The role of pre-treatment interpersonal problems for in-session emotional processing and long-term outcome in emotion-focused psychotherapy

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Heinonen , E & Pos , A E 2020 , ' The role of pre-treatment interpersonal problems for in-session emotional processing and long-term outcome in emotion-focused psychotherapy ' , Psychotherapy Research , vol. 30 , no. 5 , pp. 635-649 . https://doi.org/10.1080/10503307.2019.1630778

Title: The role of pre-treatment interpersonal problems for in-session emotional processing and long-term outcome in emotion-focused psychotherapy
Author: Heinonen, Erkki; Pos, Alberta E.
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Psychology and Logopedics
Date: 2020-07-03
Language: eng
Number of pages: 15
Belongs to series: Psychotherapy Research
ISSN: 1050-3307
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/316308
Abstract: Objective: Interpersonal problems may lead to, uphold, or follow from depression. However, we know little of how depressed patients' different interpersonal problems are associated with patients' emotional processing during psychotherapy and whether distinct processes are helpful for their long-term reduction. Method: 23 adult outpatients who received emotion-focused therapies lasting 16-20 sessions filled the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems at pre- and post-treatment and 18-month follow-up. These problems were related to emotional processing in two mid-therapy sessions, rated by observers with the Classification of Affective-Meaning States. Results: All pre-treatment interpersonal problems were clearly associated with patients' negative evaluations of themselves during therapy. Self-experiences of vindictiveness were most pronouncedly linked to in-session emotional expressions of rejecting anger, and self-experiences of social inhibition to expressions of fear and shame, following a circumplex model. In the long-term reduction of interpersonal problems, especially reaching emotional states of hurt and grief seemed beneficial for patients who experienced themselves as socially inhibited, non-assertive, self-sacrificing, or overly accommodating. Conclusions: For clients suffering from particular interpersonal problems, accessing particularly beneficial emotional processes, such as hurt and grief, may form specific therapeutic process goals. Further studies should verify these findings, which link interpersonal theory with research on emotional processing in psychotherapy.
Subject: 515 Psychology
depression
emotion in therapy
personality
interpersonal circumplex
outcome research
process research
CENTERED RELATIONSHIP CONDITIONS
PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES
EXPERIENTIAL TREATMENT
SELF-CRITICISM
DEPRESSION
INVENTORY
THERAPY
CLIENTS
IMPROVEMENT
DEPENDENCY
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