Imagery re-scripting for PTSD: session content and its relation to symptom improvement.
Brown G., Salter C., Parker E., Murray H., Looney K., El Leithy S., Medin E., Novakova B., Wheatley J.
Imagery rescripting (ImRs) is a therapy technique that, unlike traditional re-living techniques, focuses less on exposure and verbal challenging of cognitions and instead encourages patients to directly transform the intrusive imagery to change the depicted course of events in a more desired direction. However, a comprehensive account of how and in what circumstances ImRs brings about therapeutic change is required if treatment is to be optimised, and this is yet to be developed. The present study reports on the development of a coding scheme of ImRs psychotherapy elements identified in the literature as potential ImRs mechanisms. The codes were assessed in relation to short-term outcomes of 27 individuals undergoing ImRs for post-traumatic stress disorder. The timing of the change in the image, degree of activation of the new image and associated cognitive, emotional and physiological processes, self-guided rescripting, rescript believability, narrative coherence and cognitive and emotional shift were identified as being related to symptom change and so are potentially important factors for the re-scripting process.