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General Psychological Processes and Neuroscience

261: Experiencing and Embodying The Compassionate Self: The Impact of Practice Quality in a Compassion Training Program

Marcela Matos, CINEICC, University of Coimbra; Cristiana Duarte, CINEICC, University of Coimbra; University of Leeds; Joana Duarte, CINEICC, University of Coimbra; Royal Holloway University of London; José Pinto-Gouveia, CINEICC, University of Coimbra; Paul Gilbert, Centre for Compassion Research and Training, University of Derby Sérgio Carvalho, CINEICC, University of Coimbra

Introduction:
Even though research has supported the efficacy of compassion mind training (CMT) on the promotion of well-being, the impact of the quality of the practice was yet to be studied. This paper explores indicators of practice quality of a brief compassion mind training (CMT) intervention and their impact on the development of an inner sense of one's compassionate self (CS) and a range of self-report measures.
Method:
Participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: Compassionate Mind Training (CMT; n = 77) and Wait-List Control. Participants in the CMT condition practiced a range of CMT practices during two weeks. Each week, participants completed a feedback questionnaire, measuring practice frequency, helpfulness and embodiment of the practices in everyday life. Self-report measures of compassion, positive affect, shame, self-criticism, fears of compassion, and psychopathological symptoms were also completed at pre and post.
Results:
Practice frequency was associated with the frequency and easiness of embodiment of the CS. Perceived helpfulness of the practices was related to greater embodiment of the CS and to increases in compassion, reassured self, relaxedand safe affect, and decreases in self-criticism. The embodiment variables of the CS were associated with higher compassion for the self, for others and from others, and with improvements in reassured self, safe affect and compassionate goals. Embodiment of the CS and perceived helpfulness of the practices predicted compassion for the self and experience of compassion from others at post-intervention.
Discussion:
Perceiving compassion cultivation practices as helpful and being able to embody the CS in everyday life are key to foster self-compassion and the experience of receiving compassion from others, as well as to promote feelings of safeness, contentment and calmness.

200: Effects of cognitive and metacognitive training on adults presenting ADHD

Amélie Dentz,Chantal Martin Soelch, University of Fribourg University

Clinical guidelines recommend non-pharmacological treatments in conjunction with medication for the treatment of ADHD (Cortese et al., 2015; European ADHD Guidelines Group, 2013). Cognitive training is one type of non-pharmacological treatment used in ADHD (Cortese et al., 2015; European ADHD Guidelines Group, 2013). Cognitive training improves cognitive deficits through specific exercises during intensive training sessions (Rutledge, Bos, McClure, & Schweitzer, 2012). Cognitive training is based on principles of brain plasticity with the aim to train cognitive function and to improve cognitive deficits in ADHD (Klingberg et al., 2010). Dovis, Van der Oord, Wiers, & Prins (2015) indicated that transfers to other deficits might be increased by tailoring cognitive function training, adding more ecological training tasks and metacognitive session.  Cognitive and metacognitive training effects have been rarely studied among adults and adolescents with ADHD (Gropper, 2014, Dentz et al., 2017). The primary objective of this pilot study and meta-analysis was to examine the effects of cognitive training and metacognitive program among adults with ADHD on ADHD symptoms. A secondary objective was to examine the generalization of effects to attentional, executive functions and inhibition. Participant will train with Presco (Scientific Brain Training Pro, 2008). Metacognition will also be included. Cognitive training lasts  five weeks and takes place at home. Five sessions of one hour of metacognition will be added. First result and case study are presented. Future clinical application are discussed

 

223: Why should we use other methods than self-reported measures? The example of perfectionism

Julie Rivière, Thierry Kosinski, & Céline Douilliez, PSITEC Lab, University of Lille

