Emotional clarity and attention to emotions in cognitive behavioral group therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction for social anxiety disorder

Rachel M. Butler, Matthew T. Boden, Thomas M. Olino, Amanda S. Morrison, Philip R Goldin, James J. Gross, Richard G. Heimberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined (1) differences between controls and patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) in emotional clarity and attention to emotions; (2) changes in emotional clarity and attention to emotions associated with cognitive-behavioral group therapy (CBGT), mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), or a waitlist (WL) condition; and (3) whether emotional clarity and attention to emotions moderated changes in social anxiety across treatment. Participants were healthy controls (n = 37) and patients with SAD (n = 108) who were assigned to CBGT, MBSR, or WL in a randomized controlled trial. At pretreatment, posttreatment, and 12-month follow-up, patients with SAD completed measures of social anxiety, emotional clarity, and attention to emotions. Controls completed measures at baseline only. At pretreatment, patients with SAD had lower levels of emotional clarity than controls. Emotional clarity increased significantly among patients receiving CBGT, and changes were maintained at 12-month follow-up. Emotional clarity at posttreatment did not differ between CBGT and MBSR or between MBSR and WL. Changes in emotional clarity predicted changes in social anxiety, but emotional clarity did not moderate treatment outcome. Analyses of attention to emotions were not significant. Implications for the role of emotional clarity in the treatment of SAD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume55
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

Keywords

  • Attention
  • CBT
  • Emotional clarity
  • MBSR
  • Social anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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