Emotion regulation - prof. Stefan G. Hofmann


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Joy, fear, panic, sadness, anxiety, compassion, jealousy, shame and anger. Emotions are an inherent element of life and they play a very important role. Unfortunately, many people experience difficulties in dealing with various emotions, which leads to emotional suffering. Depression, anxiety or insufficient anger management are some of the most common psychological disorders. During his lecture, Professor Stefan G. Hofmann, a preeminent expert in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy from Boston University, will present the latest research on emotions, their management and forms of therapy.

The lecture was coupled with a launch of the Polish edition of prof. Hofmann’s book "Process-based CBT: The science and core clinical competencies of cognitive behavioral therapy”, published by Gdańskie Wydawnictwo Psychologiczne (GWP).

Emotions are critical aspects of mental health. A staple theme in clinical psychology, emotion regulation, or the ability to manage one’s emotions, is directly linked with personal wellbeing and the ability to effectively navigate the social world. Although conventional treatments for emotional disorders are generally effective interventions, many people still suffer from residual emotional distress, such as anxiety, depression, and anger problems. Moreover, contemporary treatments that have focused primarily on negative affect rarely leads to lasting improvements in positive affect, quality of life, and happiness. Recent scientific evidence and theoretical models of emotions can enrich the therapeutic strategies when treating emotional disorders. Until recently, this concept has been limited to a focus on intrapersonal processes, or the process of regulating one’s own emotions. Less emphasis has been placed on developmental, social, and cultural aspects of emotion regulation. However, as social beings, our engagement in emotion regulation may often occur interpersonally, with trusted others helping us to regulate our emotions. I will highlight recent research on interpersonal emotion regulation processes.

Although social factors are of critical importance in the development and maintenance of emotional disorders, the contemporary view of emotion regulation has been primarily limited to intrapersonal processes. Based on diverse perspectives pointing to the communicative function of emotions, the social processes in self-regulation, and the role of social support, I will present an interpersonal model of emotion regulation of mood and anxiety disorders. This model provides a theoretical framework to understand and explain how mood and anxiety disorders are regulated and maintained through others. The literature, which provides support for the model, is reviewed and the clinical implications are discussed. These strategies range from adaptive and flexible intrapersonal and interpersonal emotion regulation strategies to various mindfulness-based practices. These insights can inform the treatment for emotional disorders.

Stefan G. Hoffman – is a clinical psychologist, a preeminent expert in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and professor in the clinical program at Boston University, where he directs the Psychotherapy and Emotion Research Laboratory at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders. His research focuses on the mechanism of treatment change, translating discoveries from neuroscience into clinical applications, emotions, and cultural expressions of psychopathology. He is former president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and the International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy. He is also editor in chief of Cognitive Therapy and Research and is Associate Editor of Clinical Psychological Science. He was an advisor to the DSM-5 Development Process and a member of the DSM-5 Anxiety Disorder Sub-Work Group. Recipient of many prestigious professional awards, including the Aaron T. Beck Award for Significant and Enduring contributions to the Field of Cognitive Therapy.

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