The original items for the scale were based on a conceptual model developed over many years, clinical and research interviews, case histories, personal experiences, autobiographies and the emotion literature. It was informed by major emotion theories, cognitive theories and experiential theories, by behaviour therapy, cognitive therapy, experiential therapy, psychotherapy, and the fields of psychosomatics, medicine and neuropsychology.
Over several years of refinement and development of the scale ( Reference of articles ) , the EPS covers 5 factors over 25 items.
These are as follows:
- Controllability of Emotion
- Emotional experience
- Signs of unprocessed Emotion
Mapping the subscales on to the Model
The model explores three stages of Emotional processing:
- Input stage – describes initial emotional experience, memory and cognitive appraisal of the event and attempts to control the thought. (eg. avoidance)
- Emotional Experience stage – relates to the experience and understanding of the emotions and control of the emotional experience.
- Output Stage – reflects observable expressions, reactions and behaviours as signs of emotional processing.
Different problematic processing styles will come into the process at different stages. A person ‘avoiding’ thoughts, triggers and memories of an emotional event may hinder the encoding of the input, which in turn would restrict early stage emotional processing.
When experiencing emotions, two factors seem to relate to different psychological mechanisms which may constrict emotional processing-
‘Emotional Experience’ reflects a detached experience of emotions and impoverished emotional insight, whilst ‘Suppression’ concerns attempts to control or suppress feelings.
At the output stage, ‘Signs of Unprocessed Emotion’ consists of invasive and persistent emotional experiences, which indicate that important emotional material has not been fully processed;
‘Controllability of Emotions’ relates to difficulties in expression of emotions, which becomes evident through attempts and failure of controlling behaviour and experiences.