Whereas some theories of cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) propose that acceptance and reappraisal conflict with one another, we propose that one component of acceptance, self-acceptance of negative emotions (being nonjudgmental of oneself for experiencing negative emotions), and reappraisal may facilitate one another. We hypothesized that emotion regulation (self-efficacy and frequency of suppression and reappraisal) would be associated with a stronger correlation between self-acceptance and more positive/less negative affect. We also examined whether self-acceptance is associated with a stronger correlation between emotion regulation and affect. Participants (n = 267) completed measures of self-acceptance, affect, and emotion regulation. Use of emotion regulation strategies was associated with stronger relationships between self-acceptance and affect, and self-acceptance was associated with stronger relationships between emotion regulation and affect. This suggests that self-acceptance and emotion regulation can facilitate, rather than conflict with one another. Clinically, self-acceptance may improve outcomes when integrated into CBT in addition to reappraisal.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Emotion regulation