Reducing the meta-emotional problem decreases physiological fear response during exposure in phobics

Alessandro Couyoumdjian, Cristina Ottaviani, Nicola Petrocchi, Roberta Trincas, Katia Tenore, Carlo Buonanno, Francesco Mancini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Anxiety disorders may not only be characterized by specific symptomatology (e.g., tachycardia) in response to the fearful stimulus (primary problem or first-level emotion) but also by the tendency to negatively evaluate oneself for having those symptoms (secondary problem or negative meta-emotion). An exploratory study was conducted driven by the hypothesis that reducing the secondary or meta-emotional problem would also diminish the fear response to the phobic stimulus. Thirty-three phobic participants were exposed to the phobic target before and after undergoing a psychotherapeutic intervention addressed to reduce the meta-emotional problem or a control condition. The electrocardiogram was continuously recorded to derive heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) and affect ratings were obtained. Addressing the meta-emotional problem had the effect of reducing the physiological but not the subjective symptoms of anxiety after phobic exposure. Preliminary findings support the role of the meta-emotional problem in the maintenance of response to the fearful stimulus (primary problem).

Original languageEnglish
Article number1105
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume7
Issue numberJUL
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 25 2016

Fingerprint

Fear
Emotions
Heart Rate
Anxiety Disorders
Tachycardia
Electrocardiography
Anxiety
Maintenance

Keywords

  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Double standard
  • Heart rate
  • Heart rate variability
  • Meta-emotional problem
  • Phobic stimuli
  • Self-criticism
  • Specific phobia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Couyoumdjian, A., Ottaviani, C., Petrocchi, N., Trincas, R., Tenore, K., Buonanno, C., & Mancini, F. (2016). Reducing the meta-emotional problem decreases physiological fear response during exposure in phobics. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(JUL), [1105]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01105

Reducing the meta-emotional problem decreases physiological fear response during exposure in phobics. / Couyoumdjian, Alessandro; Ottaviani, Cristina; Petrocchi, Nicola; Trincas, Roberta; Tenore, Katia; Buonanno, Carlo; Mancini, Francesco.

In: Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 7, No. JUL, 1105, 25.07.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Couyoumdjian, A, Ottaviani, C, Petrocchi, N, Trincas, R, Tenore, K, Buonanno, C & Mancini, F 2016, 'Reducing the meta-emotional problem decreases physiological fear response during exposure in phobics', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 7, no. JUL, 1105. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01105
Couyoumdjian A, Ottaviani C, Petrocchi N, Trincas R, Tenore K, Buonanno C et al. Reducing the meta-emotional problem decreases physiological fear response during exposure in phobics. Frontiers in Psychology. 2016 Jul 25;7(JUL). 1105. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01105
Couyoumdjian, Alessandro ; Ottaviani, Cristina ; Petrocchi, Nicola ; Trincas, Roberta ; Tenore, Katia ; Buonanno, Carlo ; Mancini, Francesco. / Reducing the meta-emotional problem decreases physiological fear response during exposure in phobics. In: Frontiers in Psychology. 2016 ; Vol. 7, No. JUL.
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