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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01244

Ambivalence predicts symptomatology in cognitive-behavioral and narrative therapies: An exploratory study

  • 1Centro de Investigaç​ão em Psicologia, Universidade do Minho, Portugal
  • 2Center of Mathematics, University of Minho, Portugal

The identification of poor outcome predictors is essential if we are to prevent therapeutic failure. Ambivalence - defined as the conflict between two opposed positions of the self: one favoring change and another one favoring problematic stability – has been consistently associated with poor outcomes. However, the precise relationship between ambivalence and clients´ symptomatology remains unclear. Objective: This study aims at assessing ambivalence´s power to predict symptomatology, using a longitudinal design. Methods: The complete 305 sessions of 16 narrative and cognitive-behavioral cases have been analyzed with the Ambivalence Coding System and outcome measures have been used for each session. Results: Ambivalence emerged as a significant predictor of subsequent symptomatology suggesting that ambivalence is not only related to treatment outcomes, but that it represents a strong predictor of subsequent symptomatology. Discussion: The implications of ambivalence´s power to predict outcomes for research and clinical practice are discussed.

Keywords: Ambivalence (author's keywords), Ambivalence Coding System, ambivalence resolution, Poor outcome predictors, Innovative moments

Received: 04 Jan 2019; Accepted: 10 May 2019.

Edited by:

Osmano Oasi, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Italy

Reviewed by:

Efrat Neter, Ruppin Academic Center, Israel
Javier Fernández-Álvarez, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Italy  

Copyright: © 2019 Braga, Ribeiro, Sousa and Gonçalves. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Miguel M. Gonçalves, Centro de Investigaç​ão em Psicologia, Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal,