Metacognitive Training for Depression (D-MCT) is a highly standardized group program targeted at depression-related (“Beckian”) emotional as well as cognitive biases, including mood-congruent and false memory. While prior results are promising with respect to psychopathological outcomes (depression), it is unclear whether D-MCT also meets its goal of improving cognitive biases, such as false memories.
In the framework of a randomized controlled trial (registered trial, DRKS00007907), we investigated whether D-MCT is superior to an active control condition (health training, HT) in reducing the susceptibility of depressed patients for false memories. False memories were examined using parallel versions of a visual variant of the Deese-Roediger McDermott paradigm.
Both groups committed less false memories at post assessment after 4 weeks compared to baseline. Relative to HT, D-MCT led to a significant decrease in high-confident false memories over time.
The study presents first evidence that D-MCT decreases the susceptibility of depressed patients for false memories, particularly for errors made with high confidence that are presumably the most “toxic” in terms of mood-congruent memory distortions.