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Title: Understanding cognitive changes in imagery rescripting : the role of the memory-imagery-self relationship
Author: Cili, Soljana
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 3237
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2012
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Imagery rescripting (IR) is a cognitive-behavioural technique that helps patients to modify the meaning they have attached to negative or traumatic experiences. Although it is effective in addressing memory-related intrusive images and in alleviating disorder-specific symptoms, there is little evidence as to how it works. The aim of this PhD project was to investigate the cognitive changes it promotes. Studies 1 and 2 found that memory recall influences individuals’ sense of self. They report higher state self-esteem, fewer achievement goals, and more recreation/exploration goals after recalling positive memories than after recalling negative ones. They also report more emotional self-cognitions after recalling memories from which they have learnt lessons compared to recalling memories from which they have not abstracted any meaning. Studies 3 and 4 found that exposure and IR may influence individuals’ perception of negative memories and the impact these memories have on them when recalled. After being exposed to such memories and after rescripting them, they perceive these memories as less negative and important for their sense of self. They also report higher state self-esteem and either a weaker or a more positive emotional response after recalling them. The findings suggest that memory recall triggers the activation of different self-representations and that IR may influence this process. By helping individuals modify the meaning they have attached to negative memories, IR may facilitate the integration of these memories within the sense of self. This may make the memories and associated self-representations less salient and less likely to be activated in the presence of distressing stimuli. The implications of these findings for imagery research and clinical practice are discussed.
Supervisor: Stopa, Lusia ; Maguire, Nicholas ; Karl, Anke Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology