Team Emotional Memory
Team Emotional Memory addresses an interesting phenomenon in clinical psychology: although there is ample evidence for the causal role of mental representations in the development and maintenance of psychopathology, the network approach proposes a radical move away from focussing on underlying causes (latent constructs) and instead focuses on symptoms and their causal interactions. Our team will critically test whether disregarding the causal role of mental representations in the study of psychopathology is justified. Since the network approach to psychopathology was developed in response to claims of stagnation in clinical practice, the litmus test will be its clinical utility. We challenge the network approach and hypothesise that incorporating emotional memory in network models of symptoms will lead to better treatment outcomes in mental health care.
To understand exactly how emotional memory can be depicted in a network, our team will systematically explore the construct validity of emotional memory with the aim of arriving at a definition and operationalisation that allows for reliable assessments independent from symptoms. Incorporating emotional memory into the network approach will offer mechanistic insights that can be used for treatment tailoring along with evidence-based treatment methods such as:
• Reconsolidation Intervention targeting the motivational expression of emotional memory
• EMDR targeting the perceptual vividness/intensity of emotional memory
• Imagery Rescripting targeting the dysfunctional meanings of emotional memory
These will also be tested accordingly.