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Characterizing the experience of flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) treatment for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): A phenomenological study
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1690-2573
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology. Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Centre for Public Safety.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5668-0469
2017 (English)In: European Journal of Integrative Medicine, ISSN 1876-3820, E-ISSN 1876-3839, Vol. 12, 53-59 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Among the anxiety disorders Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is currently the most treatment resistant, suggesting that treatment protocols could be enhanced. A promising treatment of GAD is flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique), which in earlier studies has been shown to alleviate symptoms in GAD. Although, research on flotation-REST as a treatment of GAD has shown promising results no study has explored how the treatment is experienced. By applying a phenomneological perspective the present study aims to characterize the experience of undergoing flotation-REST treatment while suffering from GAD. Nine participants with GAD, as defined with self-report measures, participated. Data was collected by semi-structured interviews that were conducted after the completion of a twelve session treatment profram with flotaiton-REST. The Empirical Phenomenological Psychological (EPP) method was usedfor gathering and analyzing the data. The analysis resulted in six themes that characterize the experience of undergoing a flotation-REST treatment while having GAD: (1) obstacles in treatment, (2) a relaxed and safe vantage point, (3) non-ordinary states of consciousness, (4) connecting with oneself, (5) new attitudes and coping strategies, (6) enhanced life-quality. The results highlights that flotation-REST treatment of GAD was experienced as a comprehensive processes that were both challenging and pleasant. The results indicated that the method positively affected symptoms and the core issue associated with GAD on an experiential level. The present study also genereated some initial understanding regarding potential mechanisms that migh mediate and maintain positive treatment effects when flotation-REST is applied as an intervention of GAD. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 12, 53-59 p.
Keyword [en]
Anxiety, Generalized anxiety disorder, Phenomenology, Flotation-REST, Sensory isolation, Flotation-tank therapy
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65365DOI: 10.1016/j.eujim.2017.04.011ISI: 000414230000008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-65365DiVA: diva2:1164438
Available from: 2017-12-11 Created: 2017-12-11 Last updated: 2018-01-08Bibliographically approved
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Jonsson, KristofferKjellgren, Anette

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