top of page

Emotion Regulation Therapy

Douglas Mennin, David Fresco

13 Jul 2022


PLEASE NOTE:  This event is over 2 days:

Wednesday 13th July 2022  -  14.00 - 17.00 hrs

Thursday 14th July 2022  -  14.00 - 17.00 hrs

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

Despite the success of cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT), a sizable subgroup of individuals remains refractory to standardly efficacious treatments. In particular, those with “distress disorders” (including generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder, especially when they co-occur) and those who are in distressing contexts (i.e., COVID-19 pandemic, familial caregiving), fail to make sufficient treatment gains thereby prolonging their deficits in life functioning and satisfaction. These patients often display heightened sensitivity to threat/safety and reward/loss contexts as well as perseveration (i.e., worry, ruminate) as a way to manage this motivationally relevant distress yet often to the detriment of engaging new contextual learning. Using this hypothesized profile as a framework, Emotion Regulation Therapy (ERT) was developed as a theoretically-derived, evidence based, treatment integrating principles from traditional and contemporary CBT with basic and translational findings from affect science to offer a blueprint for improving intervention by focusing on the motivational responses and corresponding regulatory characteristics of individuals with distress disorders. Initial ERT findings demonstrate considerable evidence for efficacy in both distress disorders as well as distressing contexts. Evidence for underlying proposed mechanisms has also been demonstrated.


In this workshop, attendees will learn to help clients to 1) expand their understanding of anxiety and depression using a motivational and emotion regulation perspective; 2) cultivate mindful awareness and acceptance of sensations, bodily, responses, and conflicting emotions; 3) develop emotion regulation skills that promote a distanced and reframed meta-cognitive perspective; 4) apply these skills during emotion-based exposure to meaningful behavioral actions and associated internal conflicts to taking these actions; and 5) build a plan to maintain gains and take bolder action despite the ending of the therapeutic relationship.

Learning Objectives

1. Expand one’s understanding of the role of dysfunctional self-referential processing in treatment resistant presentations of anxiety and depression
2. Evaluate how a motivational and emotion regulation perspective can be utilized to improve understanding and treatment of these resistant cases
3. Increase familiarity with attention regulation skills to promote flexible shifting and sustaining of awareness on emotional responses
4. Increase familiarity with meta-cognitive regulation skills to promote a distanced, de-centered, and reframed perspective on emotions
5. Learn how these skills can be used during emotion-based exposure to meaningful behavioral actions and associated internal conflicts to taking these actions

Training Modalities

Didactic, videos, Q&A and polls.

Key References

Fresco, D M., & Mennin, D. S., (2019). All together now: Utilizing common functional change principles to unify cognitive behavioral and mindfulness-based therapies. Current Opinion in Psychology, 28, 65-70.

Renna, M. E., Fresco, D. M., & Mennin, D. S. (2020). Emotion regulation therapy and its potential role in the treatment of chronic stress related pathology across disorders. Chronic Stress, 4, 1-10.

Mennin, D. S. & Fresco, D. M. (2014). Emotion Regulation Therapy (pp. 469-490). In J. J. Gross (Ed.) Handbook of Emotion Regulation, 2nd Ed. New York: Guilford Press.

Mennin, D.S., Fresco, D.M., Heimberg, R.G., & O’Toole, M. (2018). A randomized control trial of Emotion Regulation Therapy for generalized anxiety disorder without and without co-occurring depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 86, 268-281. [Ranked in the top 10 of downloaded articles in 2018 from 4000+ articles in 89 APA journals, APA Monitor, Dec 2018, p. 39]

Renna, M. E., *Quintero, J. M., Soffer, A., Pino, M., Ader, L., Fresco, D. M., & Mennin, D.S. (2018). A pilot study of Emotion Regulation Therapy for generalized anxiety and depression from a diverse sample of young adults. Behavior Therapy, 49, 403-418.

O’Toole, M. S., Mennin, D. S., Applebaum, A., Weber, B., Rose, H., Fresco, D. M., & Zachariae, R. (2020). A randomized controlled trial of emotion regulation therapy for psychologically distressed caregivers of cancer patients. JNCI Spectrum, 4, 1-9.

Applebaum, A., Panjwani, A. A., Buda, K., O’Toole, M. S., Hoyt, M., Garcia, A., Fresco, D. M., & Mennin, D. S. (2018). Emotion regulation therapy for cancer caregivers: A mechanism-targeted approach to addressing caregiver distress. Translational Behavioral Medicine.

O’Toole, M. S., *Renna, M. E., Mennin, D. S., & Fresco, D. M. (2019). Changes in decentering and reappraisal temporally precede symptom reduction during emotion regulation therapy for generalized anxiety disorder with and without co-occurring depression. Behavior Therapy, 1042-1052.

O’Toole, M. S., Mennin, D. S., Zachariae, R., Applebaum, A., Fresco, D. M., & Zachariae. (2021). Moderators and mediators of emotion regulation therapy for psychologically distressed caregivers of cancer patients. Acta Oncologica, 992-999.

Scult, M., Fresco, D. M., Gunning, F., *Seeley, S., *García-Lesy, E., Liston, C., & Mennin, D. S. (2019). Changes in functional connectivity following treatment with Emotion Regulation Therapy. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience (Research Topic, Neurobiological Models of Psychotherapy), 13, Article 10, 1-14.

About the presenter

Dr. Doug Mennin has developed an active program of research in clinical trials and basic research into the nature of chronic and recurring bouts of anxiety and mood disorders, particularly worry, stress, and depression. He has examined these problems from a perspective that highlights the importance of one's ability to efficiently process emotional situations when they arise as well as manage resultant moods in effective rather than maladaptive ways. He has conducted numerous studies of the basic psychological and physiological mechanisms of generalized anxiety and depression and has recently been examining the role of worry and rumination in maintaining and exacerbating gastric dysfunction and chronic inflammation. He also regularly conducts psychotherapy outcome and mechanism research. Specifically, he has developed Emotion Regulation Therapy (ERT), which is an integrative mind-body psychotherapy that draws from contemporary approaches as well as affect science and neuroscience. Dr. Mennin’s work on ERT has demonstrated considerable positive outcomes as well as identified a number of cognitive, physiological, and neural mechanisms that may help explain how the therapy is effective. Along with colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and in Denmark, he has also recently adapted this approach to treat distressed caregivers of patients with cancer.

David M. Fresco is Professor of Psychiatry and Research Professor at the Institute for Social Research (ISR). His program of research adopts an affective neuroscience perspective to conduct basic, translational, and treatment studies of anxiety and mood disorders, particularly distress disorders (e.g., major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder) incorporating methodologies including functional neuroimaging (fMRI & EEG), peripheral psychophysiology, and serum markers (e.g., inflammation, neurodegeneration). Another facet of Dr. Fresco’s research has focused on the development of treatments informed by affective and contemplative neuroscience findings that incorporate mindfulness meditation and other practices derived from Buddhist mental training exercises. Increasingly, with collaborators at ISR, Dr. Fresco is working to develop clinical trials for treatment optimization and implementation utilizing adaptive intervention methodology (e.g., sequential multiple assignment randomized trials [SMART] & just-in-time adaptive interventions [JITAIs]). Much of his current and recent NIH-funded research has focused on examining neurobehavioral mechanisms and efficacy of mindfulness-enriched treatments for chronic illnesses, and the role of emotion regulation strategies in everyday life to reduce distress.

Who should attend

This event is open to all mental health professionals. A working knowledge of CBT is helpful but not necessary.

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

bottom of page