Introduction:In psychopathology research, one the most popular method of conducting research is questionnaires, in clinical and sub-clinical samples. When one seeks to evaluate psychopathological symptoms, personality traits or psychological processes, there are many validated questionnaires, used by researchers and clinicians. They are a convenient way to obtain information from a target population, easy to collect and to analyse. However, it is established that the self-reported measurement method includes a risk of biases, and in recent years, several researchers have focused on alternative methods. In this presentation, we will take the example of perfectionism, which can be defined as the tendency to establish and maintain very high performance standards or personal goals, as well as a strong tendency towards self-criticism (Burns, 1980). There are more than 15 self-reported questionnaires that evaluate perfectionism as a general construct, in addition to several questionnaires focused on specific domains, such as sport, performance, parenting, or physical appearance. The large majority of studies examining the links between perfectionism and psychopathological symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders) or more general outcomes (e.g., well-being, stress, rumination) used self-reported measures (for a review, see Egan et al., 2011).Moreover, most of them are cross-sectional and correlational. While self-reported measures method is still used a lot in psychopathology research, there is some unwillingness about the exclusive use of questionnaires for two major reasons: the biases of the questionnaires, and the fact that cross-sectional correlational studies using questionnaires are not appropriate for making causal inferences about the link between variables. Those pitfalls need to be overcome in order to fine-tune our understanding of the way perfectionism contributes to psychopathology. Objectives:Using research on perfectionism as an example, the aims of this presentation are twofold. First, we will describe various types of biases in questionnaires and some possible alternatives to this method (i.e., implicit measures and behavioural measures). Second, we will present the idea that while cross-sectional correlational studies are not appropriate for making causal inferences, using questionnaires have some advantages, and that self-reported measures could be used in alternatives to the cross-sectional studies (i.e., longitudinal studies and ecological momentary assessment method). Discussion/Conclusion:These conclusions point out research and clinical implications about the self-reported measures and their alternatives, mainly in research about perfectionism and more generally in psychopathology research.

80: Toward a richer conceptualization of therapy: classical conditioning processes during the therapeutic interaction.

Gladis Lee Pereira, Víctor Estal Muñoz, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Ricardo de Pascual Verdú, Universidad Europea de Madrid; Giulia Beggio, María Xesús Froxán-Parga, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Introduction: During the last few years, the number of studies aiming to clarify the processes of change that occur during therapy has increased. Until now, from the analysis and behaviour modification view, therapy has been only understood as a process of shaping, where the role of the therapist is to reinforce or to punish client’s behaviour until the treatment objectives are accomplished. However, this emphasis in operant conditioning has left aside the possible changes that occur due to classical conditioning, especially during the verbal interaction between the therapist and the client. Thus, the aim of this study is to test whether pavlovian associations occurring during the verbal interaction in therapy are related to the client’s clinical change. Method: In order to analyse therapists and clients’ verbal behaviour, video recordings of therapy sessions were used. Since the methodology was observational, a system for categorizing the utterances and analysing their dynamic throughout therapy was constructed. Reliability analyses of the observations were then performed. Results: Data showed a positive relation between the number of pavlovian associations presented by the therapists and both the level of agreement and clients’ wellbeing. Discussion: These results constitute a first step in the study of classical conditioning processes that occur in therapy during the therapist-client verbal interaction. This study brings us closer to a better understanding of the processes of change in therapy, giving rise to a richer conceptualization of it. Future studies could address the role that pavlovian conditioning plays in different types of techniques such us cognitive restructuring, which is mainly driven through language.

 

35: A Closer Look at the Relationship Between Looming Cognitive Style and Anxiety: How do Emotion Regulation Difficulties and Repetitive Negative Thinking Come into Play?

Ece Mina Çetin 1*, Koç University, Istanbul, Ayşe Altan Atalay, Koç University, Istanbul

Previous research emphasized the significance of transdiagnostic and disorder specific vulnerability factors in the development and maintainance of anxiety. Looming Cognitive Style (LCS) is a vulnerability factor which emphasizes the dynamic nature of anxiety-provoking cognitions such that when an externally derived condition triggers anxious thoughts, these thoughts often involve expectations that the unfolding event is rapidly escalating. Several studies provided support for LCS as a cognitive vulnerability factor specific for anxiety disorders, but still limited information is available regarding the possible mechanisms through which LCS relates to anxiety. Building on these research; the aim of the current study was to investigate the roles of transdiagnostic factors (emotion regulation difficulties and repetitive negative thinking) in the relationship between LCS and anxiety. More specifically, emotion regulation difficulties and worry are hypothesized to mediate the relationship between LCS and anxiety. Data were collected from 142 individuals (88 females) between the ages 18 and 63 (M=28, SD=10.50).Participants received a battery composed of questionnaires assessing LCS, worry, emotion regulation difficulties, anxiety, stress and depression. Results of serial mediation analysis indicated that worry and difficulties in emotion regulation act as mediators in the relationship between LCS and anxiety. The findings are discussed under the light of recent studies, especially in terms of the cognitive specificity hypothesis and the exact relationship that allows for the association between LCS and anxiety.


