Giorgio A. Tasca

Giorgio A. Tasca
University of Ottawa · School of Psychology

Ph.D.

About

190
Publications
51,468
Reads
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5,272
Citations
Citations since 2016
91 Research Items
3672 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
Introduction
Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa, Director of the Psychotherapy Practice Research Network, Editor of Group Dynamics.
Additional affiliations
July 2016 - present
University of Ottawa
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2011 - August 2016
Ottawa University
Position
  • Research Chair in Psychotherapy
January 2000 - present
Carleton University
Position
  • Adjunct Research Professor
Education
September 1989
University of Saskatchewan
Field of study
  • Clinical Psychology

Publications

Publications (190)
Article
Objective: We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of bona fide psychotherapy for adults with eating disorders (EDs). Method: Thirty-five RCTs with 54 direct comparisons were included. The majority of RCTs included participants with bulimia nervosa and/or binge-ED, while only two RCTs included participants with anorex...
Article
Full-text available
Practice research networks may be one way of advancing knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) in psychotherapy. In this study, we document this process by first asking clinicians what they want from psychotherapy research. Eighty-two psychotherapists in 10 focus groups identified and discussed psychotherapy research topics relevant to their pract...
Article
Jurisdictions in Canada, notably in Ontario and Quebec, are proposing a laudable goal of increasing publicly funded access to psychotherapy. Ontario and Quebec will likely follow the lead of the Increasing Access to Psychotherapy (IAPT) program in the United Kingdom and train psychotherapists to provide cognitive–behavioural therapy. Results from I...
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Adapting to chronic illness or disability is accompanied by acute and ongoing illness stressors. Psychological factors such as emotional distress and low self-efficacy are common experiences in chronic illness and disability, and interfere with adaptation and psychosocial outcomes such as health-related quality of life. Transdiagnostic group psycho...
Article
Objective: Previous research provides support for the role of psychosocial variables in the progression of hypertension. However, few studies have rigorously tested the longitudinal interplay between blood pressure and depressive symptoms, quality of life, and well-being. Fewer still disaggregate the effects of changes of these psychological varia...
Article
Objective: Although several studies suggest an association between psychological distress and increased morbidity and mortality in various cardiac populations, little is known about positive psychological resources, like Sense of Coherence (SOC), that may reduce distress. This longitudinal observational study aimed to test the hypothesis that a st...
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Objective: The therapeutic alliance has been studied in group interventions, but its relationship to patient outcome is still controversial. This study systematically reviewed the association of both the member-leader and member-group alliance with patient outcomes, and assessed the effects of several theoretically informed moderators. Method: A...
Article
We examined change in defensive functioning following group psychodynamic-interpersonal psychotherapy (GPIP) for binge-eating disorder (BED) compared to a waitlist control. We hypothesized that defensive functioning will improve to a greater extent at posttreatment for those in GPIP compared with those in a waitlist control condition. Participants...
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Several psychosocial models have been proposed to explain the etiology of eating disorders (EDs) and obesity separately despite research suggesting they should be conceptualized within a shared theoretical framework. The objective of the current study was to test an integrated comprehensive model consisting of a host of common risk and protective f...
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Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT), an attachment-based couple therapy, views emotion as being central to the process of therapeutic change. As affect arousal of emotion is a somatic reaction, the purpose of this study was to focus on therapists’ interventions classified as noting and commenting on clients’ somatic cue of emotional experience...
Article
Excessive use of technology has become a worldwide problem due to its high prevalence, fast growth rate, and undesirable consequences. However, little is known about underlying psychological mechanisms that maintain excessive use of technology. We investigated the mediating role of self-esteem, novelty seeking, and persistence on the relationship b...
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We used an actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) to study the association between the individual group member and other group therapy members' defensive functioning on an individual group member's treatment outcome. We hypothesized that (a) more adaptive individual defensive functioning at pretreatment will be significantly related to better t...
Article
The Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy Adherence Measure (EFIT-AM) is presented as a scale to measure a therapist’s adherence to the EFIT model. The theoretical rationale for EFIT as a promising model of individual therapy and conceptual development of EFIT-AM are introduced. The EFIT-AM was developed to measure therapist adherence to treatment...
Article
Purpose/objective: The onset of chronic illness or disability (CID) can be conceptualized as a threat that activates the attachment system. Moreover, the waxing-and-waning nature of CID-related symptoms and management of acute and chronic illness stressors means that the attachment system may be repeatedly activated. Contending with repeated threa...
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Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, an experiential modality, views emotion central to therapeutic change. In this exploratory study, we examined therapists' repetition of somatically focused interventions (therapist verbalizing somatic cues, such as facial expressions) and their impact on clients' emotional experiencing in-session. We also assesse...
Article
High rates of cigarette smoking is the leading contributor to the increasing risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among people living with HIV (PLH). Relapse rates among PLH who quit smoking are high among those receiving standard care, which may be due to several unique social and psychological challenges PLH face when they attempt to quit smoking...
