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01-02-2013 | Original Article | Uitgave 1/2013

Cognitive Therapy and Research 1/2013

Acceptance-Enhanced Expressive Writing Prevents Symptoms in Participants with Low Initial Depression

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 1/2013
Emily S. Baum, Stephanie S. Rude
Belangrijke opmerkingen
This article is based on the dissertation of the first author.


Traditional expressive writing (EW) and EW augmented by emotion-acceptance instructions (EWEA) were compared to non-emotional control writing for their ability to forestall depression symptoms in undergraduates with high or low initial levels of depression symptomatology. EWEA instructions encouraged participants to take a more accepting, “emotion friendly” approach toward expressive writing, stressing the importance of “staying present” with difficult emotional experiences non-judgmentally and with openness. Writing condition interacted significantly with initial depression such that at the 5-week posttest, EWEA was more beneficial than control writing for participants with low to mild initial depression symptoms (CESD <17) and EW was more beneficial than control writing for participants with very low initial depression symptoms (CESD <8). But for the EW condition, this effect was reversed such that participants in this condition with high initial depression (CESD >26) fared worse at posttest than those in the control group.

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