Anger Related Disorders: A Practitioner's Guide to Comparative Treatments

By Eva L. Feindler | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10
Emotion-Focused Therapy
for Anger

Josée L. Jarry and Sandra C. Paivio


INTRODUCTION TO AN EMOTION-FOCUSED
THERAPY APPROACH

Theoretical Postulates of Experiential and Emotionally
Focused Approaches

Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) subscribes to the general postulates of humanistic approaches concerning human functioning, such as the primacy of subjectivity and the inherent tendency toward actualization (Greenberg & Rice, 1997). EFT is also representative of current experiential theory and research (Greenberg & Paivio, 1997; Greenberg, Korman, & Paivio, 2002; Greenberg, Rice, & Elliott, 1993; Paivio & Greenberg, 1995). It integrates new findings about the importance and function of emotions (Damasio, 1999; LeDoux, 1995; Frijda, 1986; Izard, 1990b) and makes explicit the role of emotion exploration and symbolization in therapeutic change. Like other humanistic approaches, EFT adheres to the notion that what best explains human behavior is the subjective experience of reality. Attention to and symbolization of clients ’ subjective worlds is the raw material from which a new understanding of the self and of others can emerge.

Attention to emotions is central to the process of increased selfunderstanding because emotions are associated with a multimodal network of information about the self and one ’s experience of the world.

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