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Changes in Time Perspective Resulting from Psychotherapy

Sakuma, S., Gyawali, B., Kimura, T.*, Nishikawa, T.*, & Katsumata, T.
International University of Health and Welfare Graduate School, Tokyo * Competence Psychology Center, Japan

    Client A was a 43-year-old Japanese male who experienced anxiety when he was around other people. As a result, he had quit his part-time job. He seldom ventured outdoors, or communicated with others.
    Client B was a 20-year-old Japanese male high school graduate. After graduation, he had lost interest in studies and was idly living at home. The individual therapeutic interventions with both clients were aimed at developing their competencies and clarifying their goals. The clients’ time perspectives at pre-, mid-, and post-intervention were assessed using the TPS.
    Client C, a 60-year-old Japanese female, attended therapy after the major earthquake that stuck eastern Japan in 2011, because many of her relatives had died then. Her TPS was assessed, and she received the Zen-Counseling.
    The Kumamoto University Competence Scale (KUCS) assesses a client’s ability to deal with the environment. It consists of five factors (cognitive competence, physical competence, social competence, survival competence, and general self-esteem competence) and 35 question items. Higher scores indicate relatively constructive competencies.
    The Hildreth Feeling-Attitude Scale (F-A Scale) is used to evaluate a client’s recent psychological condition. The scale consists of eight items including those that assess feelings, mental activity, future perspectives, mental state, attitude toward work, and attitude toward other people. Higher scores indicate a more positive state of mind.
    TPS scores for client A at the beginning were “slightly negative” for the past, “average” for the present, and “slightly negative” for the future. By the end stage of therapy, these scores changed to “average” for the past, and “positive” for the present and future (Fig. 2).
    The TPS score for client B at the beginning was “negative” for the past, “average” for the present, and “positive” for the future. At end stage, these scores changed to “slightly negative” for the past and “positive” for the present. His score for the future remained “positive” (Fig. 3). These results show that the thinking of these clients was predominantly focused on the present and the future.
    The TPS scores of client C, soon after the earthquake, were “slightly negative” for the past, and “negative” for the present and the future. After therapy, these scores became “extremely positive” for the past, and “positive” for the present and the future (Fig. 4).
    By the end of the interventions, the scores for all three clients as measured by the F-A Scale (Fig.5 - Fig.7) and the KUCS (Fig.8 - Fig.10) had increased to more positive and more constructive states.
    It is important for a therapist to assess the time perspective of a client, because most clinical clients seem to have an unbalanced time perspective. The TPS shows the client’s positive and negative feedback about the past, positive and negative cognitions in the present, and positive and negative feed-forward for the future. It is suggested that using the TPS with psychotherapy would facilitate the assessment of therapeutic efficacy.

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