Unified Protocol

What is Unified Protocol?

Unified Protocol is a type of therapy used in psychology to treat various mental health conditions. It is designed to help individuals who struggle with emotions, such as anxiety, depression, or stress. This therapeutic approach combines different techniques from existing therapies to provide a comprehensive and effective treatment.

When is Unified Protocol used?

Unified Protocol is used when individuals experience difficulties with emotions, such as anxiety, depression, or stress. It is suitable for people who face challenges in managing their emotions and want to develop better coping strategies. The therapy is particularly helpful for those who have been diagnosed with multiple emotional disorders or who do not fully meet the criteria for a specific disorder.

What to expect in Unified Protocol therapy sessions

Unified Protocol therapy sessions typically involve the following components:

Psychoeducation: Your psychologist will explain the principles and techniques of Unified Protocol and provide information about emotions, their triggers, and the role of thoughts and behaviours.

Identifying emotions and triggers: You will work with your psychologist to identify the specific emotions you struggle with and the situations or events that trigger them.

Mindfulness: You will learn mindfulness techniques to increase your awareness of your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. Mindfulness helps you develop a non-judgmental and accepting attitude towards your experiences.

Cognitive restructuring: This technique involves identifying and challenging negative or unhelpful thoughts and replacing them with more balanced and realistic ones.

Behavioural activation: You will learn strategies to increase engagement in positive and meaningful activities, even when you don’t feel like doing them.

Problem-solving: Your psychologist will guide you in developing effective problem-solving skills to address difficulties and obstacles in your life.

Relapse prevention: Towards the end of therapy, you will work on developing strategies to prevent relapse and maintain the progress you have made.

Remember, therapy is personalised to your unique needs and experiences. Your psychologist will adapt the approach to ensure it is respectful, empowering, and supportive of your therapeutic journey.

Reference: Farchione Todd J et al. (2012) “Unified protocol for transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders: a randomized controlled trial.” Behavior therapy vol. 43,3: 666-78. doi:10.1016/j.beth.2012.01.001

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