Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Coping style and psychotherapy

People tend to cope with problems and difficulties in different ways. Some people bottle things up and become anxious and depressed while others show less sympathy to others, behave insensitively and become angry. Psychologists call these techniques internalizing and externalizing respectively. Psychotherapists are increasingly trying to tailor their treatments to individual patients - whether it be their preferences about treatment, or cultural, social or religious background - and a team of researchers from the University of Palo Alto looked into whether tailoring treatment to coping style would make it more effective. They reviewed 12 studies, covering a total of 1,291 people and found that people who externalized their problems did better with treatments that targeted their behaviour while people who internalized them did better with treatments designed to help them get insights into their thought processes.

Beutler, Larry E. ... [et al] - Coping style Journal of Clinical Psychology: in session 67(2), 1-8 

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