An integrative complexity analysis of cognitive behaviour therapy sessions for borderline personality disorder

Davidson, K., Livingstone, S., McArthur, K., Dickson, L. and Gumley, A. (2007) An integrative complexity analysis of cognitive behaviour therapy sessions for borderline personality disorder. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 80(4), pp. 513-523. (doi:10.1348/147608307X191535)

Davidson, K., Livingstone, S., McArthur, K., Dickson, L. and Gumley, A. (2007) An integrative complexity analysis of cognitive behaviour therapy sessions for borderline personality disorder. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 80(4), pp. 513-523. (doi:10.1348/147608307X191535)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1348/147608307X191535

Abstract

Objectives. Integrative complexity (IC), a measure of cognitive style, was used to analyse discourse in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) sessions from patients with borderline personality disorder treated in the BOSCOT trial. It was predicted that patients' level of integrative complexity would be positively associated with the outcome of therapy. That is, an increase in patients' level of integrative complexity would be associated with good outcome. We also predicted that therapists would also show an increase in the level of complexity associated with their patient's increase in integrative complexity and good outcome. Design. Ten patients who received CBT were categorized according to the outcome, good (N = 5) and poor (N = 5), using an algorithm that incorporated the number of suicide attempts and magnitude of change in severity of depression during therapy. Method. For each patient and their therapist, an early and a late therapy session were transcribed and coded for integrative complexity (IC) (N = 20 sessions transcribed). IC scores for patients and therapists were compared across early and late therapy sessions and for good and poor outcomes of therapy. Results. The majority of discourse was at the lower levels of IC. Higher levels of IC at baseline were related to depression and anxiety. Good outcome was not associated with a change in the level of IC between earlier and later CBT sessions. Therapists, however, showed an increase in IC when patient's outcome was poor. In addition, an increase in patient's IC was associated with improvement in social functioning. Conclusions. Therapists may overcompensate for patient's poor outcome by giving more complex explanations to patients. Higher complexity does not necessarily lead to better outcomes

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Davidson, Professor Kate and Gumley, Professor Andrew and McArthur, Dr Kate
Authors: Davidson, K., Livingstone, S., McArthur, K., Dickson, L., and Gumley, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Clinical Specialities
Journal Name:Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
ISSN:1476-0835

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