34: Roles of Emotion Regulation Deficits and Behavioral Inhibition in Abnormal Eating Habits: The Effect of Sex Differences

Aslı Bursalıoğlu, Ayşe Altan-Atalay, Koç University

Obesity has become a major health issue spreading worldwide, and it has been shown that abnormal eating habits such as emotional and external eating are associated with obesity rates. Available research indicates that sex differences exist in maladaptive eating patterns. More specifically, overeating in males and females is explained by different aspects of experiencing emotions and different temperamental characteristics. Thus, it is important to explore such mechanisms explaining the inclination for engaging in abnormal eating behaviors in order to understand sex differences in obesity. In the current study, the relationship between problematic eating patterns and how emotion regulation strategies and behavioral inhibition influence them was investigated. The study was collected from 289 participants (189 females) with ages ranging between 18 and 76 (M=40.82, SD=14.06). Participants were administered self-report measures assessing level of difficulty in emotion regulation, temperamental characteristics, and abnormal eating habits. The results of hierarchical regression analyses indicate that external eating is positively associated with behavioral inhibition, and limited access to emotion regulation strategies result in more external eating in females. In addition, females who have lack of emotional clarity also engage in emotional eating behavior more frequently. In males, limited access to emotion regulation strategies is associated with more emotional eating. On the other hand, only difficulties in engaging in goal directed activities were associated with external eating behavior. In conclusion, emotional eating and external eating are explained by different underlying mechanisms, and sex differences are present in the occurrence of these eating habits.

331: Emergency C-section, maternal satisfaction and emotion regulation strategies: Effects on PTSD and postpartum depression symptoms

Deninotti, J., Universite Grenoble Alpes, Université Savoie Mont Blanc, LIPPC2S, 38000 Grenoble, France; Denis, A., Universite Savoie Mont Blanc, LIPPC2S, 38000 Grenoble, France; Berdoulat, E., Universite Grenoble Alpes, Université Savoie Mont Blanc, LIPPC2S, 38000 Grenoble, France.

The present study investigates the relationship between a mother’s emotion regulation strategy (antecedent-focused vs. response-focused), her satisfaction with childbirth, and posttraumatic and/or depressive symptoms towards unplanned C-section. Fifty French participants aged 18-35 (M= 27.10; S.D. =3.99) were recruited on exchange groups about C-section and completed four self-report measures online, up to two years after childbirth. These measures assessed emotion regulation strategies used, birth satisfaction, postpartum depression symptoms and PTSD symptoms. Main results indicate: (1) Mothers who use expressive suppression, a response-focused strategy, are less satisfied with childbirth. (2) Emotion regulation, when combined with maternal satisfaction, can predict posttraumatic stress score and depression score. These results imply that the expression of emotions should be encouraged during labour and delivery, especially by providing as much social support as possible, and promoting more personal control in maternal care.

293: Relationship between Alexithymia and Aggression in Substance Dependent Individuals

Elena Psederska, Bulgarian Addictions Institute

Anger and hostility have been recognized as robust risk factors for drug use and strong triggers for drug relapse. One of the basic steps in CBT with substance dependent individuals (SDIs) is aimed at regulating anger by recognizing its earliest somatic signs. In this endeavour alexithymia, related to deficits in emotional processing and difficulties in identifying feelings could impede therapeutic efficacy by decreasing accurate emotion recognition. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of alexithymia on aggression among individuals dependent on different types of drugs. We tested 281 participants (53 met DSM-IV criteria for opiate dependence, 58 met DSM-IV criteria for stimulant dependence, 69 met criteria for polysubstance dependence and 101 were non-substance dependent controls) with the Buss-Warren Aggression Questionnaire (AQ) and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Alexithymia was positively related to anger and hostility in all groups. In the amphetamine group there was a significant positive correlation between alexithymia and physical aggression (r = .416), whereas in the polysubstance group alexithymia was positively related to verbal aggression (r = .317). In addition, results indicated that alexithymic SDIs (N=55) were more prone to aggression as opposed to their non-alexithymic counterparts (N= 125). Results suggest that alexithymia is a significant risk factor for aggression in SDIs. Assessing and addressing alexithymia could have significant applications in relapse prevention programs and psychotherapy of substance use disorders.

321: Building Compassionate schools: promoting socio-emotional skills with teachers.

