Modelling cognition in emotional disorder: the S-REF model

Behav Res Ther. 1996 Nov-Dec;34(11-12):881-8. doi: 10.1016/s0005-7967(96)00050-2.


Cognitive therapy techniques are applied to an ever-increasing range of psychological disorders. However, both basic methods and general theory of therapy have evolved more slowly. Although cognitive therapy is based on experimentally testable concepts derived from cognitive psychology, an integration of these areas capable of explaining cognitive-attentional phenomena and offering treatment Implications remains to be achieved. In this paper, we outline the Self-Regulatory Executive Function (S-REF) model of emotional disorder, which integrates information processing research with Beck's schema theory. The model advances understanding of the roles of stimulus-driven and voluntary control of cognition, procedural knowledge (beliefs), and of the interactions between different levels of information-processing. It also accounts for cognitive bias effects demonstrated in the experimental psychopathology literature. The model presents implications concerning not only what should be done in cognitive therapy, but how cognitive change may be most effectively accomplished.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affective Symptoms / psychology*
  • Affective Symptoms / therapy
  • Attention
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology*
  • Cognition Disorders / therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Thinking