Howells, Rose, Gee, Clarke, Carroll, Harbrow, Oliver, Wilson (2019) Evaluation of a non-diagnostic 'Psychology of Emotions' group intervention within a UK youth IAPT service: a mixed-methods approach Behavioural and cognitive psychotherapy () 1-13


A novel CBT-based intervention, tailored for young people, was developed in response to concerns about traditional diagnostically based approaches. Psychology of Emotions workshops use a normative approach to emotional difficulty instead of a diagnostic framework. To evaluate the acceptability and efficacy of Psychology of Emotions workshops within an IAPT service for young people aged 16-25 years. This was a mixed-methods study, evaluating routinely collected self-report measures of depression and anxiety, and qualitative feedback forms. The main outcomes were rates of attendance, change in symptom severity, and participant views of the intervention. From January to September 2016, 595 young people were invited to attend the Psychology of Emotions workshops, of whom 350 (58.8%) attended at least one session. Young people who attended all six sessions (8.1%) experienced significant reductions in self-reported anxiety (d = .72) and depression (d = .58) and 35.5% were classified as recovered at completion. Those who attended at least two sessions (41.3%) reported smaller but significant improvements in anxiety (d = .42) and depression (d = .45); 22.0% were classified as recovered at the last session attended. Participants provided largely positive feedback about the intervention. Psychology of Emotions is a promising treatment option, delivered outside of a diagnostic framework, for young people with mild to moderate mental health difficulties seen within IAPT services. Better understanding reasons for non-attendance might enable the intervention to be made accessible to more young people.