Emotions in play: young people’s and clinicians’ experience of ‘Thinking about Emotions’ group

Lucia Giombini, Sophie Nesbitt, Jenni Leppanen, Hannah Cox, Abigail Easter, Kate Tchanturia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emotional difficulties in young people (YP) with anorexia nervosa (AN) are well recognised. Improved strategies are needed to support inpatients to tolerate group therapy and to help them to better identify and manage their emotions. Cognitive Remediation and Emotion Skills Training (CREST) for AN adults, aimed at improving emotional processing skills, has been found beneficial in adult AN groups. A case series of CREST was conducted in an inpatient ward for YP (CREST-YP) to evaluate its suitability for a younger population.
A mixed-methods assessment was used. Thirty-two YP and 3 facilitators took part in qualitative interviews. YP (n = 32) also completed pre- and post-self-report questionnaires assessing emotional functioning.
Preliminary qualitative results showed that YP found it helpful to learn about emotion processes. More support is needed to clarify the link between emotions and AN. Quantitative results showed no significant changes in YP’s self-perceived emotional functioning. Although no statistically significant changes were observed, a small increase in YP’s use of both reappraisal (standardised mean changes scores, SMCC 0.22) and suppression (SMCC − 0.22) as a means to regulate their emotions was found.
Pilot findings suggest that CREST-YP is a suitable intervention for YP with AN. Age-appropriate adaptations are needed to improve YP’s engagement in group CREST.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-614
JournalEating and Weight Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2019

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