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Examining Processes of Change for Experientially Distant and Experientially Engaged Client Subgroups in Experiential Therapy for Depression

Examining Processes of Change for Experientially Distant and Experientially Engaged Client Subgroups in Experiential Therapy for Depression

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Title: Examining Processes of Change for Experientially Distant and Experientially Engaged Client Subgroups in Experiential Therapy for Depression
Author: Wong, Karen Kar Yan
Abstract: This study examined whether different client subgroups, identified as either experientially distant or experientially engaged based on their early tendency to approach inner experience, undergo distinct emotional change processes during experiential therapy for depression. It was hypothesized that these distinct emotional change processes would be best captured using different process measures, which were the Experiencing Scale (EXP) and the Classification of Affective Meaning States (CAMS), respectively. As experientially distant clients were hypothesized to experience depression related to being estranged from the adaptive information within emotional experience, increasing general access to emotional experience was presumed to be the change process most likely to relieve their depression, and optimally captured by the EXP scale. Experientially engaged clients were hypothesized to experience depression related to activation of maladaptive emotion schemes, and it was assumed that alleviation of their depression would occur through accessing primary adaptive emotions, which would be measured by the CAMS. A second purpose of this investigation was to examine whether these different change processes would differentially predict long-term resilient gains in addition to outcome at treatment termination.
Results opposite to the hypotheses were found. Emotion scheme typology as measured by the CAMS was a better predictor of outcome for the experientially distant subgroup, and depth of experiencing as captured by the EXP scale a better predictor of outcome for the experientially engaged subgroup. While unexpected, these results support the original hypothesis concerning the existence of distinct subtypes of depressed clients who undergo separate paths to change. They also supported experiential therapy change principles, indicating that both depth of experiencing and emotion scheme typology are powerfully related to termination and long-term outcome in this psychotherapy model.
Subject: Clinical psychology
Keywords: Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy process
Experiential therapy
Emotion-focused therapy
Client-centred therapy
Client process
Depression
Eepressive subgroups
Experiencing
Experiencing Scale
Classification of Affective Meaning States
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/32344
Supervisor: Pos, Alberta E.
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Program: Psychology (Functional Area: Clinical Psychology)
Exam date: 2016-05-04
Publish on: 2016-09-20

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