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Changes in Decentering Across Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder



Changes in Decentering Across Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder



Behavior Therapy 49(5): 809-822



To further improve treatments, we need to better understand potential common treatment mechanisms, such as decentering, or the ability to observe thoughts and feelings as objective events in the mind rather than personally identifying with them (Safran & Segal, 1990). Therefore, this study examined whether 12 sessions of Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy (CBGT) for 63 clients (57.6% female, 50.8% White) diagnosed with social anxiety disorder led to increases in decentering and whether increased decentering was associated with improved outcome. Furthermore, this study examined whether decentering was associated with outcome over and above a competing mechanism-cognitive reappraisal. Overall, results indicated that CBGT in this study led to similar outcomes compared to previous studies and decentering increased over CBGT (d's from 0.81 to 2.23). Change in decentering predicted improvement on most, but not all, measures of outcome and those who no longer met criteria for social anxiety disorder at posttreatment had significantly greater change in decentering across therapy and significantly higher decentering scores at post-treatment compared to those who retained a social anxiety disorder diagnosis at posttreatment. Finally, changes in decentering predicted outcome over and above changes in reappraisal on all outcome measures. These results largely support the role of decentering in CBGT for social anxiety; however, the implications of the inconsistencies in results based on which outcome measure was used are discussed.

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Accession: 053958061

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30146146

DOI: 10.1016/j.beth.2018.01.005


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