An investigation of reconstruing in Existential Experimentation therapy with people suffering from anxiety and depression


  • F. Venturi
  • D. Vitali
  • M. Rayner
  • D. Winter
  • S. Cipolletta


Background: The present longitudinal study is the first attempt to explore the applicability of Repertory Grid Technique (RGT) in a particular protocol of therapy as Existential Experimentation (EE) therapy is, and to understand the efficacy of EE therapy in a primary care setting with clients suffering from anxiety and depression. Methods: Participants were 21 clients suffering from anxiety and depression and receiving brief Existential Experimentation therapy (six weeks) at a Primary Care Service in London (UK). Participants completed repertory grids, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) pre- and post-therapy. Findings: Consistent with hypotheses clients not only showed significant decreases in symptom measures during therapy (GAD-7: t= 5.73, p<.001; PHQ-9: t= 4.37, p<.001) but came to view themselves as significantly more similar to their ideal selves (t= 4.17, p<.001), future self (t= 3.60, p<.05) and others (t=3.52, p>.05), and showed less superordinate (t=3.55, p<.05) and polarized construing (t=2.55, p<.05), which was less dominated by their symptoms. Significant correlations were also observed, as expected, between change on Self and PHQ-9 pre- (ï²=-.503, p<.05) and post-therapy (ï²=-.437, p<.05). Discussion: The results provide a preliminary support for the use of RGT to detect change on EE therapy as a treatment for anxiety and depression in primary care service. Further controlled research is needed.





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