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Applying an Emotion Regulation Framework to Integrative Approaches to Generalized Anxiety Disorder


Address correspondence to Richard G. Heimberg, Adult Anxiety Clinic of Temple University, Department of Psychology, Weiss Hall, Temple University, 1701 North 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6085. E-mail:


Integrative conceptualizations like that proposed by Roemer and Orsillo provide exciting new directions for understanding and treating generalized anxiety disorder (CAD). However, these approaches may be further strengthened by adoption of an emotion regulation perspective. Persons with CAD may have difficulty understanding their emotional experience and may possess few skills to modulate their emotions. They may experience emotions as subjectively aversive and use worry and maladaptive interpersonal behaviors as defensive strategies to control, avoid, or blunt emotional experience. An emotion regulation perspective suggests adding treatment components to help clients become more comfortable with arousing emotional experience, more able to access and utilize emotional information in adaptive problem solving, and better able to modulate emotional experience and expression according to contextual demands.