Julia Bączek – psychologist and certified CBT therapist. PhD student at the Doctoral School of the SWPS University in Warsaw. Her doctoral thesis concerns the effectiveness and mechanisms of action of psychotherapeutic imagery techniques. She is a member of the Poznań Laboratory of Affective Neuroscience.
Effectiveness and mechanism of imagery techniques. The role of prediction error in imagery rescripting and imaginal exposure
There are numerous studies proving the effectiveness of imagery rescripting (ImRs) and imagery exposure (IE) in the treatment of various disorders. So far, studies comparing the effectiveness of both techniques have not provided clear evidences about the advantage of one of them. The aim of this RCT was to investigate the effectiveness of ImRs and IE in the treatment of fear of failure. The research focused on changes in the area of fear of failure, physiological arousal, basic emotions and several secondary self-report measures. Additionally, attempts were made to identify possible working mechanisms of ImRs. Participants (18-35 years of age) were randomly assigned to both groups. The inclusion criteria: (1) high fear of failure (2) not meet criteria for severe mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders and substance addiction at the time of their pre-treatment evaluation for this study. Before starting the study, the participants took part in three sessions with a therapist. The firs aimed at eligibility check. During two subsequent sessions, therapists obtained participants’ biographical images. The study began with pre-treatment sessions (baseline data). Then, the subjects underwent 4 therapeutic sessions (ImRs or IE) within the period of two weeks. Two weeks after the pre-treatment session, the effectiveness of the changes was assessed. During the 3- and 6-month follow-up, test the stability of the changes obtained. The results showed that fear was reduced after ImRs and IE, which was reflected in a decrease in SCL and self-report measures. Several differences between techniques are observed in effectiveness and stability. The results also show significant between-group differences in prediction error and its possible role in boosting treatment effects.
Target Audience Beginners, intermediate, and advanced-level participants