Recent research has suggested that too much self-control (overcontrol) underpins a range of mental health disorders including certain Axis I mood and eating disorders, and Axis II presentations such as obsessive compulsive personality disorder and avoidant personality disorder. A novel group therapy intervention, Group Radical Openness (GRO), is proposed as a suitable treatment for overcontrol.
To explore whether appropriate participants for the intervention can be recruited; to investigate whether outcome measures are fit for purpose; to determine whether the intervention is suitable and acceptable to participants; and to determine whether GRO shows promise with the intended population.
A mixed-methods design was chosen, using statistical analysis on two primary measures and three secondary measures to assess pre–post outcomes and 6-month follow-up. This was combined with descriptive interpretive analysis of client interviews post-intervention. Research participants were outpatients who attended GRO. The sample (N = 14; 6 females and 8 males; mean age 44.4 years; age range 18–58) attended 26, three-hour group sessions.
Quantitative data were analysed using repeated-measures ANOVA. Participant scores on the two primary measures, The Five-Factor Obsessive–Compulsive Inventory—Short Form (FFOCI-SF) and the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), yielded significant results that were maintained at 6-month follow-up. Qualitative data found that participants reported changes across the three themes that are addressed in the GRO programme.
This feasibility study found that GRO showed promise as a suitable intervention for individuals who are overcontrolled. Further intervention effectiveness research is warranted.