Modelling Two Emotion Regulation Strategies as Key Features of Therapeutic Empathy

  • Juan Martínez-Miranda
  • Adrián Bresó
  • Juan Miguel García-Gómez
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8750)


Computational models of affective processes have allowed the construction of synthetic characters able to produce empathic behaviours. The use of empathy, as a strategy to enhance engagement and cooperation with human pairs has proved good results in different application domains. Mental care is a particular area where the use of empathic virtual characters would offer several advantages facilitating the self-treatment management. Empathic responses in counselling and psychotherapy differ from “natural” empathy produced in everyday situations. Therapeutic empathy requires an emotional involvement of the therapist with the patient and an emotional detachment for a more objective appraisal of the situation. This paper introduces a model of emotion regulation as the first steps to get therapeutic empathy responses in a virtual agent constructed to support the treatment of major depression. The modelling of two specific strategies of emotion regulation based on Gross theory (cognitive change and response modulation) is described.


Affective process modelling Emotion regulation Reappraisal Response modulation Virtual agents 



This paper reflects only the author’s views. The European Community is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained herein. This research is carried out within the EU-FP7 Project “Help4Mood—A Computational Distributed System to Support the Treatment of Patients with Major Depression” (ICT-248765).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Martínez-Miranda
    • 1
  • Adrián Bresó
    • 1
  • Juan Miguel García-Gómez
    • 1
  1. 1.ITACA Institute, Biomedical Informatics GroupUniversitat Politècnica de ValènciaValenciaSpain

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