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Psychother Res. 2014;24(5):550-64. doi: 10.1080/10503307.2013.847986. Epub 2013 Nov 28.

Affective impact and electrocortical correlates of a psychotherapeutic microintervention: an ERP study of cognitive restructuring.

Author information

1
a Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Department of Psychology , University of Trier , Trier , Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Psychotherapy for depression emphasizes techniques that can help individuals regulate their moods. The present study investigated the affective impact and electrocortical correlates of cognitive restructuring, delivered as a 90-minute psychotherapeutic microintervention in a dysphoric sample.

METHOD:

Participants (N = 92) who reported either low or high levels of dysphoric symptoms were randomly assigned to the restructuring microintervention, a control intervention or a no-intervention condition. We obtained recordings of event-related potentials (ERPs) as well as mood self-ratings during an experimental session immediately after the psychotherapeutic microintervention and the control intervention in which a set of negatively valenced pictures (IAPS) was presented with different instructions.

RESULTS:

Whereas the restructuring intervention group and the control intervention group reported both increases in positive and decreases in negative affect from pre- to post-intervention, the three groups differed significantly on ERP measures.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings provide support for current models of mechanisms of action in cognitive therapies.

KEYWORDS:

EEG; cognitive restructuring; depression; microintervention; neuroscience

PMID:
24286245
DOI:
10.1080/10503307.2013.847986
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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