CBT-oriented group therapy for acute psychiatric inpatients: effects on aggression and emotional regulation


The treatment of different clinical presentations of the psychosis spectrum in an acute psychiatric ward, require a complex integrated intervention, in which pharmacological treatment is flanked with a psychological therapy. The aim of this study is present the results of a CBT-oriented treatment group specifically structured for acute psychiatric inpatients.
From 321 consecutive patients admitted to an acute patients psychiatric ward, 121 participated at the study. Alexithymia (measured by TAS-20) and emotion regulation strategies (measured by ERQ) were evaluated.
62 patients participated at the single session CBT group therapy, while 59 patients refused to participate. Patients, who participated at the CBT group, make use more frequently of the expressive suppression as emotion regulation strategy. Moreover, they increased number of their psychological interviews and they underwent to physical restraints less frequently.
These findings suggested that a CBT group therapy aimed to management of emotions, is an important tool in the treatment of acute phase of severe mental illness. The use of expressive suppression as emotion regulation strategy may be functional to inhibit of aggressive reactions and violent behaviors and increase the psychiatric treatment adherence, too.

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