Modelling cognition in emotional disorder: The S-REF model

Adrian Wells, Gerald Matthews

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)881-888
    Number of pages7
    JournalBehaviour research and therapy
    Issue number11-12
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 1996


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