The role of self-image as a predictor of psychotherapy outcome
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- Institutt for psykologi 
The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between self-image and outcome of psychotherapy. Self-image was measured with Benjamin’s Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB) introject construct. The sample consisted of 170 outpatients with heterogenous disorders, who completed treatment at a university clinic. Using multiple regression analyses, we found that pre-treatment self-image was not significantly related to post-treatment symptom level, but it weakly related to post-treatment interpersonal problems. Self-image improvement from pre-treatment to post-treatment was significantly related to treatment outcome, both in terms of symptom level and level of interpersonal problems. In a comparison between the patients with depression and patients with an anxiety disorder, the depression group showed a poorer pre-treatment self-image compared to the anxiety group, but there was no difference at the end of treatment. Self-image improvement showed a non-significant trend towards being more closely related to symptom outcome in the depression group compared to the anxiety group, but not to interpersonal problems outcome. The results suggest that self-image improvement is important to achieve a good outcome in psychotherapy, and that further research on this subject is needed.