, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 234-254
Date: 24 Feb 2009

Emotion Regulation in Youth with Emotional Disorders: Implications for a Unified Treatment Approach

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Abstract

Given the relationship between internalizing disorders and deficits in emotion regulation in youth, the emotion science literature has suggested several avenues for increasing the efficacy of interventions for youth presenting with anxiety and depression. These possibilities include the identification and addition of emotion-regulation skills to existing treatment packages and broadening the scope of those emotions addressed in cognitive-behavioral treatments. Current emotion-focused interventions designed to meet one or both of these goals are discussed, and the developmental influences relevant to the selection of emotion-focused treatment goals are explored using the framework of a modal model of emotion regulation. These various lines of evidence are woven together to support the utility of a novel emotion-focused, cognitive-behavioral intervention, the Unified Protocol for the Treatment of Emotional Disorders in Youth, a transdiagnostic treatment protocol that aims to treat the range of emotional disorders (i.e., anxiety and depression) simultaneously. Avenues for future directions in treatment outcome and assessment of emotion regulation are also discussed.