Marcela Matos; Isabel Albuquerque, CINEICC, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Coimbra ; Marina Cunha, CINEICC, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Coimbra; Miguel Torga Superior Institute, Coimbra, Margarida Pedroso Lima; Lara Palmeira; Sérgio Carvavlho, CINEICC, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Coimbra

Mindfulness and compassionate-based interventions have received increasing empirical support, developing adaptive emotional regulation skills central to stress regulation and promoting well-being. These interventions have shown numerous benefits in diverse populations and contexts, such as in mental health indicators (eg, lower depression, stress, anxiety), physical health (eg, regulation of neurochemical processes associated with the stress response) and at an interpersonal level (eg, greater empathy and compassion, improved interpersonal and social relations). Recent studies show that teachers present a high risk of professional stress, damaging their well-being and professional performance. In addition, there is a high prevalence of mental health problems in the school context, including teachers and students. Thus, it is crucial to promote adaptive cognitive and emotional processes that provide teachers with more resources to deal with the challenges of the school context. This project aims to test the effectiveness of compassionate mind training (CMT) in reducing burnout and promoting well-being among teachers, as well as evaluating its indirect impact on students. Initially, a pilot study will be conducted with a sample of about 40 teachers. Subsequently, the participating schools will be randomized into two groups: the experimental group (EG) who will receive the 6-week intervention and the control group (CG) that will be on the waiting list. The efficacy of the intervention will be evaluated through self-response questionnaires and a measure of cardiac variability. It is expected that the implementation of  CMT with teachers will allow the development of more adaptive and effective strategies to deal with challenging situations, contributing to the promotion of well-being in teachers and in the school community. At the end of the intervention, it is expected that the EG reveals, when compared to the CG, significant improvements in the indicators of well-being, greater cardiac variability and increased competences of mindfulness and compassion, as well as the decrease of levels of burnout, depression, anxiety and stress.

320: The other side of the mood – Burden in caregivers of patients with mood disorders

Cabral, J., Barreto-Carvalho, C, University of Azores, Portugal; Castilho, P., University of Coimbra, Portugal; Pato, C., SUNY Downstate Medical Center, College of Medicine, New York, USA

Mood Disorders (MD) are the mental pathology with greater expression in the world, involving prejudicial consequences, not only for the diagnosed individuals occupational and psychosocial functioning but also for the people around them. In the past years, studies assessing the family/caregiver burden have emerged, revealing that informal healthcare to psychiatric patients has a negative effect, and can compromise their health and capability to take care. This burden can be amplified in locations were patient psychiatric support services and family support services are scarce or hardly accessible. We intend to present the results from an ongoing study aiming to explore the impact that MD may have on the family/informal caregiver (IC) of the Azorean Islands patients. At the moment we are still concluding the data collection, from a sample of nearly 80 Azorean IC or relatives of people with any kind of MD diagnosis. We resorted to a set of questions and self-report measures that assess variables related with: type of support provided by the family/IC to the patient; illness severity of the cared person; caregiver burden; quality of life; psychologic symptoms (depression, anxiety, stress); etc. We hope the results in this study allow recognition of different impact levels of MD in the families/IC, as well as to identify some of the factors that can contribute to these variations. This study can bring important clues to improve/adjust the support provided to the patients and their family/IC, so that these can meet their needs and reduce the negative impact of MD.


127: Is Emotion Regulation Mediating the Relationship between Personality Traits and Internet Addiction?
Arzu ÇALIŞKAN SARI, Özden YALÇINKAYA ALKAR, Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University

Internet has influenced people’s life both positively and negatively from past to present. If negative impacts as internet addiction on adolescents are considered, adolescents with internet addiction often have problems with their school performance, daily routines, mood, and family relationship. There can be several factors that predict internet addiction. The excessive use of the internet and its relation with personality traits have been studied a lot depending on many different theories. In addition, according to some researchers, pathological internet use is commonly related to impulse control disorder and so, internet addiction can be linked with emotion control capacity. This study aims to figure out the relationship between personality characteristics, emotion regulation strategies as cognitive reappraisal and suppression and internet addiction behavior in young people. One hundred and ninety three people who are between 18-25 years old participated and information related to socio-demographics, emotion regulation, internet addiction, and personality obtained. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to identify the predictors of internet addiction. Because of age differences and the page of book numbers read in weekly related to internet addiction, age and the page of book numbers read in weekly were entered in the first step using the enter method to the regression analysis, followed by the five personality traits and then emotion regulation strategies in the final step, 26% of the total variance in internet addiction scores were explained by predictor variables. In the last step, cognitive reappraisal, the number of book pages read and consciousness personality trait predict the internet addiction of young adults significantly. When the cognitive reappraisal, consciousness and the number of book pages read increase, reporting internet addiction scores decreases. Furthermore, results pointed out that the effects of openness to experience, neuroticism and agreeableness as personality traits were mediated by cognitive reappraisal on internet addiction symptoms. When agreeableness and openness to experience personality traits increase, cognitive reappraisal also increase and it decreases internet addiction of young adults. When neuroticism personality trait increases, cognitive reappraisal of participants decreases and it increases internet addiction. Additionally, there were negative correlations between conscientiousness, openness to experience and agreeableness personality trait and internet addiction while there was a positive correlation between neuroticism and internet addiction. When the age of participants increased, the use of cognitive reappraisal also increased. The study was concluded by emphasizing to implications in the area of emotion regulation especially programs that targeting the use of cognitive reappraisal strategy to young adults to decrease internet addiction as well as future directions about internet addiction and its related topics. Key words: internet addiction, personality traits, emotion regulation, mediation

