See this paper for further details. Roncero M, Belloch A, Doron G (in press). Can brief, daily training using a mobile applications help change maladaptive beliefs? A cross-over randomized-control study evaluating the efficacy of GGRO in reducing maladaptive beliefs and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. JMIR mHealth and uHealth. DOI: 10.2196/11443
The paper is entitled:” Maladaptive beliefs in relationship obsessive compulsive disorder (ROCD): Replication and extension in a clinical sample”. Press here to see the paper.
ROCD and other OCD symptoms are frequently related to body image distress and preoccupations such as found in BDD. A new mobile app dealing with such problems, named GGBI is now out in the apple store and Google Play: these are the links
Associate Professor Guy Doron and Dr Danny Derby are giving a workshop on the 15.09.2017 entitled: ” Relationship Interrupted: Assessment and Treatment of Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(ROCD)” at the next EABCT meeting in Ljubljana – Slovenia. To register see http://www.eabct2017.org/en/REGISTRATION.html/
We thank all those participating in our pilot study of GGRO! below are the results of the study.
Background: Previous research has linked relationship-related anxieties, doubts and preoccupations (i.e., relationship obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms; ROCD) with reduced functioning, decreased relational and sexual functioning and lower mood. As knowledge of ROCD is emerging, individuals with such symptoms may be frequently misdiagnosed leading to reduced accessibility to adequate treatment. A growing body of literature has supported the usefulness of mobile technology in increasing accessibility to mental health knowledge and in fostering mental health or behavior change. In the present study, we examined associations between relationship related anxieties, doubts and preoccupations (i.e., ROCD symptoms) and the pattern of use of a mobile application named GGRO. This mobile application was designed to challenge maladaptive beliefs related to relationship difficulties. GGRO encourages two minutes of daily training (3 levels a day) over a period of at least 15 days.
Method. Fifty-one users of GGRO responded to a short survey pertaining to application use, satisfaction and relationship-related anxieties and preoccupations.
Results. The number of sessions ranged from 1 to 100 with forty-five participants reporting using GGRO five times or more. Medium-size statistically significant correlations were found between reported number of sessions of GGRO users (i.e., in participants that used GGRO more than 5 times) and relationship-related anxieties and preoccupations (Spearman’s rho r=-.35) suggesting greater number of sessions was related to less such relationship difficulties reported. Similarly, the higher the level participants reported reaching on GGRO (maximum being 45), the less relationship-related anxieties and preoccupations they described (Spearman’s rho r=-.30). Finally, as expected, satisfaction from GGRO was also related to less reported relationship anxieties and preoccupations (Spearman’s rho r=-.45).
Conclusions. Daily use of mobile technology aimed at challenging underlying relationship-related maladaptive beliefs may be associated with reduced relationship-related anxieties and preoccupations.
In a research meeting dedicated to advancing OCD treatment with Profs Paul Salkovskis, Randy Frost, Gail Steketee, David Veale, David Clark, Associate Prof. Guy Doron presented a paper about ROCD in a section
dedicated to the homogeneity and heterogeneity of obsessive-compulsive phenomena (Chaired by Prof. Randy Frost).
According to Professor Guy Doron and his colleague Gur Ilany, the application developed (named ‘GG Relationship’) was especially designed for dealing with relationship doubts and fears. The application is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – one of the most research-supported psychological therapies.
According to CBT models, negative self-talk – individuals’ ongoing interpretations of the self, others and the world – maintain psychological difficulties such as obsessive preoccupation, low mood, and maladaptive behaviors. In ROCD, for instance, individuals negative self-talk often relates to fear of being in the wrong relationships or/and missing the ‘right’ relationship. Individuals with such fears will continuously say to themselves (in their heads) phrases such as ‘Maybe my partner is not the ONE’, ‘He is not smart enough for me’ or ‘I will regret my decision to stay/leave with my partner forever‘. Such negative self-talk, of course, ultimately increases relationship doubts/fears, intensifies negative mood and often provokes relationship conflict.
Professor Guy Doron says ‘GG Relationship was developed in order to provide an accessible CBT training platform that would allow individuals with relationship fears and doubts to better deal with negative self-talk’. According to Gur Ilany, the application is designed to ‘(1) increase individuals’ awareness of negative self-talk, (2) train individuals’ to better identify and challenge negative self-talk, (3) increase individuals’ access to neutral and positive self-talk, and (4) increase the automaticity of the above processes’.
The core gameplay of the training is simple: individuals are presented with ‘blocks’ featuring self-talk statements such as “I am proactive”, “I am reliable” or “I am a loser”- and have to respond by pulling the supportive ‘blocks’ towards themselves (i.e., downwards) and throwing away from themselves the negative ‘blocks’ (i.e., rejecting them upwards). A/Prof Doron says ‘to further strengthen learning of supportive self-talk, each level the player completes is followed by a small memory game in which one has to identify a supportive statements that appeared in the previous level’. As the game progresses, the individual passes through thematically relevant issues such as self-esteem, beliefs in change, dealing with relationship doubts, facing uncertainty, overcoming perfectionism, coping with embarrassment, commitment anxiety, etc.,.
Training using this application, Gur says ‘will hopefully allow for gradual, steady learning of more positive self-talk thereby helping to break the vicious thought cycle maintaining relationship doubts and preoccupations’.
A/Prof. Doron and his colleague Guy Ilany are working on an innovative training application (App) to help with the treatment of ROCD symptoms. The app is planned to include over 30 levels addressing ROCD related difficulties such as relationship doubts, intolerance for uncertainty, perfectionism, commitment anxiety and embarrassment. They said it is going to be ready to download from the App store and Google Play by June. We will keep you posted !