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Siegesleitner, Marena; Strohm, Miriam; Wittekind, Charlotte E.; Ehring, Thomas and Kunze, Anna E. (2018): Effects of imagery rescripting on consolidated memories of an aversive film. In: Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, Vol. 62: pp. 22-29

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Methods Eighty-eight participants were randomly assigned to either ImRs, imagery rehearsal (IRE), or no intervention control (NIC). In Session 1, participants watched an aversive film. In Session 2 (24 h after Session 1), the analogue trauma memory was reactivated and the intervention took place. Participants reported intrusive memories of the aversive film for one week and then returned to the laboratory for a follow-up (Session 3).

Results Compared to IRE, ImRs was experienced as less distressing and elicited less negative emotions. In addition, ImRs accelerated the decline of intrusive memories when compared to NIC. However, ImRs, IRE, and NIC did not differ with respect to the total number of intrusive memories during the week following the intervention.

Limitations There was a floor effect of intrusive memories, which may have obscured a potential superiority of the active interventions over NIC.

Conclusions Adding to the current literature on ImRs as an intervention for emotional memories, the current study underscores that a multiple-day trauma film paradigm can be used to investigate the short-term efficacy and working mechanisms of ImRs, but also points toward useful modifications to the paradigm.

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