273: The effects of early life stress on fear generalisation

Nathalie D Elliott, R. Richardson
School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Early life stress contributes to the risk of developing an anxiety disorder. Given that anxiety disorders have a devastating effect on an individual’s quality of life, it is important to identify factors involved in their pathogenesis. One factor that has been implicated in the development of these disorders is generalisation, yet generalisation has never been investigated in the context of early life stress. Thus, the aim of these experiments was to examine whether early life stress enhances contextual fear generalisation, using a rodent model. Rats were exposed to maternal separation, a model for early life stress, where pups were separated from the dam from postnatal days 2-14, or reared as normal. In adulthood, rats were trained to fear a context through a conditioning procedure. The following day, animals were tested for fear to the conditioning context or to a similar, but novel, context. As predicted, unstressed rats showed good discrimination between the two contexts whereas stressed rats expressed fear generalisation. In a follow up experiment, stressed rats discriminated when tested one hour after conditioning, indicating that the faster rates of generalisation observed in stressed rats does not stem from a general inability to discriminate. In two additional experiments, treatments were used that have been previously shown to reduce generalisation in unstressed rats, yet neither of these manipulations attenuated generalisation in stressed rats. Taken together, these findings suggest that early life stress may increase vulnerability to later life anxiety by enhancing fear generalisation.

 

 

272: Making lasting memories: Examining the effect of novelty on long-term memory formation in infant rodents

Sarah Bae, Rick Richardson
School of Psychology, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Childhood memories are rapidly forgotten yet adverse early life experiences have pervasive and profound effects on emotional development, rendering individuals vulnerable to psychopathology across the lifespan. Understanding the processes involved in memory formation during this critical developmental period will provide insight into this paradox. Therefore, in this study, we used a behavioural paradigm that has been shown to be involved in modulating the formation of long-term memories (LTM) in adults (i.e., exposure to novelty, which enhances protein synthesis). Specifically, we examined whether novelty also modulates LTM in infant rodents.    Infant rats were trained to fear a context.  Those given brief open field (i.e., novel environment) exposure 1-, but not 2-, hours prior to training exhibited enhanced retention when tested one day later (Experiments 1 and 2), but comparable retention when tested shortly after training (Experiment 2). Thus, exploration of an open field facilitates subsequent context fear memories by modulating processes involved in memory consolidation rather than those involved in encoding. While exploration of an open field did not lead to better memory when animals were tested 3-days later (Experiment 3), a pre-test reminder shock led to a more pronounced reinstatement effect in rats exposed to the open field 1-hour before training (Experiment 4). Overall, these findings suggest that exploration of an unrelated environment facilitates LTM formation in infant rats. Unlike reported findings in adults, however, this environment does not need to be novel and a similar facilitation effect is observed even when the environment is familiar (Experiment 5).

 

256: Neural Correlates of Practicing Self-Control: The Domain of Anger Provocation

Joanne R. Beames
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Self-control is fundamental to adaptive functioning. Given the widespread impact that self-control has on health, well-being, and interpersonal relationships, increasing self-control might be beneficial for individuals and communities. One strategy that reliably increases self-control is self-control training (SCT). This training involves repeatedly practicing self-controlled behaviors over time and acts to increase people’s ability to inhibit incipient urges or desires. The alluring part of SCT for researchers is that practicing self-control in one domain (e.g., regulating verbal speech) increases self-controlled behaviors in other, untrained domains (e.g., anger and aggression). Although SCT is effective, the underlying neural mechanisms have remained elusive. Our fMRI study examined whether SCT changes activity in neural networks related to self-control following anger provocation. Forty-five healthy young men and women completed two-weeks of SCT or active monitoring and were then insulted during scanning. Activation in the middle frontal gyrus (MFG), insula, and hippocampus increased from pre- to post-provocation in the control. Trait aggression positively correlated with prefrontal and subcortical regions relevant to anger in both conditions, whereas negatively correlated with the MFG in the control. Amygdala-prefrontal functional connectivity was stronger in the SCT condition following provocation. Our results support neurological and psychological theories suggesting that anger is a product of poor self-control. Our results also suggest that SCT reduces the cognitive effort needed to exert control over angry impulses and has beneficial effects for anger-prone individuals. To this end, SCT might be an effective adjunct strategy for reducing anger in individuals with impulse-control problems or emotion dysregulation.

