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This study examined change in frequency and content of implicative dilemmas before and after a course of short-term existential therapy. 57 adult patients presenting mild to moderate level of depression or anxiety were treated in a naturalistic setting. Repertory grid technique was applied to assess their construing system before and after the intervention. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were applied to explore change in implicative dilemmas and in depressive or anxious symptomatology. Results show a clear reduction in symptomatology levels and a non-significant reduction in the prevalence of implicative dilemmas although the latter was not associated with changes in symptomatology.

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En este estudio se presenta un método para el estudio de los conflictos cognitivos utilizando la técnica de rejilla. Por medio de ella, se identificaron los dilemas implicativos, una estructura cognitiva en la que un constructo personal en el que se desea un cambio se asocia con otro constructo en el que el cambio no es deseable. Se evaluó la presencia de dilemas y la gravedad sintomatológica en una muestra de 46 participantes que cumplían criterios diagnósticos para la distimia y se comparó con un grupo control compuesto por 496 participantes. Por último, se llevó a cabo un análisis del contenido de los constructos personales que forman los dilemas. Se encontraron dilemas en casi 70% de la muestra clínica frente a 39% de la muestra control y en mayor cantidad. Por otro lado, los participantes de ambos grupos con este tipo de conflicto mostraron un nivel mayor de sintomatología depresiva y malestar general que aquellos sin dilemas. Además, se encontró una alta correlación entre el número de dilemas implicativos y la gravedad de los síntomas. Los resultados del análisis de contenido mostraron que los dilemas estaban frecuentemente formados por una constelación de valores morales y constructos emocionales indicando que a menudo los síntomas están asociados a aspectos positivos del sí mismo, por lo que el proceso de cambio puede verse bloqueado. Se discuten las implicaciones clínicas de abordar los dilemas en el contexto terapéutico.
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OBJECTIVE: While considerable attention has focused on improving the detection of depression, assessment of severity is also important in guiding treatment decisions. Therefore, we examined the validity of a brief, new measure of depression severity. MEASUREMENTS: The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) is a self-administered version of the PRIME-MD diagnostic instrument for common mental disorders. The PHQ-9 is the depression module, which scores each of the 9 DSM-IV criteria as “0” (not at all) to “3” (nearly every day). The PHQ-9 was completed by 6,000 patients in 8 primary care clinics and 7 obstetrics-gynecology clinics. Construct validity was assessed using the 20-item Short-Form General Health Survey, self-reported sick days and clinic visits, and symptom-related difficulty. Criterion validity was assessed against an independent structured mental health professional (MHP) interview in a sample of 580 patients. RESULTS: As PHQ-9 depression severity increased, there was a substantial decrease in functional status on all 6 SF-20 subscales. Also, symptom-related difficulty, sick days, and health care utilization increased. Using the MHP reinterview as the criterion standard, a PHQ-9 score ≥10 had a sensitivity of 88% and a specificity of 88% for major depression. PHQ-9 scores of 5, 10, 15, and 20 represented mild, moderate, moderately severe, and severe depression, respectively. Results were similar in the primary care and obstetrics-gynecology samples. CONCLUSION: In addition to making criteria-based diagnoses of depressive disorders, the PHQ-9 is also a reliable and valid measure of depression severity. These characteristics plus its brevity make the PHQ-9 a useful clinical and research tool.
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In this closing article of the special issue, we present the conclusions and recommendations of the interdivisional task force on evidence-based therapy relationships. The work was based on a series of meta-analyses conducted on the effectiveness of various relationship elements and methods of treatment adaptation. A panel of experts concluded that several relationship elements were demonstrably effective (alliance in individual psychotherapy, alliance in youth psychotherapy, alliance in family therapy, cohesion in group therapy, empathy, collecting client feedback) while others were probably effective (goal consensus, collaboration, positive regard). Three other relationship elements (congruence/genuineness, repairing alliance ruptures, and managing countertransference) were deemed promising but had insufficient evidence to conclude that they were effective. Multiple recommendations for practice, training, research, and policy are advanced.
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This paper describes a psychotherapeutic constructivist intervention oriented to the resolution of implicative dilemmas, in order to promote personal change. It presents a clinical case study of a client with depression and with some dependent and obsessive functioning. The Repertory Grid Technique was administered along with symptom assessment (SCL-90-R) both at beginning and end of the psychotherapeutic process. Exploring themes emerged from Repgrid, several narratives, experiential and metaphoric strategies were used in order to explore and reconstruct meanings associated with the five implicative dilemmas found. The therapeutic process succeeds at solving dilemmas as found in the post-therapy assessment. This resolution was accompanied by symptom reduction. In conclusion, the utility of implicative dilemmas as a marker to understand the therapeutic impasse and dysfunctional system coherence is discussed, as well as the efficacy of the strategies used in this clinical case concerning its adaptation to working with implicative dilemmas that prevent therapeutic process.
Outcome measures for psychodynamic psychotherapy services
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