VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Feelings Before Facts Emotion Regulation as a Primary Goal of Treatment
Emotion regulation refers to the ability a person has to influence their emotional responses (Butler, Lee, & Gross, 2007). Attachment theory suggests that emotional regulation skills are developed as a result of interactions between very young children and their families and that these patterns will remain throughout the individual’s lifespan (Ivey, Ivey, Myers, & Sweeney, 2005). Often, these skills are developed before verbal memory recall is possible (Ivey et al., 2005). Many disorders find their roots in the patient’s inability to regulate emotions. Patients with trauma-related disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; the focus for this research), borderline personality disorder (BPD), and some substance use disorders, often have problems with emotional regulation (Frewen, Dozois, Neufeld, & Lanius, 2012). It is important to focus on emotion regulation skills when treating patients with these disorders. A literature review explains various means of emotion regulation, the skills that accompany these, and the success of these skills with clients who have post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, and substance use disorders.