Exploring How AFFECT (A Family Focused Emotion Communication Training) and Self Psychology Are Mutually Enhancing

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Michael Karson

Second Advisor

Kimberly Shipman

Third Advisor

Shelly Smith-Acuna


Empathic attunement, Children, Qualitative research, Emotion regulation, Emotional development, Behavioral parent training, Self psychology


This paper implicitly advocates for a rapprochement between psychodynamic and behavioral approaches to psychotherapy, by exploring the similarities and differences between self psychology and A Family Focused Emotion Communication Training (AFFECT), a behavioral parent training model. Self psychology, a theory with broad applicability, has been applied to several modalities besides behavioral ones. Generally speaking, self psychology and AFFECT are both relational approaches to psychotherapy that emphasize the impact of parent responsiveness, more specifically empathic attunement, on a child's emotional development and emotion regulation. Differentiating aspects of each model are identified to enhance the other model. AFFECT has relevance for pushing self psychology theory more in the direction of operations, which has implications for enhancing the research potential of self psychology, as well as for the training of the self-psychologist. Conversely, self psychology has relevance for coaching the parent with low self-esteem and decreased self-efficacy in AFFECT, which has potential implications for AFFECT treatment outcomes.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


46 pages

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