Self-construing during body psychotherapy for chronic depression – a secondary analysis of RCT trial data

  • C. Malighetti
  • F. Röhricht
  • D. Winter
  • S. Cipolletta


Background: Previous research suggested that repertory-grid based measures identified different features of depressive disorder than the cognitive and mood symptoms. The present study investigated construing of the self and the body in clients with depression. Methods: During the RCT data of nineteen included patients was collected pre/post Body Psychotherapy or the waiting control condition, using The Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life, Hamilton Rating Scale for depression, Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale, a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) on body cathexis and Repertory Grids. Findings: The results did not show significant change in patients’ personal construing during BPT. Before treatment, a high level of body cathexis was significantly associated with a greater distance of ideal self from self (r= -.615, s=.007), future self (r=.501; s=.041) and body (r= -.518; s=.028). Severity of depression was associated with less favourable construing of the body (r=-.579; s=.012) and high rigidity in construing (r=.517; s= .028) After treatment, a high level of body cathexis was associated with high self esteem (r=.484; s= .036) and high scores on the self esteem scale were associated with a higher distance between ideal self and body (r= -.530; s= .020). Discussion: The relationships demonstrated between repertory grid measures of self-construing and questionnaire measures of symptoms, self-esteem, and quality of life are consistent with previous research, and the present study also indicates that unfavourable construing of the body is part of the experience of depression.
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