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Amanda Johnsen

Doctor of Clinical Psychology, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2018
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Understanding the Link Between Emotional Recognition and Awareness, Therapy, and Training

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Emotions are inevitably associated with psychological difficulties and consequently therapeutic interactions. There is however limited research investigating therapists’ emotional competencies. Research is also sparse regarding whether emotion recognition training influences therapists’ emotional capabilities. Ms Johnsen investigated the effect emotion recognition training had on therapists’ emotional recognition, self-reported emotional awareness and practice, and the relationship between these variables. She found emotion recognition training increased therapists’ ability to recognise emotion, as well as self-reports of emotion use in practice. Furthermore, the emotion recognition training decreased therapists’ self-reports of their level of emotional awareness. There was also an inverse relationship found between therapists’ actual emotional awareness and their perception of this ability. The results provided support for the consideration of emotion recognition training in therapist training programmes. Furthermore, given that there was a difference between actual and perceived emotional awareness, this signalled alternative forms of emotional competence feedback may be necessary for therapists.

Dr Shane Harvey
Dr Don Baken
Dr Peter Cannon