OpriƟ, David; Macavei, Bianca
September 2005
Journal of Cognitive & Behavioral Psychotherapies;Sep2005, Vol. 5 Issue 2, p181
Academic Journal
At present, in the scientific literature concerning negative emotions and distress the unitary model of distress is the dominant model. According to this model, high levels of distress are conceptualized as a high level of negative affect while low levels of distress are conceptualized as a low level of negative affect. The binary model of distress, initially elaborated by Albert Ellis (1994), describes distress as a binary construct, consisting of two distinct components: functional negative emotions and dysfunctional negative emotions. In the present study, using 72 first year undergraduate students as subjects, we tested hypotheses based on the two models of distress: the unitary model and the binary model. The outcome shows qualitative differences between functional negative emotions and dysfunctional negative emotions, gaining support for the binary model of distress. Promising practical implications for psychotherapy are discussed.


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