A randomized controlled trial that has appeared in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics indicates that a new method for going back to memories may be of help in depression.
Increasingly, research indicates that therapies that target the recall of autobiographical memories as the core foci of interest have promise in the treatment of depression. The integration of reminiscence and cognitive psychotherapies has led to the development of cognitive-reminiscence therapy (CRT), an effective treatment for depression in older adults. Although reminiscence therapies have been empirically validated almost exclusively in older adult populations, Authors tested if they could be equally beneficial for depressed younger adults. In this pilot study, 26 young adults were recruited from a community youth mental health service for 12- to 25-year-olds and randomized to receive CRT or usual care.
Results show that individually administered CRT had large effects on depressive symptoms, which were manifest immediately following the final session, and maintained after 3 months. On secondary outcomes, large effects were found and maintained at follow-up. These findings provide evidence that guided reviewing of autobiographical memory with young adults has effects on a range of psychological resources: self-worth, confidence in the capacity to achieve goals and cope with challenges, the perception of meaning in one's life, and a positive future orientation. These findings are novel in providing preliminary evidence that this intervention approach is feasible and effective for young adults.
Article: Autobiographical Memory-Based Intervention for Depressive Symptoms in Young Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Cognitive-Reminiscence Therapy, Hallford DJ, Mellor D, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, doi: 10.1159/000444417, published June 2016.