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Stressing Emotions: Emotion Focused Transdiagnostic Treatment for Work Stress
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Sweden. (Center for Health and Medical Psychology)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6014-5226
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3887-6281
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9429-9012
2014 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Background: Work related stress usually involves a variety of difficulties within the realm of emotional disorders, while CBT treatments are often disorder specific. To effectively address work stress, more versatile and parsimonious interventions are needed. Transdiagnostic treatments, targeting common psychological processes in emotion related disorders are now available. One such treatment, the Unified Protocol (Barlow et al., 2011), has shown promising results. It focuses on inflexible and maladaptive use of emotion regulation strategies. Research implies that maladaptive strategies such as excessive worrying and avoidance may also be important for stress prolongation. Thus, the implementation of a transdiagnostic treatment protocol for work stress needs to be evaluated.

Aim: To study whether treatment using the Unified Protocol, targeting generic emotional regulation, is feasible for patients who present with work stress. Furthermore, the aim is to investigate whether this treatment affects levels of stress as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Method: Using a single case experimental design, we recruited six patients seeking treatment for work stress at an occupational health care center. After baseline assessments, they took part in an eight-session treatment using the Unified Protocol. Levels of perceived stress, emotional symptoms and use of regulatory strategies were daily monitored. A six month follow-up was also completed. Results: All participants completed and reported that they were satisfied with treatment. Four out of six participants also improved on reported stress-levels and emotional symptoms. Improvements were sustained at follow-up.

Discussion: Results showed that it is feasible to use a unified approach for emotional problems in patients with work stress. Treatment was also associated with symptom changes for most participants. Employing a unified CBT approach for stress would provide flexibility and parsimony for clinicians while retaining a strong theoretical framework and guiding principles. Although initial results were promising randomized controlled trials are needed. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-56207OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-56207DiVA: diva2:1079534
Conference
44th annual conference of the European Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (EABCT 2014), The Hague, The Netherlands, September 10-13, 2014
Available from: 2017-03-08 Created: 2017-03-08 Last updated: 2017-03-31Bibliographically approved

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