Article
Background The genetics of binge-eating disorder (BED) is an emerging topic, with dopaminergic genes being implicated in its etiology due to the role that dopamine (DA) plays in food reward sensitivity and self-regulation of eating behavior. However, no study to date has examined if DA genes influence response to behavioral treatment of BED. Objec...
Article
In this article, Canadian psychotherapy researchers and teachers review the state of psychodynamic therapy (PDT) in Canada. We review the ways in which PDT has been implemented, developed and researched within the public and private sector, and how psychoanalytic and psychodynamic practitioners regionally have responded to the challenges of evidenc...
Article
Objective: Self-esteem is a core aspect of eating disorder symptomatology. This study aims to examine whether method effects associated with negatively worded items of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) may interact the negative self-evaluations experienced by patients with obesity and binge eating disorder (BED). We also examined whether nega...
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Full-text available
Objective: Even though the early alliance has been shown to robustly predict posttreatment outcomes, the question whether alliance leads to symptom reduction or symptom reduction leads to a better alliance remains unresolved. To better understand the relation between alliance and symptoms early in therapy, we meta-analyzed the lagged session-by-se...
Article
Previous studies have emphasized the effect of insecurity attachment on youth's Internet and smartphone addiction. In this study, we examine the mediating role of alexithymia, impulsivity, and general psychological distress in the relationship between insecure attachment dimensions and technology addiction. Data were collected from 539 adolescents...
Article
Objective: Subjective well-being is a crucial variable for mental health practitioners. This study examines the influence of therapists’ attachment dimensions and self-reported reflective functioning on their perceived well-being. Further, it examines if reflective functioning mediates the association between attachment insecurity and well-being. M...
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An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via the original article.
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Painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (PDPN) is a chronic pain condition with modest response to pharmacotherapy. Participation in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) leads to improvements in pain-related outcomes but the mechanisms of change are unknown. The present study examined the mediators and moderators of change in 62 patients with P...
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The Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (ECR) is one of the most commonly used self-report instruments of adult attachment and has been widely adopted in psychotherapy research. Composed of two subscales, namely Attachment Avoidance and Anxiety, the ECR was recently shortened to a 12-items version, called the ECR-12. Given the importance of ex...
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Transtheoretical integrative decision-making models help clinicians to use patient factors that are known to predict outcomes in order to inform individualized treatment. Patient factors with a strong evidence base include: functional impairment, social support and interpersonal functioning, complexity and comorbidity, coping style, level of resist...
Conference Paper
Introduction: Emotionally Focused Group Therapy (EFGT) is an experientially-oriented 20-sessions therapy which integrates constructivist psychology, emotion and attachment theory. In EFGT, therapists help clients become more aware of their emotions, experience a greater range of emotions, regulate and reflect on their emotions, identify and transfo...
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Laboratory stress tasks induce strong changes in linear and non-linear indices of heart rate variability (HRV) among healthy adults, due to a task-induced parasympathetic withdrawal. Previous findings suggested that negative affectivity and its correlates (i.e., depressive symptoms, anxiety, hostility, type D personality, and situational stress) co...
Article
Interpersonal problems play a prominent role in the development of binge‐eating disorder (BED), so that reducing their intensity may be a key focus of many psychological interventions. In recent years, several interpersonal treatments for BED were developed, which posit that binge‐eating arises to manage relational problems. However, few studies ha...
Article
Although now there is accumulating research on the effectiveness of psychotherapy for perfectionism, this research has been based almost exclusively on self-report data. In this article, we describe analyses from the University of British Columbia Perfectionism Treatment Study assessing close other informant ratings of change in perfectionism trait...
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Although previous studies investigated the characteristics of therapeutic alliance in group treatments, there is still a dearth of research on group alliance ruptures and repairs. The model by Safran and Muran was originally developed to address therapeutic alliance in individual therapies, and the usefulness of this approach to group intervention...
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Emotionally focused couple therapy (EFT) is an empirically validated attachment based approach to couple therapy. From an EFT perspective, sexual functioning is viewed within the context of an attachment bond, but sexual satisfaction in EFT has not been empirically tested. We examined self-reported sexual satisfaction across 24 months in a sample o...
Article
Objectives: The genetics of binge-eating disorder (BED) is an emerging topic and one candidate pathway, namely the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene, may be implicated because of its role in food reward sensitivity and self-regulation of eating. The aims of this study were to examine the independent effects of variants of FTO on binge fre...
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Full-text available
The Hold Me Tight (HMT) program is a new approach to relationship education based on Emotionally‐Focused Therapy (Johnson, 2004), an evidence‐based approach to couple therapy. In this exploratory longitudinal research, we examined individual growth in relationship satisfaction and trust for partners in 95 couples in 16 HMT groups across four occasi...
Article
