“Rate of speech and emotional-cognitive regulation in the psychotherapeutic process: a pilot study” by Marco Tonti and Omar Gelo

Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between a client’s rate of speech (ROS) and emotional-cognitive regulation during a psychotherapysession. The ROS was measured in words per second on the timed transcript of a single session of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Emotional-cognitive regulation was assessed using the therapeutic cycles model on emotional tone (ET), abstraction (AB), and their combination in emotio-abstraction patterns (EAPs). The results were mostly consistent with our hypotheses and showed that: i) the ROS negatively correlated with the conjoined ET and AB; and ii) the ROS in the connecting EAP (high ET and high AB) was significantly lower than in other EAPs. The results support the hypothesis that a significant reduction in the client’s ROS may be a reliable marker of in-session change processes. Clinical implications and future developments are discussed.

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