Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Regret

General Information

Title: Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Regret

Presenter: Robert L Leahy, PhD

Date: Thursday October 31, 2024 11:00 AM-2:00 PM ET

Fee: $145. Earlybird discount (until 9/1) $95. Includes handouts, 3 CE credits, and 2 months access to recordings.

Venue: Online Webinar

Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Regret


Although regret is a central element in depression, procrastination, indecision, self-criticism, worry, rumination, and avoidance, it has received little attention in the CBT literature. In contrast, regret has been a focus in decision theory and research indicating that when people make decisions, they often anticipate the possibility of post-decision regret and, therefore, attempt to minimize this experience. Regret is not always a negative process. Insufficient regret processes result in impulsive behavior and failure to learn from past decisions. During manic episodes there is underutilization of anticipatory regret. We will view regret as a self-regulatory process where too much regret or too little regret may be problematic. In addition, some decision makers have idealized beliefs about decisions, rejecting ambivalence as an inevitable part of the trade-offs underlying decision-making under uncertainty. Specific decision styles are more likely to contribute to regret, including maximization, emotional perfectionism, existential perfectionism, intolerance of uncertainty, and overvaluation of “more” information rather than relevant information. In this presentation we will examine how regret is linked to hindsight bias, maximization rather than satisfaction strategies, intolerance of uncertainty, rejection of ambivalence, refusal to accept trade-offs, excessive information demands, and ruminative processes. Specific techniques will be elaborated to balance regret with acceptance, future utility, and flexibility to enhance more pragmatic decision processes, reverse ruminative focus on the past, and replace self-criticism with adaptive self-correction. 



Robert L. Leahy (B.A., M.S., Ph.D., Yale University), Completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Medical School under the direction of Dr. Aaron Beck, the founder of cognitive therapy. Dr. Leahy is the Past-President of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Past-President of the International Association of Cognitive Psychotherapy, Past-President of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, Director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy (NYC), and Clinical Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Weill-Cornell University Medical School.
Dr. Leahy is the Honorary Life-time President, New York City Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Association and a Distinguished Founding Fellow, Diplomate, of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He has received the Aaron T. Beck award for outstanding contributions in cognitive therapy. In 2023, he was named the Global Ambassador by the Association of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies and he also received the Outstanding Clinician Award from ABCT.

Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Regret


  1. Identify the role of anticipatory and retrospective regret in decision making;
  2. Describe how regret impacts procrastination, risk aversion, indecision, rumination, and self-criticism;
  3. Explain how to assist clients in accepting uncertainty and risk in order to make more pragmatic and effective decisions;
  4. Describe how to assist clients in reducing post-decision regret, self-criticism and rumination and accept trade-offs in making decisions while enhancing satisfaction with imperfect outcomes.

CE Information

Continuing Education Credits (3) are granted through Neuhoff Psychological Consulting, PLLC for the following professions: Psychologists, Social workers, Mental Health Counselors, LMFTs, and LCATs. It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards to verify CE requirements for their state.

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Neuhoff Psychological Consulting is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Neuhoff Psychological Consulting, PLLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content. 



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Anderson, C. J. (2023). The psychology of doing nothing: forms of decision avoidance result from reason and emotion. Psychological bulletin, 129(1), 139.


Bjälkebring, P., Västfjäll, D., Svenson, O., & Slovic, P. (2016). Regulation of experienced and anticipated regret in daily decision making. Emotion, 16(3), 381.


Breugelmans, S. M., Zeelenberg, M., Gilovich, T., Huang, W. H., & Shani, Y. (2014). Generality and cultural variation in the experience of regret. Emotion14(6), 1037.

Satisfactory Completion:

Participants must have paid the tuition fee, signed in or logged in and out each day, attended the entire webinar, and completed an evaluation to receive a certificate.  Failure to sign/log in or out will result in forfeiture of credit for the entire course. No exceptions will be made. Partial credit is not available. Certificates are available electronically after satisfactory course completion. A link will be provided for those who have completed the training.

Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Regret


Application Deadline:  October 29, 2024 or until all training spaces are filled, whichever comes first.

Notification of Acceptance

Applicants will be notified, via email, of acceptance when registration is complete, and payment is received.

Refund/Cancellation Policy 

Tuition/registration payments are refundable until September 30th. Cancellations after this date are non-refundable. In this situation, we will attempt to find someone to take your slot (based on our waiting list).


Conference is via webinar. For live options, there will be handicap accessibility.

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Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Regret


Thursday, October 31, 2024

11:00-11:15 AM:  Welcome and Introduction

11:15–12:45 Program Overview

What is regret?

What do you regret?

Why is it important?

What do people regret?

Cultural and historical factors

Can regret be productive?

            Deficits in regret

            The myth of the pure mind

            The social component of regret

Excessive regret

            Psychopathology of excessive regret

            Styles of thinking related to regret

Living with ambivalence

            Normalizing ambivalence

            Challenging the idea that ambivalence cannot be tolerated

Intolerance of uncertainty and regret

            Examples of current tolerance of uncertainty

            Challenging need for certainty

            Building acceptance

Existential perfectionism

            Demanding expectations

            The downside of existential perfectionism

            Challenging existential perfectionism

Emotional perfectionism

            Learning to live with unpleasant emotions

            Integrating emotions into a full life

Maximizers and Satisfiers

            Maximizing Questionnaire

            Challenging maximization beliefs

Adaptive Humility

            How can humility help us with regret?

            Acceptance and contentment

            Appreciation and Gratitude

12:45-1:15 Break

1:15–3: 00 Coping with Regret

What good are mistakes?

            Mistakes as information and experiments

            Reasons we don’t learn from mistakes

Problematic decision styles and regret

Loving Risk/Risk averse



Aim to win/Aim to avoid losing

Require a lot of information/Rely more on intuition or hunch

Able to absorb losses/Losses seem devastating

Depression and risk-aversion

            Hindsight bias

Idealizing the alternative


Inflexible expectations



Idealizing the alternative

            Putting things in perspective

            Life portfolio

            Accepting flexible expectations

Self-criticism vs. self-correction

            Costs and benefits of judging yourself

            Mistakes as opportunities for growth

Moving on from Regret

            Avoid getting anchored to a decision and outcome

            The Bermuda Triangle

            Life as a journey

            The author of your story

Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Regret