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Person-centred/experiential approaches to social anxiety : initial outcome results

Elliott, Robert and Rodgers, Brian (2010) Person-centred/experiential approaches to social anxiety : initial outcome results. In: Society for Psychotherapy Research, 2010-03-25. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Good evidence exists for the effectiveness of person-centred/experiential (PCE) therapies with clients experiencing depression and post-trauma difficulties; however, evidence for its effectiveness with anxiety problems is much more sparse. Social anxiety (or social phobia) is a chronic condition with wide-ranging effects on interpersonal, occupational and psychological functioning. Almost all previous research on social anxiety has been carried out on CBT and psychopharmacological interventions. The purpose of this presentation is to present pilot quantitative results on the outcome of Person-Centred/Experiential (PCE) therapy for clients with social anxiety. Using a naturalistic pre-post design (open clinical trial), we assessed client functioning quantitatively on the Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN), CORE-OM, among others. Pre-post data from our first 15 clients will be presented, including pre-post significance tests, effect size, and reliable change and clinical significance calculations. Overall, clients showed substantial pre-post gains, comparable to bench-marked previous research on CBT and medication. Despite limitations of small sample size, this is to our knowledge the first study of a bona fide PCE therapy with social anxiety, and provides a basis for larger and more controlled studies. Our results are promising and begin to provide justification for using PCE therapies for social anxiety.