Construing and body dissatisfaction in chronic depression: a study of body psychotherapy.
The frequent association of depression with somatic symptoms suggests that body psychotherapy may be an appropriate therapeutic intervention for people with chronic depression. Using a subset of twenty-three participants from a randomized controlled trial that had demonstrated the effectiveness of such an intervention in reducing depressive symptoms, the present study investigated whether it may also impact aspects of construing which have been associated with depression. Patients presenting with chronic depression were randomly allocated to a treatment group or a waiting list group, which received body psychotherapy after a period on a waiting list. Correlations between repertory grid, questionnaire, and visual analogue measures indicated that depression and bodily dissatisfaction were associated with features of the content and structure of construing. There were no significant changes while patients were on the waiting list, but during treatment reduction in depression and bodily dissatisfaction, together with increase in self-esteem and quality of life, were accompanied by an increase in the salience of construing of the bodily self.