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Emotion regulation in Person-Centred Experiential Counselling for Depression (PCE-CfD)

Peter Pearce

17 Oct 2023


PCE-CfD theory places a high importance on the role of emotion in our lives as emotion helps:

• facilitate goal directed behaviour (Rogers, 1959: 492–3, Elliott et al, 2004: 24, Elliott, 2012: 109) 

• signal the importance/survival value of the behaviour they accompany (Rogers, 1959: 493, Elliott et al, 2004: 24, Elliott, 2012: 109)

• signal needs (Elliott, et al, 2004: 24, Elliott, 2012: 109)

From Rogers (e.g., Rogers, 1961), we note that in the psychologically healthy individual, emotions are easily accessed, experienced without fear, expressed freely and appropriately with a satisfying result, and are available for processing and reformulation where necessary. 

Symptoms of depression are often caused or exacerbated by problems processing emotions in adaptive ways. One important dimension of emotion processing is the relationship between the level of emotional arousal, or intensity, of emotion, and the person, situation, or occasion. Managing the level of emotional arousal is important for maintaining or regaining emotional health and well-being. Emotional regulation is the term used in PCE-CfD to explain this capacity.

Problems regulating emotions can lead to repeatedly revisiting the same emotional material without the feeling flowing, ‘to its full result’ (Rogers 1961: 145) and become more adaptive and ‘fit for purpose’ rather than inaccessible, unhelpful, obstructive, or distressing.

The event will be equivalent to 5.1/2hrs of CPD.


• Provide a theoretical basis for understanding emotion regulation.
• Detail how to recognise when an individual may be becoming emotionally under or over-aroused, ie. shut down to, or flooded by, emotion.
• Consider specific factors associated with supporting and facilitating adaptive emotion regulation in PCE-CfD
• Consider common difficulties when supporting depressed clients with emotion regulation
• Share some top tips on how to consistently support this important process

Learning Objectives

You will learn about:
• Supporting access to difficult emotions and under-arousal both verbally and non-verbally
• Helping an individual to manage over-arousal

Training Modalities

Didactic content, experiential components, Q&A.

Key References

Elliott, R. (2012) Emotion Focused Therapy. In P. Sanders, (Ed) The Tribes of the Person-Centred Nation: An introduction to the schools of therapy associated with the person-centred approach. Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books, pp. 103-30.

Elliott, R., Watson, J.C., Goldman, R.S. & Greenberg, L.S. (2004) Learning Emotion-Focused Therapy: The process-experiential approach to change. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.

Murphy, D. (2019) Person-Centred Experiential Counselling for Depression (Second Edition). London: Sage.

Rogers, C.R. (1959) A theory of therapy, personality and interpersonal relationships, as developed in the client-centred framework. In: S. Koch (Ed) Psychology: A study of science, Vol. 3: Formulation of the person and the social context. New York: McGraw-Hill, pp.184–256.

Rogers, C.R. (1961) On Becoming a Person: A therapist’s view of psychotherapy. London: Constable.

About the presenter

Peter is a senior counselling and psychotherapy professional, researcher and trainer in the psychological professions. He has a long background as both, a clinician within NHS multi-disciplinary teams in disability and mental health and, as an academic and trainer, developing and delivering curriculums and competence frameworks in collaboration with a variety of NHS, professional and statutory body and academic and research HEI colleagues.
Peter has been active in the development of counselling, psychotherapy, and the broader psychological professions for many years. He led the Metanoia Institute team that wrote the National Curriculum for Counselling for Depression (now PCE-CfD) in collaboration with the research and professional conduct departments at BACP. He has continued to be instrumental in the ongoing development of PCE-CfD, as Faculty Head for this programme at Metanoia and as a member of the IAPT National Expert Advisory Group. He has been a lecturer and leader in HEI for more than 20 years, has published several books and book chapters and co-authored a variety of journal articles.

Who should attend

This webinar is most suitable for practitioners delivering hi intensity PCE-CfD interventions for patients in primary care presenting with depression.

Low Intensity clinical contact hours survey - BABCP Low Intensity Special Interest Group

Please click below if you are interested in contributing to the survey.


The BACP Low Intensity SIG are interested in the impact of clinical contact hours on Low Intensity/Wellbeing Practitioner wellbeing. This questionnaire contains six multi-choice questions and a free text box for you to share your experiences. The answers to these questions will help the BABCP SIG plan how to meet CPD topics and other developments within the SIG.  The SIG hope to produce a write up of the answers to this questionnaire to be shared with SIG members and to be used in training.

View Survey

This FREE conference is for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners working in Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression services and is brought to you by Bespoke Mental Health in collaboration with the NHS England Talking Therapies National PWP Leads Network

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