Mindful emotion regulation: An integrative review

Clin Psychol Rev. 2009 Aug;29(6):560-72. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2009.06.005. Epub 2009 Jun 23.


This review aims to integrate the constructs of mindfulness and emotion regulation. Research into both of these areas is relatively new, and while several reviews have emerged for each area independently, none has directly proposed a conceptual integration. The current review explores how key axioms and assumptions of traditional psychological models of emotion regulation and the psychological interventions that are derived from them (e.g., cognitive behavior therapy) differ fundamentally from mindfulness-based approaches in terms of the underlying processes they address. Accordingly, mindfulness and emotion regulation are each reviewed, followed by a conceptual integration. Fundamental difficulties arising from the attempt to integrate the two domains are highlighted, especially as to the "reality" of thoughts, the relationship between thoughts and emotions, and the need to move beyond a valence model of emotion. Finally, a model is proposed outlining the likely critical processes and mechanisms that underlie "mindful emotion regulation."

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affective Symptoms / psychology
  • Affective Symptoms / therapy
  • Attention
  • Cognition*
  • Emotions*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mind-Body Therapies / methods*
  • Models, Psychological