emotional regulation masterclass

The 12th Newbridge Masterclass brought a focus on emotional regulation and new cognitive tools to support people experiencing difficulties.

Delivered by Gerard Butcher, Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin, the training examined the role of self-criticism, shame and guilt in the development and maintenance of eating disorders.

“Some people with eating disorders are not connecting enough with their emotional state, and equally others are over-connecting with their emotional state,” said Mr Butcher.

“As we recognise, we cannot leave emotional regulation out of the equation of treatment, the question is, what do we do about it?”

The morning session considered the development and application of Integrative Cognitive Affective Therapy (ICAT).

This is a manualised programme which has a particular focus on the emotional functioning in the immediate time precipitating eating disorders symptoms. Like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), the approach encourages self-evaluation and self-regulation, but a key difference is the way ICAT considers emotional responding and interpersonal factors.

There was a broad discussion about self-discrepancy and standards, with particular consideration of the emotional impact of rigid, unrealistic standards for the ‘ought self’.

“Newer treatments like ICAT-BN develop and enable the therapist to select the type of therapy approach most suited to the individual’s presentation,” said Mr Butcher.

compassion focused therapy

The afternoon session was focused on Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), another relatively new but increasingly popular therapeutic tool.

“This is an approach which developed from the recognition that some people were doing CBT but not really feeling any better for it,” explained Mr Butcher. “It is about focusing less on the cognitions and more upon the development of a gentler inner voice.”

The primary goals of CFT are to support the individual to develop a better system of activating self-soothing and the ability to choose a gentler inner voice.

There was a broad discussion about the impact of self-criticism and different ways of working to support self-compassion rather than self-esteem.

Professor Hubert Lacey, director of research for Newbridge House, concluded the day, saying: “I would like to thank Gerry for bringing together the research and the coalface of clinical practice in such a dynamic, impressive way. This is the bedrock of the Masterclass series.”

This Masterclass took place on Tuesday, October 8 at New Hall Hotel, Sutton Coldfield. Places were heavily over-subscribed at a ratio of five to one, with places allocated to ensure there is a broad range of professions and services attending. There were 75 participants who travelled from different locations across England and Ireland. Newbridge funds this training free of charge for NHS staff to train alongside our own staff.

Masterclass speakers are selected as internationally recognised experts within their fields. Previous speakers have come from Canada, Australia, Sweden, Norway and the UK.

If you would like to register your interest in attending future Masterclass events, please email Amanda Deakin, Masterclass administrator, giving your name, job designation and the service you work for: Mandy.Deakin@newbridge-health.org.uk

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