Effects of analytical and experiential self-focus on rumination after a stress induction in patients with social anxiety disorder: a pilot study.
According to cognitive models, negative post-event processing rumination is a key maintaining factor in social anxiety disorder (SAD). Analogue research has supported the differentiation of self-focus into different modes of self-focused attention with distinct effects on rumination in depression and social anxiety. The purpose of this study was to replicate these effects with a sample of clients with SAD (N = 12) using (a) an experimental, cross-over design and (b) an evaluation situation (impromptu speech) prior to manipulation. Processing an identical list of symptoms, half of a sample was asked to successively adopt an analytic (abstract, evaluative) and an experiential (concrete, process-focused) self-focus; the other half employed the modes in the reversed order. Effects were assessed with a thought-listing (TL) procedure. As predicted, the two modes of self-focused attention affected cognitions differently; participants in the experiential condition showed a tendency for a decreased proportion of negative thoughts, whereas those in the analytical condition reported a decreased proportion of neutral thoughts. No difference was shown on positive cognitions. Furthermore, the participants' self-evaluation following the speech predicted their degree of subsequent negative thinking. After self-focus inductions, however, this effect was only seen in those participants who started by receiving the analytical self-focus induction. The results support previous findings that the analytical and the experiential self-focus modes affect cognitions differently, and that experiential processing may have beneficial effects on rumination in SAD. However, results need to be replicated in a larger sample.
Kognio, Centre for CBT, Annedalsvägen 9, 22764 Lund, Sweden. firstname.lastname@example.org
SourceCognitive behaviour therapy 41:4 2012 pg 310-20
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't