Chapter

Emotion Regulation Therapy

In book: Handbook of Emotion Regulation, Edition: 2nd, Chapter: 28, Publisher: Guilford Publishers, Editors: James J. Gross, pp.469-487

ABSTRACT Generalized anxiety disorder and major depression (often termed “distress disorders”; see Watson, 2005) are commonly comorbid and appear to be characterized by temperamental features that reflect heightened sensitivity to underlying motivational systems related to threat/safety and reward/loss. Further, individuals with these disorders tend to perseverate (i.e., worry, ruminate) as a way to manage this motivationally relevant distress and often utilize these self-conscious processes to the detriment of engaging new contextual learning. Emotion Regulation Therapy integrates principles from traditional and contemporary cognitive behavioral treatments (e.g., skills training & exposure) with basic and translational findings from affect science to offer a blueprint for improving intervention by focusing on the motivational responses and corresponding regulatory characteristics of individuals with distress
disorders. This emphasis on affect science permits identification of candidate mechanisms of treatment in terms of core disruptions of normative cognitive, emotional, and motivational systems, which in turn, helps generate more targeted solutions for clients to utilize adaptive ways to cope or compensate for these core deficits. In essence, contrasting a client’s difficulties with what we understand as normative functioning allows us to generate theory-driven hypotheses that form that basis of our case conceptualization and treatment planning. Outcome and mechanism data provide preliminary support for the use of ERT to treat distress disorders.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: David M Fresco, Dec 14, 2013
8 Followers
 · 
433 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Our emotional responses to stressors do not occur in a vacuum; rather, they are dependent upon the context in which they take place. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in identifying such contextual influences on emotional processes. However, two important questions have yet to be answered. First, little is known about how motivational context (e.g., motivational conflict) can affect the timing of emotional experiences (i.e., affective chronometry). Second, the influence of motivational context on the utilization of emotion regulation strategies has been largely unexplored. We recruited 166 participants and assigned them to a motivational conflict condition (watch a disgust-eliciting film clips while anticipating a food tasting) or one of two no conflict conditions (watch a disgust-eliciting film while anticipating a food-unrelated task or watch a craving-inducing film clip while anticipating a food tasting). We found that motivational conflict moderated the time course of anxiety. These findings highlight the importance of examining motivational processes when seeking to understand how and when individuals experience and regulate their emotions.
    Motivation and Emotion 04/2015; DOI:10.1007/s11031-015-9496-8 · 1.55 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a psychological disorder characterized by chronic and severe worry. The past thirty years have seen a surge in the understanding of GAD, and specific advances have been made in how the disorder is conceptualized and treated within the field of psychology. However, despite these advances, GAD remains the most treatment refractory anxiety disorder. The current chapter, therefore, provides an overview of the current conceptualization of GAD, including its key symptoms and features. In addition, this chapter highlights many of the specific theoretical and treatment advances of the past several decades. Finally, this chapter will explore future directions that the field may be able to take in an attempt to better understand and treat this disorder.
    Primer on Anxiety Disorders: Translational Perspectives on Diagnosis and Treatment, 1 edited by Daniel Pine, Barbara Olasov Rothbaum, Kerry Ressler, 03/2015: chapter 22: pages 315-328; Oxford University Press.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Deficits in emotional clarity, or difficulties identifying which emotions one feels, are increasingly associated with multiple forms of psychopathology. We addressed two fundamental, unresolved issues regarding the transdiagnostic nature of this dysfunction. First, we examined the relationship of deficits in emotional clarity to seven symptom types, accounting for possible confounding effects of overlapping symptoms. We found that deficits in emotional clarity were associated with symptoms of depression, social anxiety, borderline personality, binge eating, and alcohol use, but not anxious arousal or restrictive eating. Second, we tested whether deficits in emotional clarity would relate to psychopathology by way of impaired emotion regulation. Notably, the relationship between deficits in emotional clarity and each symptom type was mediated by a distinct, disorderspecific pattern of emotion regulation deficits. Findings suggest that deficits in emotional clarity can be conceptualized as a transdiagnostic process with diverging mechanisms involving emotion regulation difficulties that vary from disorder to disorder. We discuss these findings within a contextual approach to delineating transdiagnostic processes.
    Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 04/2014; 33(4):319. DOI:10.1521/jscp.2014.33.4.319 · 1.36 Impact Factor