Singing Your Negative Body-Related Thoughts: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a New Cognitive Defusion Strategy
Gobin, Keisha Cherie Shalini
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The current study aims to extend the literature on cognitive defusion and test its effectiveness in the treatment of body dissatisfaction. In a randomized controlled trial, 122 female restrained eaters either 1) verbally repeated negative body-related thoughts, 2) sang negative body-related thoughts, 3) verbally repeated body-unrelated thoughts (control), or 4) sang body-unrelated thoughts (control) twice daily for one week. The goal of this study was to determine whether singing ones negative body-related thoughts could lead to greater changes in perception of the thought, body image satisfaction, mood, and self-esteem relative to a control condition. The results indicate that all conditions effectively changed appraisals of the thought after one week of practice, improved body image satisfaction, and increased self-esteem. There were also immediate reductions in anxiety and depressive mood. The results are discussed in the context of various forms of cognitive defusion.