Dear Jim, Thanks for your kind response to my posting. I did the study in 1992 and wrote it up for publication but because of my supervisor's long absence and my unfamiliarity with publishing papers it has languished in a folder til now. There were three groups of 15 subjects, 1.the Cognitive group was treated according to Beck 1979 2.the Attentional Training group was taught a breathing and counting technique with the instruction to take a passive attitude to intruding thoughts and to return to the next number or word in the meditation sequence. This was practiced 2x/day for 15-20 minutes and for 6 mini[1 minute] sessions daily. 3.the Waiting list group. The 2 treatment groups had 6 weekly 45 minute sessions and a 2 month follow up where gains were maintained or improved in both treatment groups. The measures used were 1.Beck Depression Inventory ,a minimum score of 16 was needed for inclusion with 19-27 being moderate to severe depression. 2.Spielberger State and Trait Anxiety Inventory. 3.Beck Anxiety Inventory. 4. Attentional capacity [Clarke,J.C. unpublished] In this test the subject is given a pen and paper in a quiet room and asked to imagine an apple and focus their attention on it. Whenever any intrusion interrupts the focused attention the subject draws a tick and returns their concentration to the apple. The more ticks the more intrusions and the less attentional capacity. Nothing is said about restructuring or challenging the intrusive thoughts. Subjects are told to let them drift past and return attention to the apple. You're right that the study was done in a cognitive environment. Infact we challenge the foundation of cognitive therpy and its mode of action. We set out to see if 1.meditation was a useful way to help depressed people. There was almost no literature at the time of writing. 2.if we could find a specificity of treatment outcome in our results. Others said there's no point trying and we didnít find a specificity. and 3. We set out to look at the mode of action of cognitive therapy by showing that meditation changed depressiveís dysfunctional thoughts without addressing them as in cognitive therapy which focused just on these thoughts. If depression is caused by dysfunctional thinking why do the same thoughts return with relapses and are they really cognitively restructured? and why does the meditation which doesn't address cognitive restructuring have the same effect. Is CT an elaborate form of attentional training ie meditation!! Enough of this long posting, thanks again for your interest. I am now working in the "Self Psychology" model treating people with self[personality] disorders and maintain my interest in meditation and hypnosis.
PS I gave all participants the SHCS Stanford Hypnotic Clinical Scale thinking the good meditators may have greater absorbtion and be better able to let intrusions float by. We had no correlation with results and hypnotic ability.
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