Research Topic

Advances in Emotion Regulation: from neuroscience to psychotherapy

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The term Emotion Regulation refers to the neurocognitive mechanisms by which we regulate the onset, strength, and the eventual expression of our emotions. The aim of this research topic is to present recent advances in the emerging field of social emotion regulation and interpersonal emotion regulation, main ...

The term Emotion Regulation refers to the neurocognitive mechanisms by which we regulate the onset, strength, and the eventual expression of our emotions. The aim of this research topic is to present recent advances in the emerging field of social emotion regulation and interpersonal emotion regulation, main mechanisms, their neural bases, and implications for psychotherapy.

Indeed, deficits in the regulation of social and interpersonal emotions have been linked to severe psychiatric disorders, with patients showing heightened or suppressed emotional experience in reaction to others. Understanding how patients experience and fail to regulate such social emotions is of fundamental importance. Indeed, the ability to regulate emotions is essential for a healthy psychological functioning and the focus of psychotherapy. Working actively with emotion has been empirically shown to be of central importance in psychotherapy. We will discuss the implication of emotion regulation for the treatment of psychiatric disorders proposing new models of emotion regulating treatments.

In recent years, several emotion regulation strategies based on cognitive models (see Gross model) have been proposed. For the first time, we will present theories and strategies to regulate emotions based on experiential and dynamic principles, that are strongly grounded in affective neuroscience. This state-of-the-art research topic brings together leading authorities to describe ways to work with emotion to regulate dysregulated affective states that go beyond symptom reduction. In sum, we will provide a trans disciplinary approach to the topic of social emotion regulation from its neural bases to clinical implications. We will discuss the main features and extract basic principles underlying this fundamental human ability.

This area of research is young, complex, and challenging, but also exciting. While scientific evidence is slowly and partially emerging, no general consensus has been reached yet on how to interpret these early findings. This Frontiers Research Topic is born from the idea that it is time that researchers in affective science and clinicians make a collective effort to deepen the understanding and the practice of how emotions can be regulated in clinical settings. Two main conceptual areas will be covered: basic research papers on the neurocognitive mechanisms of emotion regulation in clinical settings, and new therapeutic protocols to regulate emotions in psychotherapy based on dynamic and experiential principles.

The research topic welcomes articles from top researchers and clinicians in the field, and it covers original research and reviews articles, but also protocols of new emotion regulation strategies that every clinicians can apply in his/her own practice. Coverage includes experiential-dynamic techniques, mindfulness-based strategies, mentalization based techniques, new variations on psychodynamic interventions, the use of experiential methods to rework painful emotions, and methods for addressing dysregulatory mechanisms.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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