Yoga-integrated psychotherapy for emotion dysregulation: A pilot study

Jasmine Childs-Fegredo, Elisa Fontana, Mary Moran, Paul Faulkner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims & Objectives
Yoga has been evidenced as beneficial for physical and mental health. This study sought to pilot the acceptability and feasibility of a yoga-integrated psychotherapy (YiP) intervention, aimed at alleviating difficulties in emotion regulation. A further aim was to explore the perceived effectiveness of YiP in alleviating depression, anxiety and improving well-being.

Seven participants who scored significantly on the Difficulties in Emotion Dysregulation Scale (DERS) took part in a psychological assessment session followed by six weekly one hr therapy sessions. Participants completed self-report measures in each session to quantify the effects of each YiP session on emotion regulation, well-being, depression and anxiety. Following seven sessions, five participants completed qualitative follow-up interviews to explore subjective experiences of YiP and any perceived impacts.

An ANOVA that contained data from seven participants who completed all six sessions revealed that DERS scores were significantly lower, and well-being scores were significantly higher, at both mid and end-points than at baseline. Thematic analysis of qualitative interviews identified five themes: “YiP assists the client's psychological and emotional processing,” “YiP improves insight and focus,” “YiP is culturally sensitive,” “the body facilitates regulation and resilience” and “YiP is acceptable & impactful.”

The study presents promising findings for the integration of yoga into psychotherapeutic practice and indicates that YiP may have beneficial effects on emotion regulation and psychological well-being. Future research should use randomised controlled methodologies to examine the ability of YiP to alleviate a wide range of affective symptoms using a larger sample of participants.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2022


  • Emotion Dysregulation
  • Psychotherapy
  • Yoga

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