2012 APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Applied Research

CE Credit: 1

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Length: 50 minutes

Session offered by the APA Board of Professional Affairs. In my presentation I will review the evolving understanding of the role of emotion in human functioning and principles of emotional change. Due in large part to compelling findings in the affective and cognitive neurosciences in the past two decades emotions have clearly been shown to be a basic component of human functioning and not simply to be secondary to cognition. This ‘new look’ has begun to set a new agenda for psychological research – to determine under what conditions emotions play a determining role in human experience and how this occurs. The question does emotion precede cognition or vice versa has been superseded by one asking under which conditions do emotions influence thought or vice versa. The question especially relevant to psychotherapy is how does bodily felt emotional experience influence conscious thought in language. The evidence for the role of emotion in therapeutic change in general and more specifically in Emotion-focused therapy will be reviewed. A dialectical constructivist view in which healthy adaptation is seen as being achieved by integration of head and heart, emotion and reason will be presented. In this people are seen as constantly in the process of making sense of their emotions to form narratives of remembered experience. The implications of this for psychotherapy will be discussed

Learning Objective 1
List at least 4 principles of emotional change, discriminate between different types of emotions and the relationship between emotional arousal and outcome.

Learning Objective 2

Learning Objective 3

Rhonda Goldman, PhD; Leslie S. Greenberg, PhD

Supplementary Materials

  • Greenberg (90) APA EFT 2012 Slides
  • Greenberg APA EFT 2012 Slides