Solving internal conflicts, therapy for depression
News | 11-01-2017

An innovative therapy to treat depression works with the patients’ internal conflicts: the dilemma between two sides of oneself (such as “I would rather be good than happy”). These conflicts, also called implicative dilemmas (ID) are usually hidden by the same person who suffers from them and is not aware of them. This research by Adrián Montesano shows that, indeed, people who solve these ID and build narrative reconstruction about themselves are the ones who show an improvement with depression symptoms. “Professionals –when encountering cases in which depression symptoms linger- must pay attention to the internal conflicts of the patients, regardless of the drug or psychological treatment they are using”, says Montesano.

In an article awarded with an Honorable Mention of the José Manuel Blecua Prize of the Board of Trustees, Montesano analyses a group of patients with depression that followed a project on internal conflicts. One of the studied factors is the way in which they solve these internal conflicts, related to changes in the idea patients have on themselves. This is done through the analysis of the innovative moments (IM) throughout the treatment, among which there are high and low intensity moments. A bigger presence of high intensity IM and a high level of speech reconstruction on oneself –are related to a significant improvement on depression symptoms.

Montesano highlights the chapter applied to research. “Therapy through ID is combinable with other interventions and can be used in different psychological and drug treatments” says the researcher. The awarded article, entitled “Self-narrative reconstruction after dilemma-focused therapy for depression: a comparison of good and poor outcome cases”, was published in the journal Psychotherapy Research and results from a doctoral thesis supervised by Professor Guillem Feixas, from the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology. In fact, the research is framed in a work line on ID resolution as a psychological therapy of the Research Group on Intervention in Clinical and Health Psychology of the UB. At this moment, Montesano is combining his researching task at the University of Barcelona –focusing his research on depression on the case of patients with fibromyalgia- with a post-doctoral stay at the University of Minho in Portugal, where he works in the field of couple counselling and sex therapy.

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