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The Effects of Positive Self-Instruction: A Controlled Trial

Abstract

In this article it is argued that positiveself-instruction can be an important aid for thetreatment of emotional disorders. A review of theliterature revealed that studies on the effects ofpositive self-instruction are often unclear andgenerally hampered by contamination between differenttreatment techniques. The present study tests theeffects of positive self-instruction in isolation. Apre-post controlled trial with participantscharacterized by low self-esteem was carried out. In theexperimental condition 24 participants were instructedto write a short positive text about themselves and to read this text twice daily for a period of 3weeks. In the control condition 26 participants carriedout a neutral task which consisted of writing theendings of a few short stories. Positiveself-instruction had positive effects on self-esteem and onfeelings of inadequacy, especially in those participantswho were intrinsically motivated to carry out theexperimental task. The intervention had no significant effects on a number of personality traitmeasures, which negates demand characteristics as analternative explanation for our findings. Implicationsfor clinical practice and research areconsidered.

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Lange, A., Richard, R., Gest, A. et al. The Effects of Positive Self-Instruction: A Controlled Trial. Cognitive Therapy and Research 22, 225–236 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018740725281

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018740725281

  • COGNITIVE THERAPY
  • SELF-ESTEEM
  • SELF-INSTRUCTION
  • SELF-VERBALIZATION