Impact Techniques are multisensory psychotherapeutic interventions that stimulate fast, sustained and therefore more economic psychotherapeutic progress. The use of common objects, such as compact discs or chairs, allows for the simplification of complex psychological concepts (Jacobs & Schimmel, 2013). The playful nature of Impact Techniques enables patients to gain greater insight into their emotional processes and motivates them to establish new and more functional behavioral patterns (Beaulieu, 2006a). This clinical study addresses the lack of quantitative research on this topic by analyzing the effectiveness of a particular Impact Technique (ITC), which employs a compact disc as a stimulus, in comparison to a treatment-as-usual (TAU) cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) group. We hypothesized that ITC will have a greater impact than TAU. In total, 78 patients diagnosed with depression or an anxiety disorder were included and randomly allocated to five sessions of psychotherapeutic treatment under either the ITC or TAU condition. The primary outcome measure was defined as the patient’s symptom reduction rate. As secondary outcome measures, we assessed the decrease of irrational thoughts and patient satisfaction. ANOVAs were mainly used for the statistical analysis of repeated measures. The results show equal or improved outcomes for the ITC group. In addition, all the outcome measures demonstrate more rapid improvement. In regard to symptom reduction, the hypothesis is confirmed on all the scales (Depression, Anxiety, Global Severity Index), with the exception of Somatization. The hypothesis concerning a higher increase of irrational thoughts is not confirmed. The outcome measure: patient satisfaction delivers a higher score and the hypothesis for mood before and after session, goal attainment and session satisfaction is confirmed. Judged by the results of this study, ITC is an effective, time-saving and underrated psychotherapeutic intervention. However, further research is required to support the findings.
The Effectiveness of Impact Techniques: An Underrated Intervention in a Psychotherapist’s Toolbox
- PhD thesis
- Social Sciences -- Psychology