Send to

Choose Destination
Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2008 Aug;118(2):164-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2008.01199.x. Epub 2008 May 22.

Alexithymia and cognitive behaviour therapy outcome for subthreshold depression.

Author information

Department of Medical Psychology, Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic diseases (CoRPS), Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands.



Alexithymia is hypothesized to be a stable trait that hinders favourable outcomes of psychotherapy. We tested two hypotheses: i) alexithymia is not stable but changes along with a change in depressive symptoms and ii) pretreatment alexithymia hinders gaining benefits from psychotherapy.


A total of 201 participants (mean age = 54 years, SD = 4.4) with subthreshold depression were treated with cognitive behaviour therapy. Outcome was defined as the change in depressive symptoms from pretreatment to post-treatment and to 1-year follow-up.


Changes in depressive symptoms were significantly correlated with changes in alexithymia. Baseline alexithymia scores were not correlated with treatment outcome.


Alexithymia is less stable than hypothesized: changes in alexithymia were associated with change in depressive symptoms. Furthermore, alexithymia does not hinder cognitive behaviour therapy outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center