Using the Process Model to Understand Emotion Regulation Changes After Brain Injury

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Changes in emotion regulation (ER) are common after brain damage. These changes often compromise both the emotional adjustment to the injury and the reestablishment of relationships with significant others. Despite the clinical relevance of ER changes for neuropsychological rehabilitation, the conceptualization of ER in this field has been surprisingly neglected. The goal of this article is to familiarize the reader with one popular model of ER, namely the Process Model of Emotion Regulation (Gross, 1998, 2015), and to highlight its relevance for neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation. To achieve this goal, we present each of the five ER strategies proposed by the model (situation selection, situation modification, attentional deployment, cognitive change, and response modulation) and describe how different profiles of neuropsychological impairment can compromise different ER strategies. Implications for the neuropsychological assessment of ER in brain injured survivors are discussed. We argue that there is a need to develop theory-driven and evidence-based tools to capture ER change, and that an assessment of ER abilities should be included when building case formulations. Regarding the design of interventions, we propose that the Process Model can enrich clinicians’ theoretical background and educate brain injured survivors and relatives. Furthermore, this model can inform the development of interventions that specifically target emotion dysregulation after brain damage.


  • brain injury, emotion, emotion regulation, neuropsychological rehabilitation, neuropsychology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-150
JournalPsychology & Neuroscience
Issue number4
Early online date18 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
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