Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Psychology, Semnan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Semnan, Iran

2 Department of Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran


Background: Social anxiety is often associated with reduced social interaction and is considered a symptom of social anxiety disorder. This study aimed to compare the perception of social interaction among female para-medical students with social anxiety disorder using two therapies including gestalt therapy and psychodrama therapy.
Methods: This quasi-experimental study used a pre- and post-test design with two experimental groups and a control group, along with a follow-up period. The study population consisted of female para-medical students from Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran during the second quarter of the academic year 2020-2021. A total of 61 female paramedic students were randomly assigned into two experimental groups (group 1: N=17; group 2: N=19) and one control group (N=25) using convenience sampling. The Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) and Perceived Social Interaction Questionnaire (PSTQ) were administered. Gestalt therapy was administered to group 1 and psychodrama therapy to group 2, in eight sessions over 90 minutes per week, while the control group received no treatment. Data was analyzed using ANCOVA in SPSS version 24.
Results: The mean and standard deviation of the perception of positive thoughts for gestalt therapy, psychodrama therapy, and the control group in the post-test were 51.18±8.69, 48.42±10.57, and 40.08±7.58, respectively. The mean and standard deviation of negative thoughts were 37.06±9.65, 37.21±10.02, and 42.92±10.27, respectively. The results showed a significant difference between the overall mean scores in the psychodrama therapy group (P=0.0234) and gestalt therapy group (P=0.0345); the effect of gestalt therapy was higher. The mean scores of the social interaction component in the three phases of the pre-test, post-test, and follow-up showed a significant difference between the mean scores.
Conclusion: This study showed that psychodrama therapy and gestalt group therapy can decrease social anxiety in para-medical students. Moreover, the finding indicated the positive effects of gestalt group therapy intervention on the perception of positive thoughts. Therefore, further research is needed to gain more insight into the effective elements of both therapies and their mechanisms of change.


How to Cite: Zare M, Makvand Hosseini S, Sabahi P. Comparison of the Effectiveness of Gestalt Group Therapy and Psychodrama Therapy on the Perception of Social Interaction in Female Para-Medical Students with Social Anxiety Disorder. Women. Health. Bull. 2023;10(2):133-142. doi: 10.30476/ WHB.2023.97743.1220.


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