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Dr. Douglas Mennin and Dr. David Fresco
Dr. Douglas Mennin and Dr. David Fresco
Dr. Douglas Mennin and Dr. David Fresco

Emotion Regulation Therapy

Dr. Douglas Mennin and Dr. David Fresco

Monday Dec 02, 2024

Pacific Time:

9:00am - 4:30pm

Eastern Time:

12:00pm - 7:30pm

Can’t attend the live streamed version of this workshop? All of our workshops are also available as pre-recorded on-demand videos that you can watch when you want. All are available 10 working days after the live date presentation for up to one year. 


On December 2nd, 2024, Dr. Douglas Mennin and Dr. David Fresco will deliver a full-day workshop on the research and clinical application of emotion regulation therapy for mood and anxiety disorders.

Workshop Outline

Despite the success of cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT), a sizable subgroup of patients fail to achieve an acute and enduring treatment response. Patients with “distress disorders” (including generalized anxiety disorder & major depressive disorder, especially when they co-occur) and individuals in distressing contexts (i.e., COVID-19 pandemic, familial caregiving), fail to make sufficient treatment gains thereby prolonging their deficits in life functioning and satisfaction.  These patients often display heightened sensitivity to threat/safety and reward/loss contexts as well as perseveration (i.e., worry, rumination) to manage this motivationally relevant distress yet often to the detriment of engaging new opportunities. Using this hypothesized profile as a framework, Emotion Regulation Therapy (ERT) integrates principles from traditional and contemporary CBT with basic and translational findings from affective science to offer a blueprint for improving clinical response by focusing on the motivational responses and corresponding regulatory characteristics of individuals with distress disorders. Initial ERT findings demonstrate considerable evidence for efficacy in both distress disorders as well as distressing contexts.  Evidence for underlying proposed mechanisms has also been demonstrated.

In this workshop, we will begin by offering a concise overview of ERT findings from our 9 published and on-going clinical trial both in terms of clinical improvement as well as findings supporting the neurobehavioral model undergirding ERT. Attendees will also receive an introduction to our ERT approach to case formulation and the treatment principles we have developed and utilize. In doing so, attendees will learn to help clients to:

1) expand their understanding of anxiety and depression using a motivational and emotion regulation perspective

2) cultivate mindful awareness and acceptance of sensations, bodily, responses, and conflicting emotions

3) develop emotion regulation skills that promote a distanced and reframed meta-cognitive perspective

4) apply these skills during emotion-based exposure to meaningful behavioural actions and associated internal conflicts to taking these actions

5) build a plan to maintain gains and take bolder action despite the ending of the therapeutic relationship. 

Learning Objectives

At the end of the session, attendees will learn to:

  • Expand their understanding of the role of dysfunctional self-referential processing in treatment resistant presentations of anxiety and depression

  • Evaluate how a motivational and emotion regulation perspective can be utilized to improve understanding and treatment of refractory cases

  •  Increase familiarity with attention regulation skills to promote flexible shifting and sustaining of awareness on emotional responses

  • Increase familiarity with meta-cognitive regulation skills to promote a distanced, decentered, and reframed perspective on emotions

  •  Use ERT skills to develop emotion-based exposure to meaningful behavioural actions and associated internal conflicts to taking these actions

About the Presenter

Dr. Doug Mennin has developed an active program of research in clinical trials and basic research into the nature of chronic and recurring bouts of anxiety and mood disorders, particularly worry, stress, and depression. He has examined these problems from a perspective that highlights the importance of one's ability to efficiently process emotional situations when they arise as well as manage resultant moods in effective rather than maladaptive ways. He has conducted numerous studies of the basic psychological and physiological mechanisms of generalized anxiety and depression and has recently been examining the role of worry and rumination in maintaining and exacerbating gastric dysfunction and chronic inflammation. He also regularly conducts psychotherapy outcome and mechanism research. Specifically, he has developed Emotion Regulation Therapy (ERT), which is an integrative mind-body psychotherapy that draws from contemporary approaches as well as affect science and neuroscience.  Dr. Mennin’s work on ERT has demonstrated considerable positive outcomes as well as identified a number of cognitive, physiological, and neural mechanisms that may help explain how the therapy is effective.  Along with colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and in Denmark, he has also recently adapted this approach to treat distressed caregivers of patients with cancer. 

