Recent evidence supports emotion-regulation interventions for improving health in at-risk and clinical populations

Joshua M. Smyth, Danielle Arigo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

37 Scopus citations


Purpose of review The regulation of strong emotions has important implications for health, particularly among individuals with chronic illness. We focus this brief review on effective psychosocial interventions that emphasize and teach skills to improve emotion regulation in the context of health-related outcomes. Recent findings Recent work in the area of emotion-regulation interventions has tested the effects of emotion-regulation family therapy, group-based emotion-regulation psychotherapy, expressive writing, and school-based prevention programs. Emotion-regulation psychotherapy for families shows some benefits for both patients and their family members. Group emotion-regulation interventions and expressive writing result in physical and psychosocial improvement for patients with medical or psychiatric illness. School-based programs show improved emotion knowledge, emotion regulation, and emotional competence, relative to standard academic curricula and existing prevention programs. Summary Evidence generally supports the use of a variety of emotion-regulation interventions to improve health and well being in at-risk and clinical populations, although factors related to treatment response warrant additional research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-210
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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