Affective impact and electrocortical correlates of a psychotherapeutic microintervention: an ERP study of cognitive restructuring.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: Psychotherapy for depression emphasizes techniques that can help individuals regulate their moods. The present study investigated the affective impact and electrocortical correlates of cognitive restructuring, delivered as a 90-minute psychotherapeutic microintervention in a dysphoric sample. METHOD: Participants (N = 92) who reported either low or high levels of dysphoric symptoms were randomly assigned to the restructuring microintervention, a control intervention or a no-intervention condition. We obtained recordings of event-related potentials (ERPs) as well as mood self-ratings during an experimental session immediately after the psychotherapeutic microintervention and the control intervention in which a set of negatively valenced pictures (IAPS) was presented with different instructions. RESULTS: Whereas the restructuring intervention group and the control intervention group reported both increases in positive and decreases in negative affect from pre- to post-intervention, the three groups differed significantly on ERP measures. CONCLUSIONS: Findings provide support for current models of mechanisms of action in cognitive therapies.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zaunmüller, L; Lutz, W; Strauman, TJ

Published Date

  • January 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 24 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 550 - 564

PubMed ID

  • 24286245

Pubmed Central ID

  • 24286245

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1468-4381

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1050-3307

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/10503307.2013.847986


  • eng