Dr. David M Fresco is Professor of Psychiatry and Research Professor at the Institute for Social Research (ISR). His program of research adopts an affective neuroscience perspective to conduct basic, translational, and treatment studies of anxiety and mood disorders, particularly distress disorders (e.g., major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder) incorporating methodologies including functional neuroimaging (fMRI & EEG), peripheral psychophysiology, and serum markers (e.g., inflammation, neurodegeneration). Another facet of Dr. Fresco’s research has focused on the development of treatments informed by affective and contemplative neuroscience findings that incorporate mindfulness meditation and other practices derived from Buddhist mental training exercises.  Increasingly, with collaborators at ISR, Dr. Fresco is working to develop clinical trials for treatment optimization and implementation utilizing adaptive intervention methodology (e.g., sequential multiple assignment randomized trials [SMART] & just-in-time adaptive interventions [JITAIs]). Much of his NIH-funded treatment research has focused on the infusion of mindfulness into Western psychosocial treatments. He has successfully completed several NIH grants and is PI or Co-I on seven currently funded NIH projects examining neurobehavioral mechanisms and efficacy of mindfulness-enriched treatments for chronic illnesses (e.g., hypertension, obesity, perinatal insomnia, incurable vision loss), the burden of cancer caregivers, and the role of emotion regulation strategies in everyday life to reduce distress.

Training Modalities

Didactic, videos, Q&A and polls.

Who should attend

This event is open to all mental health professionals.  A working knowledge of CBT is encouraged.

Continuing Education (CE) Credits

Bespoke Mental Health Canada is approved by the Canadian Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. Bespoke Mental Health Canada maintains responsibility for the program. 

After viewing this workshop live on December 2nd , 2024, participants have the option to complete an evaluation form in order to be eligible to receive a certificate confirming the number of credits awarded. This certificate will be sent via email.

Participants who view this workshop as a pre-recorded event will need to complete an additional workshop knowledge quiz in order to be eligible to receive CE credits.

Participants who complete this workshop are eligible to receive 6 CE credits.


Professionals: $175 CAD +tax

Students*: $140 CAD +tax

* Proof of student status may be required in order to qualify for a student rate.

Key References

Fresco, D M., & Mennin, D. S., (2019).  All together now: Utilizing common functional change principles to unify cognitive behavioral and mindfulness-based therapies. Current Opinion in Psychology, 28, 65-70. 

Renna, M. E., Fresco, D. M., & Mennin, D. S. (2020). Emotion regulation therapy and its potential role in the treatment of chronic stress related pathology across disorders. Chronic Stress, 4, 1-10.

Renna, M. E., Spaeth, P. E., Quintero, J. M., O’Toole, M. S., Sandman, C. F., Fresco, D. M., & Mennin, D. S. (2023). A randomized controlled trial comparing two doses of emotion regulation therapy: Preliminary evidence that gains in attentional and metacognitive regulation reduce worry, rumination, and distress. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 104420.

Mennin, D.S., Fresco, D.M., Heimberg, R.G., & O’Toole, M. (2018). A randomized control trial of Emotion Regulation Therapy for generalized anxiety disorder without and without co-occurring depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 86, 268-281. [Ranked in the top 10 of downloaded articles in 2018 from 4000+ articles in 89 APA journals, APA Monitor, Dec 2018, p. 39]

O’Toole, M. S., *Renna, M. E., Mennin, D. S., & Fresco, D. M. (2019). Changes in decentering and reappraisal temporally precede symptom reduction during emotion regulation therapy for generalized anxiety disorder with and without co-occurring depression. Behavior Therapy, 1042-1052.

Scult, M., Fresco, D. M., Gunning, F., *Seeley, S., *García-Lesy, E., Liston, C., & Mennin, D. S. (2019). Changes in functional connectivity following treatment with Emotion Regulation Therapy. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience (Research Topic, Neurobiological Models of Psychotherapy), 13, Article 10, 1-14.

More information coming soon.

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