Alexithymia and cognitive behaviour therapy outcome for subthreshold depression
Alexithymia is hypothesized to be a stable trait that hinders favourable outcomes of psychotherapy. We tested two hypotheses: i) alexithymia is not stable but changes along with a change in depressive symptoms and ii) pretreatment alexithymia hinders gaining benefits from psychotherapy. Method:
A total of 201 participants (mean age = 54 years, SD = 4.4) with subthreshold depression were treated with cognitive behaviour therapy. Outcome was defined as the change in depressive symptoms from pretreatment to post-treatment and to 1-year follow-up. Results:
Changes in depressive symptoms were significantly correlated with changes in alexithymia. Baseline alexithymia scores were not correlated with treatment outcome. Conclusion:
Alexithymia is less stable than hypothesized: changes in alexithymia were associated with change in depressive symptoms. Furthermore, alexithymia does not hinder cognitive behaviour therapy outcome.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Medical Psychology, Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic diseases (CoRPS), Tilburg University, Tilburg 2: Department of Clinical Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Publication date: 2008-08-01