The impact of integrating emotion focused components into psychological therapy: A randomized controlled trial.

Caspar, Franz; Berger, Thomas; grosse Holtforth, Martin; Babl, Anna; Heer, Sara; Lin, Mu; Stähli, Annabarbara; Gomez Penedo, Juan Martin; Holstein, Dominique; Egenolf, Yvonne; Frischknecht, Eveline; Krieger, Tobias; Ramseyer, Fabian; Regli, Daniel; Schmied, Emma; Flückiger, Christoph; Brodbeck, Jeannette; Greenberg, Les; Carver, Charles S; Castonguay, Louis; ... (2023). The impact of integrating emotion focused components into psychological therapy: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of clinical psychology, 79(2), pp. 296-315. Wiley 10.1002/jclp.23421

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This paper presents a randomized controlled trial on assimilative integration, which is aimed at integrating elements from other orientations within one approach to enrich its conceptual and practical repertoire. Elements from Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) were integrated into a form of cognitive behavior therapy: Psychological Therapy (PT). In one treatment condition, EFT was added to PT (+EFT) with the intent to enhance therapists' working with emotions. In the other condition, concepts and interventions based on the socialpsychological self-regulation approach were added to PT (+SR). Our assumption was that the +EFT would lead to greater and deeper change, particularly in the follow-up assessments.


Patients (n = 104) with anxiety, depression, or adjustment disorders were randomized to the two conditions and treated by 38 therapists who self-selected between the conditions. Primary outcome was symptom severity at 12-month follow-up; secondary outcomes included several measures such as interpersonal problems and quality of life. Variables were assessed at baseline, after 8 and 16 sessions, at posttreatment, and at 6- and 12-month follow-up.


Contrary to our hypothesis, no significant between-group effects were found.


The findings first suggest the difficulty of topping an already very effective approach to psychotherapy. Alternative interpretations were that the EFT training, while corresponding to regular practice in AI, was not sufficient to make a difference in outcome, or that while profiting from the enhancement of abilities for working with emotions, this was outbalanced by negative effects of difficulties related to the implementation of the new elements.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology > Centre of Competence for Psychosomatic Medicine
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

UniBE Contributor:

Caspar, Franz, Berger, Thomas (B), Grosse Holtforth, Martin, Babl, Anna Margarete, Heer, Sara Soraya Suleika, Lin, Mu, Stähli, Annabarbara, Gomez Penedo, Juan Martin, Holstein, Dominique Hans, Egenolf, Yvonne, Frischknecht, Eveline, Krieger, Tobias, Ramseyer, Fabian, Regli, Daniel, Schmied, Emma Clare, Flückiger, Christoph, Brodbeck, Jeannette, Belz, Martina


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology








Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

23 Aug 2022 11:55

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:38

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Uncontrolled Keywords:

Emotion-Focused Therapy Plan Analysis assimilative integration common factors self-regulation




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