Intra- and Interpersonal Emotion Regulation

This project is conducted by Zeynep Emine Okur within the Munich Node of TESIS. The research supervisors are Olga Pollatos (University of Ulm, Germany) and Peter Henningsen (TU München, Germany).

Intra- and Interpersonal Emotion Regulation in Patients with Somatoform Pain

Somatoform Pain Disorder is characterized as a psychological condition leading to the experience of severe, persistent and disabling pain in the patient without any biomedical or physiological explanatory origins, and which is accompanied by psychological factors contributing to the development, course and treatment of the disorder (Lahmann, Henningsen, & Noll-Hussong, 2010; Rief, Zenz, Schweiger, et al., 2008). Affect dysregulation has been extensively reported to play a role in the development and maintenance of somatoform disorders (Waller & Scheidt, 2006). However, the mechanism through which affect regulation affects somatoform pain is not well understood. By adopting an embodied emotion approach, depicting our body as a medium for emotional processing, this project aims to:

  1. Propose a model to explain how emotion regulation processes of somatoform pain patients during their interactions with significant others are related to somatoform pain.
  2. Examine whether these emotion regulation processes can differentiate somatoform pain patients from so called medically explained pain patients.
  3. Compare the effectiveness of emotion regulation strategies that target different concomitants of emotional processes (i.e. bodily vs. cognitive).