Physiological activity, severity of neurotic symptoms and personality traits of patients in a psychiatric day ward in the initial and final phases of the psychodynamic psychotherapy process. Quasi-longitudinal pilot study.
More details
Hide details
Department of Psychotherapy, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland
Submission date: 2023-08-23
Final revision date: 2024-02-03
Acceptance date: 2024-02-05
Online publication date: 2024-06-27
Publication date: 2024-06-25
Corresponding author
Magdalena Anna Konop   

Department of Psychotherapy, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland
Arch Psych Psych 2024;26(2):7-20
Aim of the study:
The aim of the study was to explore HR (heart rate) and EDA (electrodermal activity) activity of patients in the initial and final phase of a 12-week psychodynamic psychotherapy process. The physiological data obtained were corelated with psychological variables (questionnaire results of patients).

Subject or material and methods:
Data from 12 patients with a diagnosis of neurotic disorders and/or personality disorders were analysed. Patients were examined with the MMPI-2 (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory), KON-2006 (Neurotic Personality Questionnaire) and Symptom Checklist "O". Physiological data were collected using a galvanometer and a pulsometer.

The results of psychological questionnaires in the final phase of psychotherapy showed a reduction in symptoms in most of the scales compared to the initial questionnaires. Patients' EDA and HR scores decreased in the final phase of psychotherapy compared to the initial phase. Most of scores of personality disorder traits showed a negative correlation with EDA and a positive correlation with HR, neurotic personality traits correlated positively with EDA and negatively with HR. At the end of the psychotherapy process, a positive correlation was observed between personality traits and physiological measures.

The obtained results suggest that psychotherapy can lower the intensity of the physiological activity of patients. Psychotherapy probably has the potential to change the direction of physiological responses of patients with personality disorder traits.

Physiological activity can potentially be used as an objective measure of the effectiveness of psychotherapy. The study should be repeated on a larger group of subjects to confirm the results we obtained.

Journals System - logo
Scroll to top