The Integrated 50-Minute Hour: Person-Centered Counseling and Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Training

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dominiquie M Clemmons-James (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: The field of mental health has moved toward new approaches for the improvement of treatment through the application of knowledge regarding human anatomy and mental health symptomology. Mental health research and education encourages the inclusion of physiological factors into traditional talk therapy such as Person-Centered Counseling, especially with the integration of complementary and alternative therapies like Heart Rate Variability biofeedback training. However, previous attempts to integrate traditional mental health treatment and biofeedback training have encountered challenges.The current study presented the i50, an intervention that offers psychological and physiological intervention, using Person-Centered Counseling and Heart Rate Variability biofeedback training within a single session.The purpose of this study was to evaluate the i50 in comparison to PCC in the alleviation of anxiety and stress-related symptoms. Specifically, this study explored both self-report and physiological variables using the Beck Anxiety Inventory, an Autonomic Balance Test, and the Working Alliance Inventory. A quasi-experimental design was used to examine data collected at a university counseling clinic. The study sample consisted of 20 participants who were enrolled in university- based counseling clinic for services to alleviate anxiety and stress symptoms. Participants in both groups were predominantly age 18, female, African American, and freshmen in college. Study participants engaged in pre-intervention self-report and physiological assessments, a randomly assigned four-session intervention of the i50 or the PCC treatment, and post-intervention self-report and physiological assessments. Study findings were similar to previous studies in the efficacy of using an HRV biofeedback training intervention with anxiety and stress-related mental health conditions. These findings also indicated that the i50 could be used to improve and expand traditional mental healthcare and enhance counseling practices in the treatment of anxiety and stress-related symptoms. New areas for exploration were and could be assessed using study improvements that include the use of more specific selection criteria, the use of improved assessment, and the use of more than one counselor to facilitate sessions. The findings of the current study are promising but future research is recommended to expand the potential use of integrative mental health approaches.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Integrative mental health

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