Can Gratitude and Kindness Interventions Enhance Well-Being in a Clinical Sample?
- 2.2k Downloads
Grounded in Fredrickson’s (Rev Gen Psychol 2(3):300–319, 1998) broaden and build model of positive emotions, the current study examines the efficacy of 2-week self-administered gratitude and kindness interventions within a clinical sample on a waiting-list for outpatient psychological treatment. Results demonstrate that we can reliably cultivate the emotional experiences of gratitude but not kindness in this brief period. Further, both the gratitude and kindness interventions built a sense of connectedness, enhanced satisfaction with daily life, optimism, and reduced anxiety compared to a placebo condition. These brief interventions did not impact on more overarching constructs, including general psychological functioning and meaning in life. These findings demonstrate that gratitude and kindness have a place in clinical practice; not just as end states, but as emotional experiences that can stimulate constructive change. Further, these strategies can serve as useful pre-treatment interventions that may reduce the negative impact of long waiting times before psychological treatment.
KeywordsGratitude Kindness Interventions Treatment Clinical sample Broaden and build
We gratefully thank Jennifer Wilson for her helpful statistical advice.
- Archer, J. (1984). Waiting list dropouts in a university counseling center. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 15(388–395), 192.Google Scholar
- Bolier, L., Haverman, M., Westerhof, G., Riper, H., Smit, F., & Bohlmeijer, E. (2013). Positive psychology interventions: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. BMC Public Health, 13. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-119.
- Christensen, K. C., Birk, J. B., & Sedlacek, W. E. (1975). Follow-up of clients placed on a counselling center waiting list: Where have they gone? In Counseling center research (Report No. 4-75). College Park: University of Maryland.Google Scholar
- Collins, A., Gelso, K., & Sedlacek, W. E. (1973). Evaluation of a counselling center innovation. Journal of College Student Personnel, 14, 144–148.Google Scholar
- Crumbaugh, J. C. (1968). Cross-validation of purpose in life test based on Frankl’s concepts. Journal of Individual Psychology, 24, 74–81.Google Scholar
- Emmons, R. A., & Shelton, C. M. (2002). Gratitude and the science of positive psychology. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 459–471). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Fredrickson, B. L. (2000a). Cultivating research on positive emotions. Prevention and Treatment, 3. Retrieved October 26, 2004, from http://www.journals.apa.org/prevention/volume3/pre0030007r.html.
- Fredrickson. B. L. (2000b). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and well-being. Prevention and Treatment, 3. Retrieved October 26, 2004, from http://www.journals.apa.org/prevention/volume3/pre0030001a.html.
- Fredrickson, B. L. (2004). Gratitude, like other positive emotions, broadens and builds. In R. A. Emmons & M. E. McCullough (Eds.), The psychology of gratitude (pp. 145–166). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Fredrickson, B. L., Cohn, M. A., Coffey, K. A., Pek, J., & Finkel, S. M. (2008). Open hearts build lives: Positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(5), 1045–1062. doi: 10.1037/a0013262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Geraghty, A. W. A., Wood, A. M., & Hyland, M. E. (2010). Attrition from self-directed interventions: Investigating the relationship between psychological predictors, intervention content, and dropout from a body dissatisfaction intervention. Social Science and Medicine, 71(1), 30–37. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.03.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Janoff-Bulman, R., & Berger, A. R. (2000). The other side of trauma: Towards a psychology of appreciation. In J. H. Harvey & E. D. Miller (Eds.), Loss and trauma: General and close relationship perspectives (pp. 29–44). Philadelphia: Brunner-Routledge.Google Scholar
- King, L. A. (2000). Why happiness is good for you: A commentary on Fredrickson. Prevention and Treatment, 3. Retrieved October 26, 2004, from http://journals.apa.org/prevention/volume3/pre0030004c.html.
- Kirk, J. (1989). Cognitive-behavioural assessment. In K. Hawton, P. Salkovskis, J. Kirk, & D. M. Clark (Eds.), Cognitive behaviour therapy for psychiatric problems: A practical guide (pp. 13–51). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Lambert, M. J., Hansen, N. B., Umpress, V., Lunnen, K., Okiishi, J., & Burlingame, G. M. (2002). Administration and scoring manual for the OQ-45.2 (Outcome Questionnaire). American Professional Credentialing Services LLC.Google Scholar
- Layous, K., Nelson, S. K., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2012). What is the optimal way to deliver a positive activity intervention? The case of writing about one’s best possible selves. Journal of Happiness Studies. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10902-012-9346-2.
- Lovibond, S. H., & Lovibond, P. F. (1995). Manual for the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (2nd ed.). Sydney: Psychology Foundation.Google Scholar
- May, R. J. (1990). Are waiting lists really a problem? A follow-up survey of wait list dropouts. Journal of College Student Development, 31, 564–566.Google Scholar
- May, R. J. (1991). Effects of waiting for clinical services on attrition, problem resolution, satisfaction, attitudes towards psychotherapy, and treatment outcome: A review of the literature. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 22(3), 209–214. doi: 10.1037//0735-7028.22.3.209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Midlarsky, E. (1991). Helping as coping. In M. Clark (Ed.), Prosocial behaviour (pp. 238–264). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Mitchell, J., Vella-Brodrick, D., & Klein, B. (2010). Positive psychology and the internet: A mental health opportunity. Electronic Journal of Applied Psychology, 6(2), 30–41.Google Scholar
- Oliner, S., & Oliner, P. (1988). The altruistic personality. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
- Paige, L. & Mansell, W. (2013). To attend or not to attend? A critical review of the factors impacting on initial appointment attendance from an approach-avoidance perspective. Journal of Mental Health, 22(1), doi: 10.3109/09638237.2012.705924.
- Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Shueman, S. A., Gelso, C. J., Mindus, L., Hunt, B., & Stevenson, J. (1980). Client satisfaction with intake: Is the waiting list all that matters? Journal of College Student Personnel, 21, 114–121.Google Scholar
- Stone, W. N., & Klein, E. B. (1999). The waiting-list group. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 49(4), 417–428.Google Scholar
- Wills, T. A. (1991). Social support and interpersonal relationships. In M. S. Clark (Ed.), Prosocial behavior (pp. 265–289). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.Google Scholar
- Worthington, E. L, Jr, O’Connor, L. E., Berry, J. W., Sharp, C., Murray, R., & Yi, E. (2005). Compassion and forgiveness Implications for psychotherapy. In P. Gilbert (Ed.), Compassion: Conceptualisations, research, and use in psychotherapy (pp. 168–192). East Sussex: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Zahn-Waxler, C., Iannotti, R., & Chapman, M. (1983). Peers and social development. In K. Rubin & H. Ross (Eds.), Peer relationships and social skills in childhood (pp. 133–162). New York: Springer.Google Scholar