Autobiographical memory based interventions are a promising treatment option for emotional disorders

Autobiographical memory based interventions are a promising treatment option for emotional disorders

Disruption to the way that we retrieve autobiographical memories, that is, memories of our personal life experiences, is a key feature of mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Previous research has shown that autobiographical memory disruptions play a key role in maintaining mental health disorders, and as such, novel psychological interventions have been developed which aim to reduce these memory disturbances and thereby symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.

Researchers at the CBU have recently reviewed findings on how well these types of interventions treat symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress, compared to other types of treatment, or no treatment at all. The results showed that autobiographical interventions were effective in improving depression symptoms, but that there is not yet enough evidence to determine how effective the programmes are in treating anxiety and post-traumatic stress. As autobiographical interventions are a short (often taking only a month) and relatively easy to administer, these approaches may offer a promising, cost-effective treatment approach for individuals suffering emotional disturbance.

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