Emotion-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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Epstein and Baucom define positive and negative affect in ECBT by breaking them down into categories based on emotional state, activation level, and interpersonal/intrapersonal focus, emphasizing the link between emotions, cognitions and behaviors. Positive emotions are described as having five broad categories, including (1) happy-joyful, (2) close-warm, (3) energy-vigor, and (4) relaxed-calm, with the first two being related to emotional state and the latter two being related to activation level. Additional positive emotions, such as ambitious and inspired fall into an “other” category. Negative affect is described as having four main categories, including (1) depressed-sad, anxiety, anger, (2) contempt, (3) sense of fatigue, and (4) other or combinations of negative emotions (e.g., jealousy, guilt, shame). In their description of positive and negative affect, Epstein and Baucom stress the difference between the inter- and intra- personal focus of affect; that is, the difference between feeling emotions as an individual and feeling emotions for/towards someone else. For example, whereas general emotional states, such as happy-joyful and depressed-sad, explain a person’s general emotional disposition, other emotional states, such as close-warm or contempt, have a stronger interpersonal focus and include a person’s feelings about another individual. Rather than proposing positive or negative categories of emotions, Johnson conceptualizes affect in Emotionally Focused
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