Dzintra Stalmeisters, Psychotherapist

Dzintra Stalmeisters

Psychotherapist Dzintra Stalmeisters is conducting research into Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) to try to find ways of improving the quality of life for people with this illness.

Dzintra has taken forward the work of the clinician and academic Dr Jeffrey Young, who developed the schema focused cognitive therapy approach. A basic premise of this approach is that individuals with more complex problems have a number of early maladaptive schemas, which make them vulnerable to emotional disorders.

Dzintra has conducted her study in three stages. Participants were sent a schema questionnaire that identified early maladaptive schemas - 80 were returned from people with no clinical condition and 42 from people with ME/CFS.Many of the participants with ME/CFS came from self help groups. Results indicate that prominent in both groups are the schemas 'self sacrifice' and 'unrelenting standards', but they are present to a greater extent in people with ME/CFS. Fourteen people were interviewed in more depth and Dzintra is now taking forward more in depth work with one person who suffers with the condition. Dzintra hopes that her work will help to improve the lived experiences of people with this debilitating life changing illness.

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