A comparison of emotion-focused therapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy in the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder.

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a chronic and debilitating anxiety disorder characterised by excessive worry, anxiety, and somatic symptoms such as tiredness. It is often found alongside other disorders such as depression. Its main features are also important for our understanding of the other anxiety disorders. Alongside pharmacological treatment, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an established psychological therapy for GAD. Its effectiveness is, however, limited with only an estimated 50% of clients presenting in the nonclinical range after a course of treatment. Furthermore, not all clients prefer CBT as a psychological therapy. For these reasons there have been calls in the research literature to develop other psychological treatments for GAD. Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) is an empirically established treatment for depression, a disorder frequently found comorbid with GAD. Recently, EFT was developed for GAD and was tested in an open trial with promising results. The current research project is a feasibility testing randomised controlled study that compares the efficacy of EFT vs. CBT in the treatment of GAD. This study aims to test the feasibility of a full comparison randomised controlled trial. It will test the recruitment, adherence, and acceptability/retention rates, as well as estimates of the comparative outcomes that can inform power calculations for a definitive trial


Award Date
20 October 2016
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Ladislav Timulak
Host Institution
Trinity College Dublin
Health Research Awards