323: Does post-learning stress selectively enhance emotional memory?
Mingming Lin, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science(National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry)

Existing evidence indicates that post-learning stress can enhance memory. The present study used high-arousal emotional words and low-arousal neutral words and then employed a 24-hour delay to investigate the effects of post-learning stress on memory, namely, whether or not stress enhances emotional memory. Forty undergraduate students were assigned to a stress group or a control group. On the first day, the participants completed a 24-word memory task. The tool contained eight neutral, eight high-arousal positive, and eight high-arousal negative words. The participants then performed an immediate free recall. The stress group participants were subsequently subjected to five minutes of white noise as acute stressor, whereas those in the control group were not subjected to any stressor. On the second day (24 hours later), the participants returned to the laboratory; a delayed free recall test and a recognition test were conducted. The stress group participants exhibited a significant subjective stress response following exposure to acute stress. They likewise showed a tendency of less memory-decrease from immediate recall on day 1 to delayed recall on day 2, as well as higher recognition performance, but only for neutral words. This result suggests an enhancing effect of post-learning stress on neutral but not for emotional memory. No selectively enhanced effect for arousal or emotional valence was detected. However, we found a correlation between memory performance for negative words and trait anxiety. As such, there may be interaction effects between the effect of post-learning stress on emotional memory and individual difference on emotional memory.

 

30: Moderator role of Looming Cognitive Style (LCS) in the Relationship between Attentional Control and Anxiety: Difference between Shifting and Focusing Dimensions
Ayse Altan-Atalay, Koc University

Attentional control that is composed of shifting and focusing dimensions had been suggested as a transdiagnostic risk factor. On the other hand, Looming Cognitive Style (LCS) had been documented as a trait based characteristic that is associated with high levels of subjectively felt anxiety. The present study investigated whether individual differences in LCS moderated the association of shifting and focusing with anxiety. Participants were 402 individuals between ages 18 and 68 who filled out questionnaires assessing attentional control, LSC, anxiety, and depression. Results of the moderation analysis indicated that at high levels of LCS, low shifting ability was associated with more intense anxiety. A similar relationship with LCS was not observed for focusing. In concluded that for individuals who have high LCs and low shifting ability, content of and distress coming from looming images is experienced in a more intense manner since these individuals cannot shift to another (perhaps less anxiety provoking) content more flexibly and thus the duration of the looming process is prolonged and leads to higher levels of anxiety. The findings are discussed under the light of ego-depletion model.

 

255: eBEfree: An app-delivered programme based on mindfulness, values and compassion for binge eating – Study protocol

Pinto-Gouveia, J., . Center for Research in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Behavioral Intervention (CINEICC), Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Coimbra; Duarte, C., Center for Research in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Behavioral Intervention (CINEICC), Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Coimbra; School of Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds; Palmeira, L., Carvalho, S., Matos, M., Ferreira, C., Joana, D., Cunha, M., Castilho, P., Center for Research in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Behavioral Intervention (CINEICC), Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Coimbra; Sousa, B., Cordeiro, L., Simões, P.3 OneSource

Introduction:
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a public health concern given its prevalence, comorbidity and how it affects the onset, severity and treatment of obesity. There is a growing interest in the development of psychological interventions for binge eating (BE), namely based on contextual-behavioural approaches. BEfree is a novel 12-week group intervention for BE that articulates mindfulness, compassion and values-based components. BEfree was found to be effective in diminishing BE symptomatology, weight stigma, shame and in improving quality of life in women with BED and obesity. This project aims at developing and testing the efficacy of the eBEfree: the BEfree adapted into an ICT-delivery format. 
Method:
The eBEfree toolkit will include sequential modules with psychoeducation on BE; mindfulness and compassion practices; exercises to promote psychological flexibility and values-based actions. The toolkit will emphasize daily self-monitoring (i.e., practices frequency, eating behaviour and physical activity). The study will employ a 2x2 factorial nonrandomized controlled design by comparing the results of the eBEfree intervention (n = 70) and the original BEfree (n = 31). 
Results:
The primary outcomes will be: reductions in binge eating symptomatology and other body image and disordered eating symptoms. The secondary outcomes will be: reductions in weight and depressive symptoms, and improvements in wellbeing. The eBEfree is expected to present greater cost-effectiveness than TAU and eBEFree. 
Discussion: 
This project will stimulate innovative and cost-effective ways of providing healthcare options to the wider community with BE problems, and will contribute to target the healthcare burden of obesity.

