minimizing muscle tension [7]. Yoga therapy not only treats mild to moderate stress and anxiety, but also prevents its occurrence [10]. Therefore, another influential reason that can lead to emotional distress in these classes is the nature of yoga, its attractiveness and its special social effects on people, which can be improved by promoting positive relationships with others and creating a sense of self-worth [9].
Emotional malaise is associated with mental health and anxiety and depression, and this disorder is a risk factor for many diseases; since people with this complication hardly express their emotions. This inability to regulate emotions makes successful coping difficult. In fact, people who can express their emotions in a timely manner are relieved of stress [25]. Difficulty in identifying and distinguishing between emotions predisposes individuals to a failure to regulate emotions in stressful situations. As a result, they become emotionally disturbed and their capacity for coping with stressful situations decreases. One way to control stress is to vent and express the stress caused by stress. If these emotions are not evacuated and the person is unable to express their negative emotions verbally, the psychological component of emotion expression systems, including depression and anxiety, increases. People who are able to recognize their emotions and express their emotional states effectively are better able to cope with life's problems and are more successful in adapting to the environment and others; as a result, they will be more mentally healthy [26].



The results of this study showed that yoga therapy reduces maladaptive schemas and emotional malaise in depressed women. These findings can be a useful step in solving the problems of depressed women and ultimately, ensuring their physical and mental health. Therefore, it is suggested that therapists increase hope and life satisfaction in depressed women by identifying early maladaptive schemas and emotional inadequacy and gaining skills in yoga training.



This article is taken from the master's thesis in general psychology of Islamic Azad University, Rafsanjan Branch and has received the ethics code IR.RAFSANJAN.REC.1398.031 from the ethics committee of this university. The authors thank all the university authorities and participants in this study.


Conflicts of Interest

The authors declared no connflict of interest.


Type of Study: Original Research | Subject: Nursing
Received: 2020/08/8 | Accepted: 2020/09/8 | Published: 2020/11/28

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