Development of a unified protocol for the treatment of emotional disorders in youth

Jill T. Ehrenreich, Clark R. Goldstein, Lauren R. Wright, David H. Barlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


This article reviews the development and initial trial of a treatment for adolescents that targets negative emotionality and associated psychological difficulties particularly anxiety and depressive disorders as a more singular entity by utilizing an approach rooted in both emotion science and theory. The rationale for such an approach is based upon the perceived need for novel treatment approaches that target commonalities in emotional disorder symptom presentation and their intervention. Utilizing the Unified Protocol for the Treatment of Emotional Disorders originally developed for adults (Barlow, Allen, Choate, 2004), we conducted a multiple-baseline design study of a slightly modified version of this protocol with three adolescents presenting an array of anxiety and depression symptoms. Adolescent participants in this preliminary investigation evidenced symptom reductions across disorders at post treatment, with greater improvements noted at a 6-month follow-up. Based on these findings and research regarding the association between emotion science and developmental psychopathology, we detail a more extensive set of modifications to the protocol, undertaken in preparation for a subsequent open-trial investigation of the revised treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-37
Number of pages18
JournalChild and Family Behavior Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Emotional disorders
  • Unified protocol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology


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