Emotion Research: Clinical Psychology

Emotions are the result of cognitive appraisals. This appraisal process can be distorted, resulting in emotional psychopathology. Treatment consists of recognizing and correcting the distorting cognitive processes, without addressing deeper conflicts or searching for insight.

Emotions are the results of cognitive appraisals of events. Psychopathology results from inappropriate appraisals caused by unrealistic or maladaptive values, patterns of thought, or distorted cognitive processes, such as generalization, polarized thinking, catastrophizing, etc. Treatment consists of a conscious recognition and re-programming of these (automatic) appraisal processes until new, "appropriate", realistic, and adaptive appraisals are induced. Two of the more prominent theorists in this area are Beck (cognitive therapy) and Ellis (rational-emotive therapy). As with behaviorism, the early cognitive theories adopted the radical view stated above. More recent theories, such as those of Mahoney, are beginning to question the primacy of cognition and their views begin to converge with those of experiential therapy theories.

Greenberg and Safran, 1987

Editor: Eva Hudlicka [psychometrixassociates.com]

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