 

327:Competitive Mentality and Transgender Identity: The role of Shame Traumatic Memories, Shame, Fears of Compassion and Depressive Symptoms

Frederica Carvalho, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Coimbra, Portugal; Lígia Fonseca;  Graça Santos, Genito-Urinary and Sexual Reconstruction Unit (URGUS), Coimbra University Hospital, Portugal; Paula Castilho, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Coimbra, Portugal ; Center for research in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Behavioral Intervention. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Coimbra, Portugal.

1. INTRODUCTION Socially constructed social hierarchies and ranks (e.g., rich vs. poor, oppression) have huge impacts on people’s psychological and physical health and well-being. The human brain is particularly shaped and evolved for social processing and is highly choreographed through relationships making both early and current social contexts central to understanding mental health problems. In fact, humans have become a species deeply reliant on the support and cooperation of in-group others, so much so that most human competition now is to create good impressions in the minds of others about the self. To our knowledge, there are no studies exploring the role of competitive mentality in transgender individuals. Specifically, we aimed to explore the relationship between shame traumatic memories, feelings of shame, fears of compassion and depressive symptoms 2. METHOD The present study used a questionnaire design. Day-patients diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria by the Sexology Consultation (specifically, in the Genito-Urinary and Sexual Reconstruction Unit) from the Coimbra University Hospital are being recruited and completed a set of self-report questionnaires measuring the variables in study. 3. RESULTS This is a study which is still underway and we predict to have results by July, 2018. We hypothesize that transgender individuals reported shame memories to be more central to their self-identity and life story, had increased levels of external shame, fears of compassion and depressive symptoms. On the other hand, these individuals revealed lower levels of self-compassion and social safeness, as expected.  

 

251:Core Beliefs across varying diagnoses as a starting point in CBT
Strauss Wolfgang  & Strauss Johanna, Heinrich-Heine-University, Behaviour Therapy Unit, Duesseldorf, Germany, 2University of Applied Sciences Science

The concept of core beliefs is a central part of the cognitive model of cognitive behavioral therapy. Little is known as to the number of patients, presenting with different diagnoses, spontaneously reporting such core beliefs at the beginnng of psychotherapy. A study was conducted on 234 consecutive reports, which had been written by 28 different therapists in Germany after two or three anamnestic sessions. In applying for fee reimbursement from insurers, therapists are required to submit such reports to experts of the relevant health insurance-company. These reports were examined in order to ascertain the percentage of patients who spontaniously reported such core beliefs. In 88% of these reports, core beliefs were directly reported. No specific patterns of core beliefs were found which could be attributed to the different diagnoses (anxiety disorders, OCD, depression, schizophrenia, personality disorders, eating disorders). This finding is in line with genetic studies (Cross-Disorder Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, 2013) and structural brain change studies in psychiatric disorders (Goodwind et al., 2013). These also show that there is a common biological denominator in psychiatric disorders. The role of core beliefs as a starting point in CBT across varying diagnosis will be discussed.

249: The relationship between insecure attachment, trait anxiety and depressive symptoms in a clinical sample: mediating role of emotion regulation strategies

Hyu  Jung  Huh,  Stress Clinic, Health Promotion Center, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine; Bo  Ram  Jeong,Ji  Hyun  Hwang,  Catholic Emotion Research Laboratory, Catholic Biomedical Industrial Institute, Seoul, Korea; Jeong-Ho  Chae,  Catholic Emotion Research Laboratory, Catholic Biomedical Industrial Institute, Seoul, Korea;  Department of Psychiatry, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine

Introduction Attachment theory posits that attachment has an impact on emotion regulation ability, which can attribute to occurrence of affective symptoms. Empirical data on associations between adult attachment and trait anxiety/depressive symptoms via emotion regulation ability in a clinical sample is, however, scarce. The present study addresses this omission. 2. Methods Patients with depressive disorder (n=261) completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Trait Anxiety Inventory (TAI), Experience in Close relationship (ECR), and Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ). We employed structural equation modeling (SEM) and simple mediation analyses. 3. Results The indirect effect of reappraisal was significant in the relationship between both styles of insecure attachment and trait anxiety/depressive symptoms. Although repression was correlated with attachment avoidance, the indirect effect of repression was not significant in the relationship between attachment styles and psychiatric symptoms. 4. Discussion Our results suggest that reappraisal is an important factor for symptoms severity of depression in patients with insecure attachment. In addition, insecure attachment also related to trait anxiety, a vulnerable factor for depression, via reappraisal.

