Self-regulation and mechanisms of action in psychotherapy: a theory-based translational perspective.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Psychotherapy is a complex, multilayered process with the potential to bring about changes at multiple levels of functioning, from the neurobiology of the brain to the individual's role in the social world. Although studies of the mechanisms by which psychotherapy leads to change continue to appear, there remains much to be learned about how psychological interventions work. To guide explorations of how and for whom particular treatment approaches lead to change, researchers can rely on theory to identify potential loci for change and on translational research methods to integrate basic behavioral science and neuroscience with clinical science. In this article, we describe research linking individual differences in the self-regulation of personal goal pursuit with the etiology and treatment of mood disorders. The research draws upon regulatory focus theory as a model of self-regulation and on microintervention designs-controlled laboratory investigations of a specific therapeutic technique-to generate and test hypotheses about how psychological interventions can help to reverse maladaptive self-regulatory processes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Strauman, TJ; Goetz, EL; Detloff, AM; MacDuffie, KE; Zaunmüller, L; Lutz, W

Published Date

  • December 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 81 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 542 - 553

PubMed ID

  • 23072383

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3561485

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-6494

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3506

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/jopy.12012


  • eng