Psychology Colloquium: Professor Peter McEvoy (School of Psychology, Curtin University)
School of Psychology, Curtin University
Title: Can imagery-based techniques enhance outcomes from cognitive behaviour group therapy for social anxiety disorder? Outcomes from a randomised controlled trial
Abstract: Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is one of the most common mental disorders, and it can have severely detrimental impacts on an individual’s ability to reach their social and occupational potential. People with SAD have a core fear of evaluation from others, which is associated with a range of maintaining factors such as negative thoughts and images relating to social threat, avoidance and safety behaviours, self-focused attention, negative core beliefs about the self and others, and anticipatory and post-event processing (i.e., rumination). This colloquium will outline the rationale for incorporating mental imagery into CBT before describing some of the imagery ‘enhancements’ used in this new treatment. A range of published and unpublished primary and secondary cognitive, behavioural, affective, and psychophysiological outcomes will be reported from a recently completed randomised controlled trial comparing the ‘imagery enhanced’ to a more traditional CBT approach.