Background: Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the most common genetic disease affecting children and young adults in Canada. It is a multi-system disease, however lung disease is largely responsible for mortality. Treatment advances have resulted in increased life expectancy and a subsequent need to better understand psychosocial issues associated with qual...
Article
Effectiveness of Intraindividual Variability in Detecting Subtle Cognitive Performance Deficits in Breast Cancer Patients – Erratum - Volume 24 Issue 7 - Barbara Collins, Gerard Widmann, Giorgio A. Tasca
Article
Objective We investigated the quality of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that included direct comparisons of psychotherapy for adults with an eating disorder (ED). Method Thirty‐five direct comparison RCTs of psychotherapy for adults diagnosed with an ED were rated using the Randomized Controlled Trials Psychotherapy Quality Rating Scale (RCT‐...
Article
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine if intraindividual variability would be more sensitive than speed or accuracy in detecting subtle cancer-related cognitive disturbance. Methods: Data were from a previous study in which 60 breast cancer (BC) patients underwent neuropsychological assessment before commencement of chemotherapy...
Article
This study investigated the effects of adolescents’ attachment security and reflective functioning (RF) (assessed by the adult attachment interview [AAI]) in the prediction of well-being in adulthood. Adolescents (N = 79; M = 14.6 years old; SD = 3.5 years) completed the AAI at Time 1 (T1), which was subsequently coded for inferred attachment exper...
Article
Eating disorders (EDs) are chronic mental illnesses with high levels of psychological, social, and health burden. Day treatment programs (DTP) are effective group-based partial hospital models that have been used to treat EDs for several decades. However, few studies have examined the factors associated with reduced distress in ED patients who part...
Article
Background: Patients with Binge Eating Disorder (BED) and obesity experience distressing relationships, which could trigger negative affect and over-eating. To date no studies compared the interpersonal profiles and prototypicality of both groups using the Interpersonal Circumplex. Method: A sample of 177 patients with BED (mean age: 41.0 ± 12.5...
Article
Background A stepped care approach involves patients first receiving low-intensity treatment followed by higher intensity treatment. This two-step randomized controlled trial investigated the efficacy of a sequential stepped care approach for the psychological treatment of binge-eating disorder (BED). Methods In the first step, all participants wi...
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Full-text available
OBJECTIVE: Emotional competence is important for mental and physical health. However, no studies have examined the link between aspects of emotional competence and Tako-tsubo Cardiomyopathy (TTC). METHODS: We compared 37 TTC patients who experienced emotion triggers (TTC-t: mean age 66.4 ± 12.8 years, 33 women) with 37 TTC patients who did not exp...
Article
The aim of the study was to explore the effects of situational stress and anxiety in a group of healthy elderly, both in terms of psychophysiological correlates and cognitive performance. Eighteen participants (Mage = 70 ± 6.3; range 60-85) were assessed for anxiety and were instructed to perform a computerized math task, under both a stressful and...
Article
The current study examines change in attachment variables from pre- to six months post-emotionally focused group therapy (EFGT) for binge eating disorder (BED). A clinical sample of 118 women and men with BED attended 20 sessions of EFGT and completed the Adult Attachment Interview pre- and six months post-treatment. There was a significant increas...
Article
Prominent models of eating disorders tend to focus on cognitive and behavioral features, but tend not to consider important developmental issues related to affect regulation, interpersonal style, self concept, and mentalization-all of which are well conceptualized within attachment theory. Higher levels of attachment insecurity across diagnoses are...
Article
Therapeutic alliance and reflective functioning may be important for treatment outcomes for binge-eating disorder (BED). The current study examines: (1) growth in therapeutic alliance over 20 sessions of emotionally focused group therapy (EFGT) for BED, and (2) the association between change in reflective functioning and growth in therapeutic allia...
Article
Objective: Attachment insecurity is a potential risk factor for the development and maintenance of eating disorders (EDs). To date, there are multiple psychometrically sound questionnaires for the evaluation of attachment in both clinical and healthy populations, such as the Experience in Close Relationships (ECR) scale. Composed by two subscales...
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Full-text available
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT; Johnson, 2004) treats relationship distress by targeting couples' relationship-specific attachment insecurity. In this study, we used hierarchical linear modeling (Singer & Willett, 2003) to examine intercept and slope discontinuities in softened couples' trajectories of change in relationship satisfaction...
Article
Objective: In the current meta-analysis, we review the effect of group psychotherapy compared to both wait-list controls and other active treatments for adults with eating disorders (EDs). Method: Twenty-seven randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that provide direct comparisons with a total of 1,853 participants were included. Results: Group ps...
Article
Insecure and unresolved/disorganized attachment states of mind may impact affect regulation and interpersonal functioning that contribute to binge eating in women with binge-eating disorder (BED). Group psychological treatment may facilitate changes from insecure to secure and from unresolved–disorganized to non-unresolved/disorganized attachment s...
Article
Coherence of mind and reflective functioning may impact negative affect and interpersonal functioning over and above the effects of symptoms of depression and interpersonal problems that contribute to symptoms of binge-eating disorder (BED) and overweight/obesity. Matched samples of overweight women with BED and overweight and normal weight women w...
Article
Individuals with eating disorders (EDs) commonly experience comorbid attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The shared features of EDs and ADHD, such as inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity, may exacerbate ED symptomatology and pose challenges to treatment. It is important to screen patients with EDs for symptoms of ADHD to optimize...