Reframing technique and guilt levels in depressed women




Robertson, W. James

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The purpose of this research was to ascertain the effectiveness of reframing, a paradoxical strategy, in reducing guilt and depression levels in females diagnosed with depression. Reframing therapy was given to 15 females who were randomly assigned to the experimental group and reframing therapy was not given to 15 subjects who were randomly assigned to the control group.

The subjects were chosen from two outpatient mental health clinics. The Mosher Guilt Inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory were used as pretest and posttest measurements of guilt and depression levels with a convenience sample of 30 subjects who met the criteria for inclusion in the study.

Five hypotheses were developed for this study. An experimental, explanatory, before and after, design was used. The alpha level was p <.05. A two-way analysis of variance with repeated measures was used to test the hypotheses. The Pearson's Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (r) was used to test the reliability of the instruments as well as to assess significant relationships of the appropriate hypotheses.

The results from the investigation revealed the following: (a) reframing therapy significantly reduced depression levels whereas, guilt levels were not significantly reduced, (b) no significant relationship was found between age and length of time taking medication with or without reframing therapy prior to reframing therapy and guilt and depression levels, (c) a significant positive relationship was established between Black females, who scored higher on the pretest guilt inventory, than non-white females, (d) no significant relationship was found between time taking medication without reframing therapy and guilt and depression levels.

Further research should be directed toward the severity of guilt in females and the types of guilt which could lead to new perceptions about the dysfunctional behaviors associated with guilt and depression.



Guilt, Depression, Women, Depressed females