 

195: Experiencing and Embodying The Compassionate Self: The Impact of Practice Quality in a Compassion Training Program

Marcela Matos,  CINEICC, University of Coimbra; Cristiana Duarte, CINEICC, University of Coimbra; University of Leeds;  Joana Duarte, CINEICC, University of Coimbra; Royal Holloway University of London; José Pinto-Gouveia, CINEICC, University of Coimbra; Paul Gilbert, Centre for Compassion Research and Training, University of Derby Sérgio Carvalho, CINEICC, University of Coimbra;

Introduction: Even though research has supported the efficacy of compassion mind training (CMT) on the promotion of well-being, the impact of the quality of the practice was yet to be studied. This paper explores indicators of practice quality of a brief compassion mind training (CMT) intervention and their impact on the development of an inner sense of one's compassionate self (CS) and a range of self-report measures. Method: Participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: Compassionate Mind Training (CMT; n = 77) and Wait-List Control. Participants in the CMT condition practiced a range of CMT practices during two weeks. Each week, participants completed a feedback questionnaire, measuring practice frequency, helpfulness and embodiment of the practices in everyday life. Self-report measures of compassion, positive affect, shame, self-criticism, fears of compassion, and psychopathological symptoms were also completed at pre and post. Results: Practice frequency was associated with the frequency and easiness of embodiment of the CS. Perceived helpfulness of the practices was related to greater embodiment of the CS and to increases in compassion, reassured self, relaxedand safe affect, and decreases in self-criticism. The embodiment variables of the CS were associated with higher compassion for the self, for others and from others, and with improvements in reassured self, safe affect and compassionate goals. Embodiment of the CS and perceived helpfulness of the practices predicted compassion for the self and experience of compassion from others at post-intervention. Discussion: Perceiving compassion cultivation practices as helpful and being able to embody the CS in everyday life are key to foster self-compassion and the experience of receiving compassion from others, as well as to promote feelings of safeness, contentment and calmness.

165: Altered patterns of perception in obesity

Mayron Picolo, Chantal Martin-Soelch, Unit of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland

Obesity is a concerning issue in current times. Studies suggest that, if progression continues as seen in the last years, it might be too late to avoid an obesity epidemics. Research has shown that these patients seem to have altered perceptions both towards self- and external-related aspects, as seen also in Anorexia Nervosa. Therefore, the aim of this paper was to review available studies that specifically analyzed the relation between perceptive behaviors and obesity or overweight. Altered perception has been found towards one’s own body weight / body image and satiety (categorized here as self-related perception) as well as food palatability and nutritional characteristics, distance and steepness (external-related perception). We also found a few psychotherapeutic strategies that focused on perception for dealing with eating disorders and obesity, which have shown promising results in preliminary studies. Disparities between perceived and actual reality seems to be constant in patients with obesity, but few studies have focused on self-related perception and even fewer on interventions regarding this aspect.

Possible problems in the referral of clients from cognitive behavioral approaches to less structured therapeutic approaches. Presentation of the conclusions from the practical work in Bulgarian context with clients, referred from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to family therapy (FT)  

Kalina Dzhambazova, Adaptacia Outpatient Mental Health Clinic, Bulgarian Association of Family Therapy
Kiril Bozgunov, Adaptacia Outpatient Mental Health Clinic,Bulgarian Addictions Institute
Irina Lazarova, M.D., Adaptacia Mental Health Clinic, Bulgarian Association for Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy

In its essence cognitive behavioral approaches are problem centered, have a specific goal, focused on the present. The therapeutic sessions follow a particular structure that aims to educate clients to identify, evaluate, and respond to their dysfunctional thoughts and assumptions, which contribute to the symptom. The systemic approach is aimed at exploring, understanding and changing the relations in the systemic/family context as causing and sustaining the existence of a symptom, belonging to the individual. A key contribution to change besides the therapeutic alliance is the regulation of the emotional processes in human systems.  

During the practical work with the clients referred from CBT to FT, we encountered a certain type of problems related to the structure of the therapeutic session, the measurement of the results and progress in therapy, and the maintenance of a stable therapeutic alliance.

This allowed us to draw conclusions for specific algorithms in the referral both from CBT to FT and vice versa, to enable an adequate succession, to validate the contributions of each of the approaches, and enable the client to make a smooth transition between different paradigms in order to make the most of the therapeutic process.