Category: Treatment - DBT

Symposium

An Experimental Investigation of Emotional Validation and Invalidation and the Role of Nonacceptance of Emotional Response

Sunday, November 19
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Aqua Salon A & B, Level 3, Aqua Level

Keywords: DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) | Emotion Regulation | Translational Research
Presentation Type: Symposium

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is the gold-standard treatment for borderline personality disorder and incorporates several acceptance-based strategies, and skills, including the therapist’s validation of client emotions, and training in mindful acceptance of emotions. We used a within-subject experimental paradigm to investigate 1)the processes associated with emotional validation and invalidation, and 2) whether non-acceptance of emotion moderates these outcomes. A sample of 138 undergraduates engaged in an experiment with two conditions: validation and invalidation. Participants listened to an emotion induction and then reported their emotional response (induction phase). In the next phase, they received validating or invalidating feedback about their emotional response as text on the computer. Participants were divided into high vs. low non-acceptance of emotions based on the Difficulty with Emotion Regulation Scale Non-acceptance subscale. Emotional intensity was continuously assessed via a rating dial and physiological indices. Preliminary analyses using Generalized estimated equations of rating dial and heart rate(HR) data have been conducted. For both the Validation and Invalidation condition, there was a significant effect of phase where an increase in positive emotions (Val: Wald χ2=26.64, p < .001; Inv: Wald χ2=24.49, p < .001) accompanied a decrease in HR (Val: Wald χ2=4.08, p = .04; Inv: Wald χ2=6.18, p = .01) during Validation and Invalidation relative to induction. A phase*non-acceptance interaction in the Invalidation condition (Wald χ2=3.87, p = .05) was found such that there was a significant increase in HR among individuals with low non-acceptance during Invalidation relative to induction but no significant change in HR among individuals with high non-acceptance. There was no significant phase*non-acceptance interaction for rating dial. Analyses on skin conductance will be presented. Findings suggest that, whereas individuals low in non-acceptance exhibit increases in physiological arousal in response to invalidation, individuals with high non-acceptance of emotions might respond with a more rigid physiological profile. Clinical implications will be discussed.

Janice Kuo

Associate Professor
Ryerson University

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An Experimental Investigation of Emotional Validation and Invalidation and the Role of Nonacceptance of Emotional Response



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