Positive visual reframing: A randomised controlled trial using drawn visual imagery to defuse the intensity of negative experiences and regulate emotions in healthy adults

Julia C. Ruppert, Francisco Jose Eiroa-Orosa


This research explores the outcome of positive visual reframing (PVR), a single session intervention where drawn images of negative experiences and open memories were redrawn and visually reframed to form new positive narratives. The study hypothesised that PVR would lead to improvements to positive and negative affect, self-efficacy and the perceived intensity and perceived resolution of a selected negative experience. Healthy adults (N=62) were randomly assigned to the PVR or control condition. For the experimental group, statistical significance was identified for positive affect and the perceived intensity and resolution of the negative experience immediately following the PVR activity. Self-efficacy was marginally significant. The findings highlight the potential of positive visual reframing to enhance emotional regulation when negative emotions are triggered. At two weeks’ post-intervention, improvements were identified in both conditions. This suggests that over time, the visual and sensory exposure created by drawing a negative memory may also lead to positive gains. The study emphasises the potential of PVR to regulate emotions and defuse the intensity of negative or open memories by visually transforming a moment of peak perceptual intensity. Future studies exploring the effectiveness of positive visual reframing to shift negative emotions in clinical and non-clinical populations are recommended.


drawn images; reframing; negative open memories; emotional regulation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.6018/analesps.34.2.286191


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