Differential Efficacy of Guided Imagery Psychotherapy

Overview

The purpose of this study is to investigate, if Guided Imagery Psychotherapy (GIP) is at least as effective as the established psychodynamic therapy (according to the unified protocol) for the treatment of emotional disorders. It shall then be investigated whether GIP is more effective for patients meeting the GIP differential indication criteria than for patients who do not meet these criteria. Furthermore, it will be tested whether GIP is more effective than the unified psychodynamic protocol for patients who meet the GIP differential indication criteria.

Full Title of Study: “Differential Efficacy of Guided Imagery Psychotherapy [Differentielle Wirksamkeit Katathym Imaginativer Psychotherapie (DiW-KIP-Studie)]”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: Single (Participant)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: December 2025

Interventions

  • Behavioral: weekly sessions of face to face outpatient psychotherapy
    • according the German Richtlinie des Gemeinsamen Bundesausschusses über die Durchführung der Psychotherapie

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Active Comparator: Unified Psychodynamic Protocol for Emotional Disorders (UPP-EMO)
    • focus on core psychodynamic treatment principles (Leichsenring & Steinert, 2018); no use of imagery-based interventions
  • Experimental: Guided Imagery Psychotherapy for Emotional Disorders (GIP-EMO)
    • regular sessions with and focus on work with guided affectice imagery

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Change in severity of depressive symptoms as measured by the PHQ-9
    • Time Frame: 6 months after starting treatment
    • Patient Health Questionnaire 9 Item [range: 0-27]; improvement is indicated by lower scores
  • Change in severity of depressive symptoms as measured by the PHQ-9
    • Time Frame: 48 months after starting treatment
    • Patient Health Questionnaire 9 Item [Range: 0-27]; improvement is indicated by lower scores
  • Change in severity of anxiety symptoms as measured by the Cross-D anxiety scale
    • Time Frame: 6 months after starting treatment
    • Cross-cutting Dimensional Scale [range: 0-32]; improvement is indicated by lower scores
  • Change in severity of anxiety symptoms as measured by the Cross-D anxiety scale
    • Time Frame: 48 months after starting treatment
    • Cross-cutting Dimensional Scale [range: 0-32]; improvement is indicated by lower scores

Secondary Measures

  • Change in severity of interpersonal problems as measured by the IIP-32
    • Time Frame: 48 months after starting treatment
    • Inventory of Interpersonal Problems 32 [range: 0-4]; improvement is indicated by lower scores
  • Change in quality of life as measured by the WHOQOL-BREF
    • Time Frame: 48 months after starting treatment
    • WHO Quality of Life-BREF [range: 0-100]; improvement is indicated by higher scores
  • Change in structural integration as measured by the OPD-SQS
    • Time Frame: 48 months after starting treatment
    • OPD Structure Quesionnaire Brief [range: 0-4]; improvement is indicated by lower scores
  • Change in level of personality functioning as measured by the LPFS-BF
    • Time Frame: 48 months after starting treatment
    • Level of Personality Functioning Scale-Brief Form [range: 1-4]; improvement is indicated by lower scores
  • Change in self-efficacy as measured by the module “self-efficacy” from the HEALTH-49
    • Time Frame: 48 months after starting treatment
    • Hamburg Modules for the Assessment of Psychosocial Health [range: 0-4]; improvement is indicated by lower scores
  • Change in difficulties in emotion regulation as measured by the DERS-SF
    • Time Frame: 48 months after starting treatment
    • Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale Short Form [range: 1-5]; improvement is indicated by lower scores
  • Change in alexithymia as measured by the TAS-26
    • Time Frame: 48 months after starting treatment
    • Toronto Alexithymia Scale (26 items) [range: 26-130]; improvement is indicated by lower scores

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Depressive Disorder, anxiety disorder or somatic symptom disorder (with comorbid depressive or anxiety disorder) according to DSM-IV (SCID) as main diagnosis – informed consent to participate voluntarily in the study – sufficient German language skills Exclusion Criteria:

  • acute suicidality – diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizophreniform, schizoaffective disorders, and/or psychosis NOS – bipolar disorder – depressive disorder with mood-incongruent psychotic features – paranoid/ schizotypal/ borderline/ or antisocial personality disorder – severe neurological disorder – PTSD with intrusive re-experiencing – clinically relevant substance dependence – psychopharmacological treatment other than antidepressants – other simultaneous psychological treatments – organic cause of depression/anxiety or drug-induced depression/anxiety

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: 70 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of Kassel
  • Collaborator
    • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Katathym Imaginative Psychotherapie (DGKIP)
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Christian Sell, Principal Investigator – University of Kassel
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Christian Sell, Dr., Principal Investigator, University of Kassel
    • Cord Benecke, Prof., Principal Investigator, University of Kassel
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Christian Sell, Dr., +49 561 804, csell@uni-kassel.de

References

Sell, C., Möller, H. & Taubner, S. (2018). Effectiveness of Integrative Imagination- and Trance-Based Psychodynamic Therapies: Guided Imagery Psychotherapy & Hypnopsychotherapy. Jour-nal of Psychotherapy Integration, 28(1), 90-113. doi: 10.1037/int0000073

Sell, C., Möller, H. & Taubner, S. (2017). Katathym Imaginative Psychotherapie und Hypnosepsy-chotherapie: Symptomreduktion und Prädiktoren des Behandlungserfolgs. Psychotherapeut, 62, 547-559. doi: 10.1007/s00278-017-0230-8

Sell, C., Schöpfer-Mader, E., Brömmel, B. & Möller, H. (2017). Therapeutisches Vorgehen und In-terventionen in Katathym Imaginativer Psychotherapie, Hypnosepsychotherapie und Autogener Psychotherapie: Entwicklung und Validierung der Therapeutenversion der 'Prozessskala für ima-ginations- und trancebasierte tiefenpsychologische Methoden' (PIT). Psychotherapie Forum, 22(4), 113-126. doi: 10.1007/s00729-017-0102-2

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