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Emotion Regulation Therapy for Cancer Caregivers: Targeting Mechanisms of Distress 

Emotion Regulation Therapy for Cancer Caregivers: Targeting Mechanisms of Distress
Chapter:
Emotion Regulation Therapy for Cancer Caregivers: Targeting Mechanisms of Distress
Source:
Cancer Caregivers
Author(s):

Aliza A. Panjwani

, Mia S. O’Toole

, Allison J. Applebaum

, David M. Fresco

, and Douglas S. Mennin

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190868567.003.0013

Although cognitive behavioral therapies (CBTs) have demonstrated efficacy in treating individuals with anxiety and depressive symptoms, recent meta-analytic findings indicate negligible effects of CBTs in treating emotional distress among informal caregivers of patients with cancer. Adapted from emotion regulation therapy (ERT), ERT for cancer caregivers (ERT-C) is a theoretically grounded, evidence-based treatment that incorporates principles from traditional and contemporary CBTs with findings from affective science. ERT-C offers a framework for improving regulatory skills of caregivers who have high psychological distress; engage in perseverative negative thinking (e.g., rumination, worry, self-criticism); and evidence poor behavioral responding (e.g., withdrawal, numbing). Two ERT-C trials (open label and randomized controlled) have demonstrated preliminary support for the utility of ERT-C in treating distress among cancer caregivers. This chapter presents the emotion regulation model associated with ERT-C and describes the treatment components. Case examples are illustrated, allowing readers to gain an applied understanding of the ERT-C protocol.

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