Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Main Research Portfolio
: 1) What role does social identity play in post-stroke psychological adjustment? ; 2) ‘Don’t carry the load on your own....’ How staff members manage suicidal ideation and attempts in Older Adults ; 3) Investigating intrusive imagery, appraisals and positive mood states in Bipolar Disorder.

  • Rose Knight

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


Background - Recent research indicates the role of intrusive images in Bipolar Disorder (BP). It is hypothesised that imagery is an important internal state in BP (Holmes et al, 2008). This has not yet been compared to a non-clinical population. However, it is also thought that the type of internal state (whether imagery, verbal thoughts, heart rate) does not matter, but the extreme, conflicting appraisals attached to the internal state (Mansell et al, 2006) which results in difficulties in mood regulation in BP through using maladaptive emotional regulation strategies (e.g., rumination, suppression). Aims To investigate whether people with BP have more images in a positive mood state than non-clinical controls, and whether people with BP make extreme and conflicting 5 appraisals of these images. To explore whether people with BP use more emotional regulation strategies in response to images. Methods A semi-structured interview was administered to 19 euthymic BP participants and compared to 17 non-clinical controls, requiring them to report intrusive images from a previous positive mood state, followed by questionnaires. Results BP participants experience significantly more intrusive images in a positive mood state than non-clinical controls, which was not explained by being a more ‘imagery based’ sample as there were no differences in trait use of imagery. BP participants make more extreme positive and negative appraisals of images than non-clinical controls. There were few differences in emotional regulation strategies between the groups, suggesting people with BP did not apply unhelpful emotional regulation strategies to these images. Conclusions These results further support both Holmes’ (2008) hypothesis that imagery is a key internal state in BP, and Mansell et al’s (2006) hypothesis that people with BP appraise the same internal state in conflicting ways. Future research should compare imagery to other internal states in BP to understand their relative importance. 
Date of Award28 Aug 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorJames Gregory (Supervisor), Lorna Hogg (Supervisor) & Jo Daniels (Supervisor)

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