A positive emotion regulation intervention for bipolar I disorder: Treatment development and initial outcomes

Janelle M. Painter*, Jasmine Mote, Andrew D. Peckham, Erica H. Lee, Timothy R. Campellone, Jennifer G. Pearlstein, Stefana Morgan, Ann M. Kring, Sheri L. Johnson, Judith T. Moskowitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: Dysfunction in positive affect is a defining symptom of bipolar I disorder (BD), both during and between mood episodes. We hypothesize that helping people with BD learn skills to create balance in their affective experiences by engaging in strategies that increase low activation positive emotion (LAP; e.g., relaxation) could help to improve well-being during periods of symptom remission. We discuss the development and preliminary outcomes of a positive emotion regulation (PER) group treatment for people with BD, designed as a supplement to pharmacological treatment. Method: The Learning Affective Understanding for a Rich Emotional Life (LAUREL) intervention is a group-based intervention covering 10 empirically supported skills designed to increase LAP. Sixteen people with BD enrolled in the LAUREL intervention and twelve completed baseline and post-intervention assessments. Results: Participants who completed the study (n = 12) attended the majority of groups (87.96%) and reported practicing skills, on average, 16 times a week. We were unable to detect significant differences in mania symptoms following engagement in this PER intervention. Finally, participants reported increases in several areas associated with well-being post-intervention, including mindfulness, reappraisal, and self-compassion. Conclusion: This study provides a theoretical framework and preliminary support for a PER intervention for BD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-103
Number of pages8
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Emotion
  • Group treatment
  • Positive emotion
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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