Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Main Research Portfolio
: 1) Low self-esteem and internalizing disorders in children and adolescents; 2) Using carer feedback to develop family information sessions within North Somerset Early Intervention for Psychosis service; 3) Mental Imagery and idiosyncratic goal achievement in depression: a three-group comparison.

  • Lisa Keane

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


Mental Imagery (MI) and implementation intentions (II; creating concrete plans for when, where and how a goal is to be achieved) have shown promise in enhancing performance and goal achievement. As depressed mood is often characterized by loss of interest and reduced engagement in previously rewarding activities, the aim of this study was to investigate whether MI and II strategies could be used to enhance rates of goal achievement in participants presenting to services with low mood/depression. An experimental three-group comparison was used, with random allocation to the levels of the independent variable (MI, II, Control). Each participant (N = 44) devised three idiosyncratic goals, with the researcher guiding the participants in the MI/II groups through the relevant cognitive strategy in relation to their first goal. Those in the MI group reported a significant increase in the perceived likelihood of achieving their goals post-strategy. There were no significant differences in the achievement of goals amongst the three groups, although higher rates of goal achievement were apparent in the MI group. The current study suggests that generating specific goals and using MI may represent a valuable technique for improving individuals’ beliefs that their goals are attainable and within their reach. Further research with larger samples is recommended to explore the impact of techniques on actual goal attainment.
Date of Award22 Aug 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorJames Gregory (Supervisor), Maria Loades (Supervisor), Emma Griffith (Supervisor) & Lorna Hogg (Supervisor)

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