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Different methods of single-session disclosure: What works for whom?


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Jay L. Cohen, Ph.D., John D. Dingell, VA Medical Center, 4646 John R (IIMH-PS), Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA (e-mail: or


Objective. Examine distress, emotional approach coping, and attachment as moderators of effects of written (WED) versus interpersonal (IED) emotional disclosure and written time management (WTM).

Design/Methods. Fifty-seven undergraduates with stressful experiences randomized to a single session of WED, IED, or WTM. Assessment of immediate reaction (NA) and 6-week follow-up (intrusions/avoidance).

Results. Those with higher baseline distress had increased NA, avoidance and intrusions when engaged in WED or IED (vs. WTM). For emotional processors, WED (vs. IED) produced less NA, avoidance, and intrusions. Attachment predicted increased NA in WTM.

Conclusions. Baseline distress and personality characteristics form boundary conditions for written disclosure.

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